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*Beneficiaries to get N20,000 start-up capital, fingerprint machines,kits, others

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA-THE federal government, Thursday, flagged off a programme aimed at training a total of 1,850 youths selected across the country on mobile money making business, otherwise known as Point-of-Sale,POS.

The training will enable target beneficiaries to meet the minimum technical and business requirements for becoming mobile money agents and enhance their entrepreneurial competences to successfully start and manage mobile money businesses.

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The gesture, being carried out under the Mobile Money Agents Programme, introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s administration, would see the beneficiaries provided with a start-up Kits that include a Point-of-Sale (POS) machine, fingerprint scanner and furniture (chairs, tables and umbrellas) as well as a modest capital of N20,000.00.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,Hajiya Sadiya Umar Forouq, speaking in a keynote address she presented at the occasion,held in Abuja, explained that gesture was part of President Muhammdu Buhari’s administration to lift 100 millions Nigerians out of poverty in ten years.

According to her,”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 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,”she explained.

Farouq said,”Since its introduction in 2016, the prorgramme has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria”, adding:”I have personally witnessed the life-changing experiences of people who lived below the poverty line and those that are vulnerable to shocks.”

Noting that,”Over 12 million households have benefitted from NSIP interventions in the last five years”, the minister said:”With the creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development by President Buhari in 2019, and the able leadership of the Honourable Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, 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.”

” 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 breadline,”she further explained.

Hear the minister:”It is consistent with the President’s, now national, vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“The programme is designed to kit/tool unemployed youths and develop their competences to operate as registered mobile money agents. 

“The training we are starting today will enable target beneficiaries to meet the minimum technical and business requirements for becoming mobile money agents and enhance their entrepreneurial competences to successfully start and manage mobile money businesses.”

According to her,”Upon completion of the training, the target beneficiaries be registered with the Shared Agency Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) as Mobile Money Agents and be provided with a Stat-up Kits that include a Point-of-Sale (POS) Machine, Fingerprint Scanner and Furniture (chairs, tables and umbrellas) as well as a modest capital of N20,000.00.”

” We hope that the programme will provide job opportunities to the 1,850 youths selected from the 36 States and FCT as well as promote financial inclusion, by providing financial services to unserved and underserved Nigerians,”she said.

According to her,” It will also enhance the integration of NSIP by enabling target beneficiaries to join the network of agents providing financial-related services under other components of NSIP (especially the conditional cash transfer and the grant for vulnerable groups) as well as in the enumeration/enrolment of target beneficiaries.”

While thanking SANEF in ensuring that this event was successful,she said:”The Ministry is implementing the Mobile Money Agents programme in partnership with SANEF. “

“This will enable the registration and onboarding of target beneficiaries upon completion of the training. We also deeply appreciate the support of other stakeholders and their contribution to the realization of Mr. President’s to lifting Nigerians out of poverty. 

“The training programme is commencing in Akure, Ondo State and Calabar, Cross River State. It will also commence in Kano, Kano State, Bauchi, Bauchi State and Nsukka, Enugu State next week. It is my honour to therefore formally declare the Mobile Money Agents training programme in Abuja for the 350 beneficiaries in the Federal Capital Territory and the six states in the North-Central geopolitical zone open,”she explained.

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