By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Federal Government has began payment of N5,000 monthly stipends to poor Nigerians in nine states.
The Programme is part of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s Social Investment Programmes (SIP) for which N500 billion was appropriated in the 2016 Budget.
Beneficiaries were reported to have started receiving their first payments last week Friday in the nine states making up the first batch.
The nine states, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, included Borno, Kwara, Bauchi, Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti.
Out of the nine states, he said that Borno, Kwara and Bauchi have started receiving the money while the rest of the states would commence the CCT payments soon.
He said: “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’s social intervention programmes. Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon.
“The sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS.
“The nine pilot states were chosen because they have 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.
“However other states have already begun developing their Social Registers and would be included in subsequent phases of the CCT implementation.” He added
According to him, more beneficiaries of the CCT would be captured by the social registers already existing in 8 states.
He said that the process was both transparent and credible.
He said: “Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer of the Federal Government would be mined from the Social Register, initially developed by 8 States through a direct engagement with the World Bank. Those states are featured in the first batch, with the added inclusion of Borno States where a validated list of IDPS were compiled in addition to the Social Register which is expected to go round the country.