The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, on Monday disclosed that the federal government will kick start a new cash transfer programme to 15 million households by October.
Edu disclosed this in an interview on Arise Television monitored by Persecondnews while speaking on the Progress Report on Nigeria’s participation at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting.
She noted that the federal government will partner with state governments and local communities in the verification of the national social register, adding that those on the current social register are still in that social category.
She said: “We had meetings with the World Bank and very soon we will announce the upscale of the national safety net program, which will be putting funds in the pocket of over 15 million households in Nigeria.
“These are tangible funds that people can use to start businesses and improve their lives. This will be happening next month, October.
“I’m sure you know very well that we have sent out a team and are in engagement with the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), just to verify the national social register working with the states and local communities and we are going to expand it.
“Right now, we have 15.7 million households which amounts to about 62 million persons under the national social register. We want to verify if they are still in that social bracket to know if they still deserve such interventions.
“The President has approved the verification and expansion of the national social register to cover everybody in that bracket.”
Edu said the Federal Government would to partner with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), government security agencies amongst others, on the programme.
She further listed other initiatives in the programme to include building shelters for displaced persons, homegrown school feeding, provision of money for startups, and loans for MSMEs.
Persecondnews recalls that President Bola Tinubu had on July 13, written to the Senate seeking approval for the $800 million palliative loan from the World Bank to cushion the effect of petrol subsidy removal.
Tinubu had said: “Under the conditional cash transfer window of the programme, the federal government of Nigeria will transfer the sum of N8,000 a month to 12 million poor and low-income households for a period of six months with a multiplying effect on about 60 million individuals.”
However, the plan to disburse N8,000 to 12 million poor households was roundly and widely criticized by Nigerians particularly labour and some well-meaning people.
They considered it irrational and unreasonable for the government to dole out such a meagre amount amid rising inflation, low purchasing power and the ever increasing cost of transportation which will render the money worthless.