Nigerians laud conditional cash transfer program for small businesses
Eme Offiong, Cala
The beneficiaries of the National Social Investment Programme, NSIP, have expressed gratitude to the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for launching a digitised payment of the Conditional Cash Transfer component.
The beneficiaries, who are youths and women engaged in low income businesses, described President Buhari and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk as God-sent life changers.
Voice of Nigeria observed that some of the women were thrilled to own an ATM card, which they planned to utilise under the careful supervision of the officials from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.
A few of the beneficiaries, including Mrs. Janet Bassey, expressed her gratitude in an interview with VON.
“I feel so happy about what our government has done for me and my family,” she said.
“The first money I received by hand when I joined this programme in 2021 was 10 thousand naira, which I invested to start a small water leaf farm.
“Just take a look at me today, I look so fresh and my living condition has improved greatly. Today, I received a cash of 40 thousand naira direct into my account that was opened for me. This will help continue with my business, pay my rent and pay my children’s school fees. I say may God bless our government,” she prayed.
Also, 53 years old Roseline Umonta said, “I have started selling sand and it is from that business that I get money to take care of myself. I pray that God almighty bless our President, the Minister and her team for initiating a this programme to take care of poor, old widows like me.”
Another beneficiary, Favour Bassey said, “I thank the almighty for making the government remember me. As I have collected this money I am going to the market to buy manure, water leaf and pumpkin leaf seedlings for my farm. In fact, I am the happiest woman on earth today. We thought the Federal Government has forgotten us.”
Earlier, the Minister, Sadiya Farouk launched the digitised payment for the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, and flagged off the cash grant of 20 thousand naira for vulnerable groups and Second Stream of Independent Monitors Programme.
Farouk, who was in the company of the All Progressives Congress, APC Woman Leader, Dr. Betta Edu, described the unveiling as the consolidation of the National Social Investment Programme and demonstration of the government’s commitment to tackle the challenges of poverty.
According to the Minister, since its introduction in 2016, reports have indicated remarkable improvements in the productivity and living standards of millions of beneficiaries, which she noted has served to encourage the Nigerian Government to absorb more participants.
In Cross River State, the Minister hinted that the “target is to disburse the grant to 3,351 beneficiaries across eleven local government areas. In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s social inclusion, 70 percent of the total beneficiaries is for women, while the remaining 30 percent is for the youths.
“About 15 percent of the total number of beneficiaries is specifically allocated to the population with special needs, including Persons with Disability and senior citizens in the state,” she explained.
While announcing the second stream training and onboarding of an additional 50 Independent Monitors to closely supervise the implementation of its programme, she urged the Cross River State Government to emulate the efforts of President Buhari and “extend similar interventions to promote social inclusion in its policies, programmes and projects.”
She urged the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the grant on productive ventures that would generate more income and improve their living standards.