By Nneka Anibeze
The federal government’s various National Social Investment Programmes NSIP have impacted greatly on the poor and vulnerable in the country, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has said.
The minister made the remark at the launch of the Federal Government Special Cash Grant for Rural Women held today Thursday January 21, 2021 at the Cyprian Ekwensi Center for Arts and Culture, Garki, Abuja.
She said that since its introduction in 2016, more than 12 million households have benefitted from NSIP interventions including the payment of a monthly Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N5,000.00 to 1 million indigent households to protect them against economic shocks and elevate them out of poverty.
“We just launched the Covid-19 Rapid Response Register which will provide cash transfer to additional 1 million poor urban households. Also, 1,092,405 micro and small business owners accessed loans to boost productivity, increase income and reduce poverty under the Government Enterprise Enhancement Programme (GEEP).
“The N-Power programme provides temporary income-generating opportunities for 500,000 unemployed youths while 8,612,457 primary 1-3 pupils in select public schools are receiving 1 meal per day under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. These programmes are being restructured and revamped to respond to peculiarities of different parts of the country and ensure that the right beneficiaries are targeted and impacted”.
Umar Farouq noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration has paid more attention to promoting the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country as $1billion is being earmarked annually to cause positive changes in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country.
“In view of this, President Buhari has graciously approved the expansion of NSIP to touch more lives and lift more Nigerians above the poverty breadline. Our target in FCT is to disburse the grant to about 5,000 beneficiaries across the 6 Area Councils. The grant is expected to increase 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”.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Aliyu Tijjani commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating NSIP as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion and bringing succor to the poorest of the poor and vulnerable households.
“The NSIP has contributed positively to Nigeria’s quest to win the war against acute poverty especially at a time the country and the global community are striving to recover from the economic difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The launch of this program is a bold statement that the government is ready to do all that is necessary to fight the global economic downturn and put in place shocks to withstand future eventualities”.
Dr Aliyu also thanked the Minister of Humanitarian affairs for her zeal and determination towards the realization of the people oriented programme.
A symbolic disbursement of N20,000 was made to 20 beneficiaries by Umar Farouq to flag off the program, while 5,000 beneficiaries from six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory will also receive a one-off cash grant of N20,000 each.
In attendance was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Bashir Nura Alkali; the Director Humanitarian Affairs, Alhaji Grema Ali; the Secretary FCT Social Development Secretariat, Mr Kelvin O. Ike and other management staff of both ministries.
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