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FG Defends Conditional Cash Transfer Process, Says It Is Transparent

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The Federal Government says there is no  form of corruption and inefficiency in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme under the National Social Investment Programme.

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja  said any contrary story against the programme was false.

Farouq explained that unpatriotic persons were trying to give the programme a bad name and image contrary to the reality on ground.

She said the programme was introduced by the Federal Government in 2016, in partnership with the World Bank to fortify social safety nets and establish a social protection system in Nigeria.

According to her, the programme is a component of government’s resolve to reduce community poverty in Nigeria.

Farouq explained that the programme involved the release of a monthly stipend of N5,000 to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerian household, mostly in the rural communities.

She said as at  December 2020, the programme operated in 33 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory.

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“A total of 1,414,983 beneficiaries with 7,068,629 individual household member beneficiaries have been enrolled, covering 487 Local Government Areas, 4,716 Wards and 37,628 Communities.

“The programme targets to cover all states of the federation by March 2021.

“Contrary to claims of lacking implementation structure, the programme has a clearly defined implementation structure with an electronic base beneficiary enrolment system that focuses on the Poor and Vulnerable Households (PVHHs) culled from the National Social Register.

“The PVHHs are identified through a combination of geographic and community based targeting mechanisms conducted by the various State Operating and Coordinating Units under the supervision and guidance of the National Social Safety Net Co-ordination Office.

“The community based targeting mechanism is used for the targeting process.

“These clarifications are necessary for the discerning public. The database of PVHHs is generated at the state level and domiciled at State Ministries of Planning.

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“This information is accessible through the National Social Safety Net Project’s website at www.nassp.gov.ng

“I want to reiterate that the processes are transparent and efficient. We have not recorded any form of financial corruption in the programme.

“I call on the Nay Sayers to have a rethink and strive to get authentic information to correct their wrong perception and ensure patriotic responses to the programme which has benefited millions of Nigerians ” Farouq said.

She further explained that Rapid Transfer Register was  provided for under the Economic Sustainability Plan, adding that CCT was funded from the Abacha restituted funds and the World Bank facility.

On Cash Grant to Rural Women, Farouq said it was a one-off grant and it was provided for in the 2020 Appropriation Act.

She maintained that electronic disbursement was  done to the extent of infrastructural capacity of any location.

The minister added that the targeted beneficiaries of the CCT were the poorest of the poor in  rural areas that lacked banking and telecom facilities.

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“At the commencement of the programme in September 2016, Memoranda of Understanding were signed between the Federal and State Governments. Some states committed to the programme instantly while others joined in later.

“This clearly put some states in the lead ahead of others in the generation of the State Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households.

“It is worthy of note that the engagement of Payment Service Providers is carried out through a National Competitive Bidding process that is within the World Bank Prior Review Mechanism threshold.

“Hence, the transparency of the process is not in doubt. The CCT Programme provides capacity building, coaching and mentoring to beneficiaries on various topics including hygiene, girl-child education, and savings among others.

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