About Two Million Nigerians Get N5,000 Cash Monthly – FG
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has said that 1,940,004 vulnerable Nigerians were currently benefiting from its cash transfer programme.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, said this today at a One-Day Stakeholders’ Retreat On National Social Investment (Establishment) Bill organised by the Senate Committee on Social Duties.
According to her, the programme’s beneficiaries get N5,000 cash gifts monthly. Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Nasir Gwarzo, Farouq said the objective of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) Establishment Bill was to provide a statutory and institutional framework for implementing the National Social Investment Programme.
The Minister explained that NSIP was created in 2016 by President Buhari to address social and economic inequalities and alleviate poverty among Nigerians.
Farouq noted that four of the government’s social support programmes are meant to empower the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians to enable them to attain an acceptable standard of living.
She said the NSIP, directly and indirectly, impacted poor Nigerians’ lives through its four cluster programmes.
She said these included the N-Power Programme, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, and the Conditioner Cash Transfer Programme.
The programmes, she added, were designed to serve as various forms of social safety nets, specifically targeting those at the bottom of the social ladder who require some form of assistance to enable them to become productive members of society and prevent more people from falling below poverty line.
She said, “A wide range of Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty reduction, education, health, social inclusion and empowerment, can be achieved through the NSIP.
“Section 17(3) of the constitution provides that the State shall direct its policy towards ensuring that all its citizens without discrimination have the opportunity of securing adequate means of livelihood and ensuring provision is made for public assistance in deserving cases of need among others.
“Contributory social protection schemes such as Social insurance, health insurance, and the pension scheme are all backed by legislation. The laws are, The Nigeria Social insurance Trust Fund Act, the National Health Insurance Authority Act, and the Pension Reform Act.
“The NSIP, which is a non-contributory social protection scheme, is not backed by any law, and this underscores the need for it also to have a piece of legislation.
“Since the inception of the NSIP in 2015, one million youths have been empowered through the N-Power Programme, and additional 500,000 others are currently undergoing various training under the programme as approved by the President.”
She noted that the cash transfer had enrolled 1,975,381 poor and vulnerable households from the National Social Register into a National Beneficiary Register across the country.
She added that the Cash Transfer supports the poor and vulnerable to improve consumption and develop savings skills to reduce poverty and build their resilience to withstand shocks.
Buhari Government Has Reduced Out-Of-School Children Nationwide
According to Farouq, the federal government has also reduced out-of-school children across the country in the last few years.
“Public Primary Schools across the country have witnessed an unprecedented number of new enrollments due to the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
“The programme is currently feeding 10 million pupils in over 66,000 public schools across Nigeria. The programme is gradually reducing cases of out-of-school children nationwide,” the minister said.
According to her, 2,653,333 beneficiaries have accessed the GEEP loans under three categories: Trader Moni, Market Moni and Farmer Moni.
“A total of 1, 142, 783 individuals across the country have registered to benefit from the second round of GEEP under the three loan programmes,” she noted.
On his part, the Chairman of the Senate panel, Senator Yusuf Yusuf, explained that the retreat was aimed at bringing together critical stakeholders from the executive arm of government to be at par with the legislature on the proposed legislation.
Yusuf said, “Information is a very important tool for legislation. Since the government policy emanates from legislation, we invited critical stakeholders from the ministry and other agencies so that they can furnish the committee with vital information that would enable them to come up with a robust legislation for the NSIP establishment.”