Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs. Sadiya Umar Farouq, has disclosed that as at December 2020, no fewer than 1,414,983 Nigerians have benefitted from the Household Uplifting Programme-Conditional Cash Transfer (HUP-CCT) under the National Cash Transfer Programme.
The minister made the disclosure in a statement while reacting to a media report insinuating that the poverty alleviation programme, which involves the release of a monthly stipend of N5,000 to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerian households in rural communities, has largely been a gargantuan failure.
According to her, the programme, currently operating in 33 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has captured 7,068,629 individual household member beneficiaries in 487 local government areas, 4,716 wards and 37,628 communities.
She noted that the database of Poor and Vulnerable Households (PVHHs) was generated at the state level and domiciled at state ministries of planning.
“This information is accessible through the National Social Safety Net Project (NASSP) website-www.nassp.gov.ng; All three grant based programmes are within budgetary provisions and are processed electronically.
Rapid Transfer Register (RRR)- This is provided for under the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP); Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), this is funded from the Abacha restituted funds and the World Bank facility; Cash Grant to Rural Women (CGRW),this is a one-off cash grant and it is provided for in the 2020 Appropriation Act; electronic disbursement is done to the extent of infrastructural capacity of any location, noting that the targeted beneficiaries of the CCT are the poorest of the poor who normally dwell in rural areas typically lacking banking and telecom facilities,” the Minister explained.
The minister added that the Conditional Cash Transfer package, launched in 2016, targets to cover all states of the federation by March.
She explained that the programme had a clearly defined implementation structure with an electronic base beneficiary enrolment system that focuses on the Poor and Vulnerable Households (PVHHs) mined from the National Social Register, while describing as baseless, the notion that the programme lacked implementation structure.
The Minister said: “The PVHHs are identified through a combination of geographic and community based targeting mechanisms conducted by the various State Operating and Coordinating Units (SOCU) under the supervision and guidance of the National Social Safety Net Co-ordination Office (NASSCO). The Community Based Targeting (CBT) mechanism is used for the targeting process.”
She further explained that at the commencement of the programme in September 2016, Memoranda of Understanding were signed between the FG and all states.
“Some states committed to the programme instantly while others joined in late. This clearly put some states in the lead ahead of others in the generation of the State Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households. The engagement of Payment Service Providers (PSPs) is carried out through a National Competitive Bidding (NCB) process that is within the World Bank Prior Review Mechanism threshold. Hence the transparency of the process is not in doubt. The CCT programme provides capacity building, coaching and mentoring to beneficiaries on various topics, including hygiene, girl child education, savings, etc. Formulation of co-operatives and savings are voluntary and managed by the beneficiaries with no degree of involvement by the Programme.
“Currently, state social registers have been generated across all the states, while the CCT is being implemented in all 36 states with only Borno, Ebonyi and Ogun states yet to commence payments. While many goodwill and statements of gratitude have been received from many state governments on the programme, success stories and testimonies abound on how the programme is impacting the lives of the beneficiaries as well as poor and vulnerable Nigerians with a positive effect on their communities as well.”