Hajiya Halima Shehu, the National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), has reaffirmed its resolve to ensure accountability and transparency in the implementation of the 800 million dollar World Bank Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme.
Shehu gave the assurance at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, while giving update on the role of the NSIPA in poverty alleviation under President Bola Tibubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’.
She said the programme was designed for the poorest Nigerians across the country, the Almajiri, and out-of-school children under the National Home-Grown School Feeding.
According to her, conditional cash transfer programme is a fully funded project by the World Bank, adding that the project was currently working with $800 million.
Shehu said beneficiaries are being captured through a National Social Register sourced from the social registers of the 36 states and the FCT.
“So, a collection of 36 states and FCT social register makes up the National Social Register.
“Most people in the National Social Register are either rural poor, or urban poor. So, the office that is charged with the delivery of this cash, which is the National Cash Transfer Office mines the beneficiaries out of the social register.
“Most of the people in the National Social Register are not known to any political person. They are Nigerians that deserve to benefit from the grant and that is why no list is being collected by anybody,” she said.
According to Shehu, the Rapid Response Register and the National Social Register cannot be influenced by any other person outside the key people who have structured the programme and who are supervising its implementation – the World Bank.
The CCT scheme, she said, has been fully digitised and each of the enrollees on the social register had a bank account.
“Plans are underway to allocate National Identity Number (NIN) to all the beneficiaries as part of measures to strengthen the transparency and accountability process,” Shehu said.
She said the NSIPA Act was signed into law in May 2023, and the agency was saddled with the responsibility to assist, empower, uplift numerous Nigerians out of poverty and restore the livelihood of poor and vulnerable Nigerians, adding that “the agency is far from any danger ahead of it”.
She listed poverty alleviation programmes under the agency to include Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which has components such as TraderMoni, FarmerMoni, and MarketMoni, .
She said the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme aimed at feeding primary 1to 3 pupils in public schools.
The CCT programme targets the poorest of the poor in the country, while the unconditional Cash Transfer Programme also known as the Grant for Vulnerable Groups targeted physically challenged and senior citizens, among others.
“There is an Alternate School Programme that target out-of-school and at risk children. The agency’s activities are designed to harmonise, synergise, institutionalise, as well as provide coordination on the social intervention programmes in Nigeria”.
According to her, the agency is implementing the programmes in partnership with national and international development agencies, adding that through harmonisation, we would be able to fast track economic development and improve the standard of living of those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid in the country.