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Buhari Keeps Campaign Promise, Begins Payment of N5,000 to the Poor

In keeping with one its key election campaign promises, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has commenced payment of the N5,000 monthly stipend to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme of its Social Investment Programme (SIP).

 A statement monday by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s media aide, Mr Laolu Akande, said that under the scheme, one million Nigerians would receive N5,000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as provided in the 2016 budget.

He said in the first batch that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and that beneficiaries had already confirmed that they had received their first payments last Friday.
“Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government social intervention programmes.

“Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon,” Akande stated.

Akande said that though the sequence for the payment of the funds would be operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara and Bauchi States had started receiving the money.
He gave the names of other states in the first batch to benefit from the CCT payments as Cross River, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States.

Akande said the nine pilot states were chosen because they had an existing social register that successfully identified the most vulnerable and poorest Nigerians through a tried and tested community based targeting (CBT) method working with the World Bank.

He, however, said other states had started developing their social registers and would be included in subsequent phases of the scheme.

According to him, beneficiaries of the CCT scheme would be mined from the social register initially developed by the eight states through direct engagement with the World Bank.

Those states were featured in the first batch, with the added inclusion of Borno State where a validated list of internally displaced persons was compiled in addition to the social register which is expected to go round the country.

He also said that government would start mobilisation for the creation of the register in more states soon so as to expand the scope and reach of the CCT across the country.

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