The Federal Government says it has disbursed over N993.45 million to 24,929 vulnerable households in nine local government areas of Akwa Ibom under its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, disclosed this at the commencement of the programme at Ikono LGA near Uyo on Tuesday.
Farouq said the selected local government areas represented 30 per cent of the state’s council areas.
She said that each of the beneficiaries would receive between N30,000 and N40,000.
According to her, the benefiting LGAs are; Eastern Obolo, Ikono, Mkpat Enin, Nsit Atai, Nsit Ubium, Onna, OrukAnam, Ukanafun and Uruan.
She said that the CCT programme, a component of the social protection schemes of President Muhammadu Buhari administration, was aimed at taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
”Apart from the war against corruption, Buhari has prioritised social protection interventions to pull 100 million people out of poverty over the course of 10 years.
“The payment cycle could have started in September 2019, but issues faced with the payment service provider that delayed the process has now been resolved,” she said.
The minister, however, apologised for the delay in the disbursement of the money to the beneficiaries.
In her welcome remarks, Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan, appreciated the Federal Government’s gesture.
Adiakpan urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the gesture in order to encourage the Federal Government to do more.
“The benefits of implementing the Conditional Cash Transfer intervention in Nigeria have been enormous especially in health, nutrition and education.
“These are very critical areas for which every responsible government must concern itself with.
”Akwa Ibom State keyed into the programme in the middle of 2019, with nine pilot local government areas.
“The State Operating Coordinating Unit enumerated about 126,000 households making the beneficiaries’ list. We are grateful that today about 24,929 are the first set of beneficiaries,” Adiakpan said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Christiana Umo, appreciated the Federal Government for the kind gesture.
Umo said that the money would help her to start a small business to support her family.
Another beneficiary, Miss Blessing Monday, said that the money would go a long way to alleviate her suffering.
Monday promised to invest the money to enhance the financial position of her household. (NAN)