The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has reiterated its commitment to giving a lifting hand to the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in the country as part of efforts to collectively address some development challenges Nigeria is grappling with.
The federal government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Wednesday flagged off the disbursement of cash grant to 4000 rural women across the 23 local government areas of Kaduna state.
Speaking through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Kaduna on Wednesday, Bashir Nura Alkali, the Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, noted, “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. It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to generally contribute towards improving their living standard.”
The Minister observed that the grant for rural women programme was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari administration.
She explained that it is consistent with the President’s now national vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, stressing that 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.
She explained that a cash grant of N20,000.00 would be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
She added that since the inception of President Buhari administration in 2015, the Federal Government has paid more attention to addressing the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country despite the economic slump and revenue challenges.
She noted that it informed the decision by Mr. President to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion.
She said, “The NSIP is adjudged as the largest social protection programme in Africa with over $1billion earmarked annually to cause positive changes in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country.”
According to the minister, 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.
She said that 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, pointing out that 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).
She noted that 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.
She said that it is in view of this that President Muhammadu Buhari graciously approved the expansion of the programme to touch more lives and lift more Nigerians above the poverty breadline.
The minister explained, “With the creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development by President Buhari in 2019, these programmes are being restructured and revamped to respond to peculiarities of different parts of the country, to ensure the right beneficiaries are targeted, and to enhance impact on target beneficiaries.”
She explained that the government is working tirelessly to address some of the socio-economic problems that are bedeviling the North-Western part of the country and Nigeria at large by strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.