By Chimezie Godfrey
The Federal Government has begun payment of the second phase of the Conditional Cash Transfer in the Federal Capital Territory.
At the flag-off of the upgraded Household Uplifting Programme held at the Federal Capital Development Authourity FCDA Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq stated that an initial 23,893 beneficiaries across 3 Area Councils will benefit from the programme in Abaji, Kuje and Kwali.
“With the flag-off today, payments will recommence in all participating states in the country. In the FCT, payment recommences for a total of 23,893 beneficiaries across 3 Area Councils, Abaji, Kuje and Kwali.
“The Ministry has directed the NCTO to proceed with a phased migration of the beneficiaries from offline payment systems to open online systems using accounts opened by licensed Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that include Commercial Banks, Microfinance Banks, Payments Service Banks and Mobile Money Operators.
“With this development, beneficiaries can access or control their accounts through the use of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), perform all transactions like withdrawals, bank transfers and bill payments etc. For now, 25% of the beneficiaries are targeted and we will gradually extend this to all beneficiaries as far as the industry constraints would allow”.
In her address, the Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme Hajiya Halima Shehu thanked the minister for the recommencement of the programme which has now been upgraded for transparency and equity.
“This program focuses on digitization and financial inclusion. The Honourable minister must be commended for her relentless efforts in transforming the
Conditional Cash Transfer Programme from the one that brings beneficiaries’ stipends through virtual accounts to the one that is now transactional with features for savings, withdrawals and transfer of funds. This will enable the beneficiaries to have sustainable transactional accounts to meet the current economic realities”, Shehu said.
Earlier, the National Coordinator Dr Umar Bindir urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the stipends and also borrow interest-free loans from the revamped Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme GEEP 2.0 which was launched on Tuesday.
The CCT which is an approved partnership with the World Bank is designed and developed as a safety nets programme for Nigeria under a broadbased platform of the National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP).