by Usman Alabi
The Federal government has begun payment of N5,000 monthly stipend to over one million vulnerable Nigerians through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes (SIP).
This was made known in a statement released yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande who also disclosed that the first batch started last week covering nine states.
The statement revealed that one million Nigerians would receive N5,000 monthly stipend under the CCT as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as budgeted for in the 2016 budget. Mr Akande also added that many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments in the first batch that commenced last week.
“In the first batch that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments by Friday last week, December 30, 2016
“Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigerian 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.”
Akande further stated: “Though the sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara and Bauchi states have started receiving the money. The other states in the first batch to commence the CCT payments are Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States.
“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.
“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 State, where a validated list of IDPs was 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 of the programme.
“The Federal Government will actually commence community mobilization for the creation of the Register in more States around the country, for transparency, objectivity and credibility in the selection of the poorest and most vulnerable beneficiaries for the programme.
“Meanwhile, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Enugu, Kastina & Taraba States have so far compiled with the stipulated framework provided, and are set for the community based targeting method for the development of their social register within their jurisdictions.
“These states are to be followed by Delta, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Imo and Ogun States. Once the community mobilization, identification and selection processes are completed, the information garnered from the poorest households would be entered onto the Social Registers in the states and the National Register at NIBSS, after which the cash transfers would be disbursed to the beneficiaries.