The Nigerian Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (NCCSO) has commended the recent flag-off of the National Cash Transfer Programme by President Bola Tinubu-led administration over its poverty reduction potentials.
The commendation came during a press conference addressed by the leader of NCCSO, Abimbola Ademola on Tuesday in Abuja.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Ademola stated that the civil society groups welcome the Federal Government unwavering resolve to tackle poverty through the “Renewed Hope Cash Transfer”, while backing the National Cash Transfer Office under the leadership of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Beta Edu to deliver on the initiative.
The Coalition stressed that the National Cash Transfer Programme will help the poor develop savings skills and ultimately reduce poverty, while urging the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation not to relent in doing the right thing.
Part of the statement read: “We want to express our joy and happiness in the transparency thus far, we also encourage Dr. Edu to keep up the good works as we are satisfied with her hard work and achievements.
“President Bola Tinubu’s initiation of the Renewed Hope Cash Transfer Programme is highly commendable as the Programme has successfully credited about 2.6 million Nigerians with N25,000, through their bank accounts. These Nigerians, though extremely poor, previously had no bank accounts to enable them to benefit from the programme. These nearly three million Nigerians will receive additional N25,000 for two months totaling N75, 000. They are representatives of poor and vulnerable households identified through the National Social Register.
“The National Cash Transfer Office under the able leadership of Dr. Beta Edu, the Minister for Humanitarian affairs and Poverty Alleviation aims to reach 15 million poor and vulnerable households, with cash transfers of 25 thousand Naira monthly for three months, under the renewed hope conditional cash transfer program of Mr President.
“This is being done in a phased approach of 5 million households per month. The National Cash Transfer Program has also made a breakthrough as it was able to validate existing poor vulnerable household data from the National Social Register, through its ongoing beneficiary enrolment process. The office is currently in the hinterland of Nigeria’s rural areas, physically identifying these poor individuals, who have largely been unbanked and have also been without any form of telecommunications exposure.
“They are enrolling them into a beneficiary register with its vast network of about 10,000 cash transfer facilitators, spread across every ward of the federation, doing physical identification and engagements with these vulnerable individuals to ensure that only the poorest of the poor benefit from the National Cash Transfer Programme.
“This in itself is a huge task because it helps identify new Nigerians that had previously been left behind in the planning process of this country, bringing them into the forefront of Nigeria’s resource allocation initiatives.
“All these and more are being midwifed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs under the leadership of Dr. Betta Edu through the National Cash Transfer Office and the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office, initiatives conceived under the National Social Safety Net Programme, which is a poverty mapping and alleviation collaboration between the Nigerian Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Finance and the World Bank
“All in the bid to create financial access for these beneficiaries, and alleviate the interim hardships emanating from Nigeria’s ongoing economic reforms.
“The funds are transferred directly into the beneficiary bank accounts, from the accounts of the Cash Transfer Office in the CBN, without any intermediary funds warehousing as promised by Mr President.
“The Cash Transfer Office is also ensuring that all beneficiaries have BVN or NIN generated for them, as directed by the CBN, which further strengthens Nigeria’s ability to identify and plan for the well-being of its vast number of citizens.”