From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Federal Government on Wednesday began sharing of N20,000 federal cash grants to each of 4,000 poor and vulnerable rural women across the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
These 4,000 rural women in Kaduna State were part of the targeted 125,000 rural women across the 36 states under the general National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
Making the symbolic presentation of the cash grant to a few beneficiaries at the Kaduna State University, Kaduna, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Bashir Nura Alkali said, the grant for rural women was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s Administration.
According to him, since the start of the Buhari administration in 2015, the Federal Government has paid more attention to addressing the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country which informed his decision to initiate the NSIP as a strategy for reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion.
‘Since its introduction in 2016, the social investment programme has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria as over 12 million households have benefitted from NSIP interventions in the last 5 years.
‘This included payment of a monthly Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N5,000.00 to 1 million indigent Nigerians to protect them against economic shocks and elevate them out of poverty.
‘Also, 1,092,405 micro and small business owners accessed loans to boost productivity, increase income and reduce poverty under the Government Enterprise Enhancement Programme (GEEP).
‘The N-Power programme provided temporary income-generating opportunities for 500,000 unemployed youths while 8,612,457 primary 1-3 pupils in public schools currently are receiving one meal per day under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
‘It is consistent with the President’s new national vision 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 and peri-urban areas of the country.
‘A cash grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
‘Our target in Kaduna State is to disburse the grant to over 4,000 beneficiaries across the 23 local government councils.
‘The grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries. We hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to generally contribute towards improving their living standard,’ he said.
Earlier in her goodwill message, Chairman, Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC), Ms Jessica Bartholomew, said her coalition look forward to continuing working with the federal and state government in building community trust, ownership and sustainability of all social assistance programmes developed to reduce poverty and vulnerability in Kaduna State.
She urged the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development led by Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, to come up with exit strategies to graduate already benefitting households or individuals in all the social assistance schemes who can now stand on their feet economically to pave way for more households in any of the targeted categories across the country.