Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
The Federal Government on Tuesday distributed the sum of N20,000 to 3270 vulnerable rural women across Osun state under its conditional cash transfer programme.
Speaking at the event held at Staff Development Centre, Abere in Osogbo, Osun State, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sarita Umar Faruk said 1,635 of the beneficiaries are women with disability.
Represented by the Director, Account and Administration in the Ministry, Dr Mathew Dada, she said the programme is part of the federal government’s effort to lift 100million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.
“Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, the Federal Government has paid more attention to promoting the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country despite the economic slump the Administration inherited. This informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion.
NSIP is one of the largest social protection programmes in Africa with over $1billion earmarked annually to cause positive change in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country. Since its introduction in 2016, the programme has impacted positively the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
I have personally witnessed the life-changing experiences of people who lived below the poverty line and those that are vulnerable to shocks.
“Over 12 million households have benefitted from NSIP interventions in the last 5 years. This includes 98,802 pupils in 1,462 public schools receiving 1 meal per day prepared by 1,936 cooks in the Osun State and 15,572 heads of households receiving N5,000.00 monthly cash transfer in the State under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme. Several others have also benefitted from the N-Power and Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
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 the impact on target beneficiaries. In view of the life-changing experience of beneficiaries of NSIP, President Buhari has graciously approved the expansion of the programme to touch more lives and lift more Nigerians above the poverty breadlin
“The Grant for Rural Women programme was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s Administration.
It is consistent with the President’s, now national, the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. 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. A cash grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
Our target in Osun State is to disburse the grant to over 3,500 beneficiaries across the 30 Local Government Councils. In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s social inclusion, up to 5% of the total number of beneficiaries is allocated to Persons with Disability (PWDs).
We encourage the State Government to take a cue from this and other provisions in the Discrimination Against Persons with Disability (Prohibition) Act 2019.
The grant is expected to increase the 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”, she said.
In his address, Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Wole Oyebamiji said unless the government put in place plans to take care of the most vulnerable, no society can truly be safe.
He added that the array of social protection programme being implemented by the federal government is critical to the effort of lifting current Nigerians from the throes of lack and deprivation, especially as its implementation is in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.