By Gabriel Ewepu
The Federal Government on Monday, disbursed over N 24 million of recovered Abacha loot to 2, 426 beneficiaries in Kuje Area Council, KAC, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for November and December cash transfer payments, under the National Cash Transfer scheme in the Presidency.
Speaking on the effort by the Federal Government to get the recovered loot disbursed to poorest of the poor, Special Advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais, represented by Head of Operations, National Cash Transfer Office, NCTO, Binta Isah Ismail, the disbursement was part of marking the World Anti-corruption Day.
The disbursement is from the $322.5 million loot recovered from the late Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha, by the Federal Government.
“Uwais said today is a special day. We are marking the World Anti-Corruption Day. For us at NCTO the recovered loot that is being used to eradicate poverty of poor Nigerians. This is one of the councils in Nigeria, the Kuje Area Council we have over 8, 000 beneficiaries. We are covering three Area Councils including Kuje, Abaji and Kwali.
“Here we have over 200 communities cumulatively who are benefiting the modality of the programme has been transparent based the national register where beneficiaries were targeted that contextualize what poverty really means.
“They come to receive their payment every two months which is N10, 000, and out of that we do verification every time they present themselves before payment is made. The beneficiaries also count the money to be sure they have been paid the right amount.”
According to her apart from the payment made to the beneficiaries, there are other packages such as training to improve the health, nutrition, environmental outcomes among other things.
She added that they are gender-balanced but are biased because women globally are the poorest by statistics and because of children. She further said over 1 million beneficiaries will be enrolled by the end of 2019.
Also speaking the Head, FCT State Cash Transfer Unit, Dr Luka Ayuba, disclosed that 2, 436 beneficiaries are being paid today (Monday) N10, 000 each amounting to over N24 million in Kuje Area Council of FCT alone.
“The whole of Kuje Area Council we have 2, 426 beneficiaries who will be paid N10, 000 each. There are no service challenges and every beneficiary receive their money as at when due”, Ayuba said.
He also added that services have improved, which beneficiaries do not need to wait, and beneficiaries are trained on skills, savings and the monitoring system is perfect since it is factored into the programme.
Meanwhile, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, along with Department for International Development, DFID, monitored the disbursement of the money to the beneficiaries in Kuje.
The Executive Director, ANEEJ, David Ugolor said the aim of monitoring is to bring transparency and accountability to the utilization of all recovered assets in the country.
Ugolor also said that the main purpose of using this event is to send a strong signal as today is World Anti-corruption Day.
“As you know, the cash transfer programme is partly financed by money recovered by Abacha starched in western banks.
“We also see today as an opportunity to highlight the benefits to see assets returned back to Nigeria.
“As you can see around, you see the very poor of the poorest as they are the ones benefiting from the recovered loot from Abacha and for us it is remarkable”, he stated.