The Federal Government has stated that it distributes N10 billion in National Cash Transfer to one million recipients every two months as part of its National Social Safety Nets Program (NASSP).
The program was implemented to combat unemployment, improve the living conditions of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians, economically empower the people, encourage school enrollment, equip less educated people to be self-employed, and build capacity, among other things.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Apera Iorwa, the National Coordinator, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), revealed this at the NASSP Third-Party Project scorecard dissemination meeting on Monday in Abuja.
Iorwa said, “From the Federal Government cash transfer programme, each beneficiary got N5,000 monthly but because of logistics, we pay N10,000 every two months and we have paid about one million beneficiaries across the country.”
He explained that the initiative began with 19 states in 2016 and 2017 and then expanded to 24 states by 2018, thanks to a World Bank loan, before eventually covering all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He pointed out that the distribution is contingent on state governments’ ability to construct a social register in each of their jurisdictions.
The NASSCO National Coordinator said, “We do this through the World Bank facility of 500 million dollars for five years. The Abacha repatriated loot of 325 million dollars was given to National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO). We have a total projection of 822 million dollars for over five years.”
Iorwa revealed that the social register has 35.2 million people from 8.2 million households in 36 states and the FCT, with around 49 percent of them female and 51 percent male.
He added that the financial transfer had also made it possible for more children to attend school because their parents were able to purchase books and clothes.
Mrs Ajia Agagbo, Executive Director of the NGO Centre for Health Education, Economic Rehabilitation, and Social Security (CHEERS), explained that the purpose of the gathering was to present the project’s scorecard for the previous year.
The center’s goal, according to Agagbo, is to provide independent monitoring information on the various processes being implemented within the safety net program, and Third Party Monitoring (TPM) is one of the basic foundational elements in promoting social investment and accountability within the context of any government or donor-funded program.