The Nigerian government has launched a new program to provide cash transfers to millions of poor and vulnerable households across the country. The programme called the Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer, is part of the efforts by the government to reduce poverty and cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal and economic shocks.
The programme has two categories of beneficiaries, according to Halima Shehu, the national coordinator/chief executive officer of the National Social Investment Programmes Agency (NSIPA), who was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday.
The first category consists of all the poor and vulnerable households that have been enrolled into the programme. They will receive ₦5,000 each every month, as basic income support.
The second category consists of those households that have enrolled on a core responsibility programme, which involves skill acquisition and vocational training. They will receive a one-off grant of ₦150,000 each, to start a small or medium-scale business. They will also be monitored periodically, to ensure that they are making progress. They will be exited from the programme after three years, by which time they are expected to have moved out of poverty.
The programme is funded by an $800 million loan from the World Bank, which was approved by the National Assembly in July. The loan was requested by President Bola Tinubu, who is determined to sustain the CCT scheme initiated by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
The programme aims to reach 12 million households across the country, who will receive ₦8,000 monthly for six months. The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, said that the government will use biometric validation to identify and transfer the money to eligible households.
Mrs Shehu said that all payments under the programme will be made directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts. She said that none of the officials of the agency will handle the funds that will be disbursed to the beneficiaries.
She also said that the programme will be supervised by development partners and the World Bank, for proper transparency and accountability.
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