By Odimmegwa Johnpeter/Abuja
The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq on Wednesday 8 April, 2020 in Iho, Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State flagged off the payment of stipends of N20, 000 to the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.
She said during the Flag off: “Mr. President has directed that we commence the payment of 20, 000 to beneficiaries of Conditional Cash Transfer. Payment to beneficiaries in Imo State will commence today.” The programme started in 2016 by the Federal Government to assist the most economically vulnerable citizens in the country.
The Minister said that it was important to highlight that “since the creation of this Ministry we have piloted digital payment in 6 states and will continue to expand it. It is a priority to us and we will continue to expand it as it is not sustainable to distribute cash manually especially for the purpose of transparency and accountability.”
She explained that School Feeding Program will commence in Imo State in the next few weeks after Lagos, Ogun and FCT. “We have adopted a modality that will ensure that even though children are at home, they will get the food. We shall adopt a door to door modality in the distribution using a voucher system.”
Sadiya Umar Farouq then announced the delivery of relief materials on behalf of the Federal Government.
“I present some relief materials in form of food relief and implore the Government of Imo State to prioritize the poor, vulnerable and persons living with disabilities as a result of this covid-19 pandemic.”
The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba, Head of operations for the scheme among others accompanied the Minister to Iho, Ikeduru for the Flag Off of the programme and delivery of relief materials.
In a related development, the Minister was in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State where she inspected payments of stipends to the poor and vulnerable households beneficiaries under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.
The payments started on Monday at three centers in Uli where 683 beneficiaries of the programme were scheduled to receive the N20,000 stipends for the months of January to April as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari. A total of 608 beneficiaries were paid yesterday while the remaining 229 beneficiaries would be paid today, (Thursday).
In her remarks during the visit, the Minister explained the processes involved in the programme up to the stage of making payments to the beneficiaries. She emphasized that the enrollment into the programme is a continuous exercise, adding that all the Local Government Areas of Anambra State will be covered.
Her remarks were interpreted to Igbo language and communicated to members of public. The Minister personally paid the stipends to about 20 beneficiaries and the payments continued in Anambra State.
The Chairman of Ihiala Local Government Area, Councilors, Traditional Rulers and members of the benefiary communities received the Minister and her entourage during the inspection visit.
The Minister’s entourage included the National Coordinator of NASSP Mr. Apera Iorwa, Programme Coordinator and Dr. Mrs. Temitope Sinkaiye, among others.