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Cash Transfer: Nigerians without NINs, BVNs disqualified as CBN begins payments

Bundles of New Naira Notes

*The Nigerian Government has activated the disbursement of N25,000 to 15 million households as a social safety net intervention for three months but the government may disqualify citizens without the National Identification Numbers and Bank Verification Numbers from receiving payments as the exercise takes off the ground across the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the Federal Government walks the talk to begin payment of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to several millions of Nigerian consumers, it is equally removing dead beneficiaries from the register.

ConsumerConnect learnt the government would also disqualify Nigerians  without National Identification Numbers (NINs) and Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs) from payments as the exercise begins.

The Nigerian Government is reviewing and expanding the National Social Register to accommodate pensioners and ex-servicemen under its Conditional Cash Transfer scheme, according to report.

The reactivation of the CCT programme coincides with the commemoration of the 2023 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, represented Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, launched the disbursement of N25,000 to 15 million households for three months as a “social safety net” intervention, sequel to the recent removal of subsidy on petroleum products.

It was also learnt that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will make “bulk payments” directly to the beneficiaries of CCT, and not through consultants from next week.

The first batch of bulk payments to beneficiaries would begin for five million households.

About Conditional Cash Transfer scheme

The Conditional Cash Transfer scheme is part of the National Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government, a project created to change the lives of millions of Nigerians living in extreme poverty, upgrade their standards of living, and improve the national economy.

The government has stated the overarching aim of the programme is to mitigate the telling impact of the fuel subsidy removal and help to eradicate poverty across the country.

Explaining the concept further, Rasheed Olanrewaju, Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, told The Punch, that the Cash Transfer scheme had been reviewed and expanded.

Olanrewaju stated: “We are using a verified expanded register that has pensioners and veterans, as well as other vulnerable persons who were not captured.”

Jamaldeen Kabir, National Communications Manager, National Social Investment Programme Agency, also affirmed that beneficiaries who had exited the poverty line were being removed from the CCT register.

Kabir said: “What he (Olanrewaju) told you is very correct, because the register is being expanded. First of all, it has to be verified so that those who are out of the poverty line will be removed from the old register.

“Those in the register, are they still within the poverty line or have they exited the line? The expansion will also include the wives of fallen heroes and pensioners.”

Payments to beneficiaries ongoing, says Olanrewaju

On when the cash transfer would begin, Olanrewaju stated that though bulk payments would commence from next week, some of those who had been verified had already started receiving payment alerts in Nigeria.

The Minister’s media aide noted: “The cash transfer (scheme) has been launched, and once a household is verified, they get paid.

“The batches begin this month, next week to be precise; however, verified people have started receiving alerts.”

Kabir equally stated “actually, when the programme was launched at the Presidential Villa … days ago, some beneficiaries were presented with some cheques.

“So, before this month ends, the beneficiaries in the first phase will receive theirs, and this phase caters to five million households.

“So, we are expecting those five million households to receive money in the months of October, November and December.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of  Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has restated that the determination of the Federal Government to eradicate poverty is in line with the President Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’.

It noted the agenda has poverty eradication, food security, economic growth and job creation as priorities.

It is recalled Mrs. Betta Edu, Honourable Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, recently stated that all stakeholders, including the private sector players, development partners and other countries, should support Nigeria in its drive to eliminate poverty.

Mrs. Edu said of Nigeria’s efforts in this regard: “The cardinal goal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is to give the poor and vulnerable Nigerians a new breath of hope, which is also in line with the SDG target.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not relent until vulnerable Nigerians are completely pulled out of poverty by 2030.”

The Minister stressed the Conditional Cash Transfer programme is a proven way to alleviate poverty.

According to her, the CCT will give households the financial support to start micro and small enterprises, provide basic health care and food, keep their children in school and attend to the immediate needs of the households.

“Mr. President, during the October 1, 2023, national broadcast, announced this intervention; we have gone through a thorough and rigorous process of verification for the National Social Register, giving us the lead way to begin payments.

“The beneficiaries are drawn from across all states in the country plus the Federal Capital Territory and it is being done in a transparent manner that is traceable and verifiable,” she noted.

Edu further explained: “Beyond this, the government will be providing low-cost shelter for the poor and internally displaced persons as a form of providing that cover for them.

“Several other interventions, including the rural vocational skills intervention, will be carried out on a country-wide scale.

“All of these are targeted at the various dimensions of poverty across the country.”

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