ABUJA-More than one year after it came on board, the president Mohammadu Buhari led administration has commenced payment of N5,000 monthly stipends it promised to poor Nigerians.
The development was substantially embedded in the campaign promises of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC during the 2015 presidential election.
The Programme is also a part of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes, SIP for which N500 billion was appropriated in the 2016 national budget.
Aside the N-Power jobs where graduates and other participants in the Programme are paid N3,000 per month, the CCT also targets one million Nigerians who would receive N5000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net.
Nine states are mapped out for coverage in this first batch and already, many of the beneficiaries were reported to have started receiving their first payments by Friday last week.
The states were Borno, Kwara, Bauchi, Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti.
Of the states, Borno, Kwara and Bauchi have started receiving the money while the rest of the states in the first batch would commence the CCT payments soon.
A statement from the office of the Vice President where the project is domiciled stated that “Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government’s social intervention programmes. Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon.”
It also stated that “the sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS”.
According to the release, “The nine pilot states were chosen because they have an existing Social Register that successfully identified the most vulnerable and poorest Nigerians through a tried and tested community based targeting (CBT) method working with the World Bank. However other states have already begun developing their Social Registers and would be included in subsequent phases of the CCT implementation.”
It added that more beneficiaries of the CCT would be captured by the social registers already existing in 8 states, saying that the process was both transparent and credible.
“Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer of the Federal Government would be mined from the Social Register, initially developed by 8 States through a direct engagement with the World Bank. Those states are featured in the first batch, with the added inclusion of Borno States where a validated list of IDPS were compiled in addition to the Social Register which is expected to go round the country.
“Working with the World Bank, the CBT process has now been adopted for developing the Social Register in the other States around the country, for transparency, objectivity and credibility in the selection of the poorest and most vulnerable beneficiaries for the programme.
“The Federal Government will actually commence community mobilization for the creation of the Register in more States soon, to expand the scope and reach of the CCT across the country”, the statement said.