The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Welfare, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, on Thursday kick-started the digitized payment of cash grant to 3,351 beneficiaries in Cross River on Thursday in Calabar.
Umar-Farouq, at commencement of the programme and the onboarding of 2nd stream of Independent Monitors, said it was a consolidation of the National Social Investment Programme.
She said that the programme was designed under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to specially give a lifting hand to some poorest and vulnerable citizens in the country.
She explained that the programme would be implemented in close partnership with the state government.
The minister said that the initiative was a clear demonstration of the President’s commitment to address poverty which has become a core developmental challenge confronting the people.
“Since the inception of President Buhari’s administration in 2015, it inherited a national poverty incidence level averaging 70 per cent.
“Since then, the Federal Government has paid more attention to generating solutions to address the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country in spite of other economic challenges the administration inherited.
“This informed the decision to initiate the NSIP as a strategy for poverty reduction and enhancing women in rural areas.
“Additionally, this NSIP has been acclaimed by many to be the largest and most ambitious social protection programme in Africa,” she added.
She said that the grant was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s administration.
The minister added that it was consistent with the national target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“A cash grant of N20,000 each will be disbursed to the poor and vulnerable category across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“Using this grant, many of the beneficiaries will improve their productivity and their commercial activity, all of which will help in easing them out of poverty,” she said.
Speaking, Mrs Blessing Egbara, Commissioner for Humanity and Social Welfare in Cross River, lauded the Federal Government for the grant initiative.
Egbara said that the grant would go a long way in uplifting the socio-economic status of the beneficiaries in the state.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Glory Otu, commended the Federal Government for supporting them with the grant.