From middle: The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq flanked by APC women leader, Dr Betta Edu and Commissioner for Humanity &Social Welfare , Blessing Egbara during the Cash grant for vulnerable groups

By Ike Uchechukwu CALABAR

As part of effort by the Federal government  to give a lifting hand to the poorest citizens in the country under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP),  3351 persons in 11 LGAs of Cross River have benefited from the 20,000 cash grant for vulnerable groups.

Sadiya Umar Farouq ,Minister for  Humanitarian Affairs, who spoke on Thursday in Calabar during the tripartite event including flagging off the cash grant for vulnerable groups, launch of digitized payment for the Conditional Cash Transfer programme as well as on-boarding of 2nd Stream of Independent Monitors Programme, said President Muhammadu was poised to address poverty which is the core developmental challenge confronting us as a people.

According to her “We have converged here today to witness the consolidation of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) designed by the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to specially and effectively give a lifting hand to some of our poorest and vulnerable citizens.

“This effort is a clear demonstration of our collective commitment to address poverty which today is the core developmental challenge confronting us as a people.

“Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, when it inherited a national poverty incidence level averaging 70%, the Federal Government has paid more attention to generating solutions to address the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country despite other economic challenges the Administration inherited. 

“This informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for poverty reduction and enhancing social inclusion among our people especially Women in rural areas.

“Since its introduction in 2016, the NSIP has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria. I have personally witnessed the life-changing experiences of people who hitherto lived below the poverty line and those that are vulnerable to shocks, but are now living better.

“The Grant for Vulnerable Groups programme (GVG) was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s Administration. It is consistent with the national target 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 Nigerians in rural and peri-urban areas of the country. A cash grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to the poor and vulnerable category across the 36 States and FCT.

“Using this grant, many of the beneficiaries will improve their productivity and their commercial activity, all of which will help in easing them out of poverty,” she said .

Speaking further , the Minister explained that the target of the 20,000 naira grant for vulnerable citizens was to reach out to 3351 in 11 LGAs of Cross River state 

She said :” Our target in Cross River State is to disburse the grant to 3351 beneficiaries across the 11 Local Government Areas. In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s social inclusion, 70% of the total number of beneficiaries is for women while the remaining 30% is for the youths. 

In addition, about 15% of the total number of beneficiaries is specifically allocated to the segment of the population with special needs, including Persons with Disability (PWDs) and senior citizens in the State. 

“It is our belief that the cash grant we came to disburse today is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries, especially now that economic challenges at global and local levels affect the socio-economic situation of our people. 

“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to improve productive activities that would generate more income and improve their living standard,” she said.

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