The federal government of Nigeria has unveiled a special grant for rural women across the 36 states of the federation and Abuja, the federal capital territory.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq disclosed that over 150,000 women will receive a one-off special grant of N20,000 each in all the 774 local government councils.
Farouq explained that the special grant is part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) embarked upon by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister launched the distribution of the one-off special grant payment for rural women in Plateau State at an event held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, to mark the 2020 International Day of Rural Women.
The theme for this year’s International Day of Rural Women is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19”.
“Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, the government has been paying more attention to protecting and promoting the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country.
“This informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion.
“The Grant for Rural Women programme was introduced to sustain the social inclusion agenda of the Buhari Administration, including the realization of the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria.
“The grant of N20,000 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The grant is expected to increase access to financial capital required for economic activities.
“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the opportunity to increase their income, enhance their food security, and generally contribute towards improving their living standard,” the Minister explained.
At the event where the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen was also present, Hajia Farouq used the opportunity to present assorted grains from the National Food Reserve, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as a palliative for distribution to vulnerable persons affected by the restriction of movement to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Food items presented to the state include 71 trailer load of Maize, Sorghum and Millet to cater to 294,199 households.
Earlier, the Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong said the palliative will go a long way in alleviating the challenges faced by rural women.
“This palliative will assist vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters like conflict and flood.
“This occasion is unique because it also features the disbursement of cash transfer to 500 rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women.
“I am also delighted to note that 3,005 pregnant and lactating women In Plateau state are currently receiving an additional five thousand naira as a top-up of the Conditional Cash Transfer.
“This will go a long way in improving the lives of women and children in Plateau state particularly their health and economic empowerment,” he said.