In continuation of the Economic Sustainability Plan of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has flagged-off the disbursement of funds to 5,054 beneficiaries in the nation’s capital.
A statement by the special adviser to the minister of media Autin Elumue gave the breakdown of the figure to be made up of 3,650 beneficiaries of Social Transfer scheme; and 1,404 beneficiaries of Livelihoods grant.
He quoted the minister to have stressed that the social transfer would run for 12 months of six cycles.
At the flag off ceremony, Aliyu revealed that beneficiaries under this result area would be receiving stipends of N20, 000.00 bimonthly payments, while beneficiaries under the Livelihood Grants programme would receive between N50, 000.00 to N135, 000.00, one-off payment, depending on the business category.
The minister said; “The programmes is anchored under the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) scheme. It is designed to expand access to livelihood support, food security services, and grants to poor and vulnerable households and firms.
“It also seeks to promote recovery of Medium Scales Enterprises (MSEs) in the country and revive the economy, especially in the rural areas, where over 70 percent of our population dwells”.
Aliyu, further noted that beyond the NG-CARES initiatives, the FCT Administration in the course of the year implemented a set of other support programmes to residents of the Territory including the FADAMA CARES, CSDP CARES and the AEA CARES at different times and locations.
She described the event as promise kept and mission accomplished by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stressing that at the inception of Buhari’s administration, the party released a blue-print for lifting 100 million people from poverty through comprehensive policies of Conditional Cash Transfer, Home Grown School Feeding and the N-Power schemes, Government Economic and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), Trader Moni, Market Moni and a host of others.
Aliyu affirmed that these programmes have impacted positively on the lives of the ordinary citizens and have surprised the nay-sayers, as testimonies of the huge successes achieved in the implementation of these programmes abound.
Presenting an overview of the programme, the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, said the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria led to the closure of many MSEs, loss of jobs, stalled provision of basic services in poor communities; and thereby increasing the population of Nigerians living below the poverty line.
Adesola also noted that as a response to the hardship perpetuated by the COVID-19 pandemic; and in line with the vision of the federal government of Nigeria to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years, the government of Nigeria, on behalf of the 36 states and the FCT, sought and obtained assistance from the World Bank to the tune of USD 750 Million for on-lending to the states and FCT to implement a two-year emergency response programme, named the “Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus” (NG-CARES).
According to him, the NG-CARES programme seeks to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the livelihoods of poor individuals, farmers, vulnerable households, communities and owners of Micro and Small Enterprises, adding that in FCT, the programme has been domesticated and code named FCT-CARES.
He added that the Administration has achieved major milestones which includes, orientation of new staff, training of soft skills for beneficiaries of livelihoods grant, procurement of payment service provider, enrolment training for Cash Transfer Facilitators (CTFs), Data Capturing of beneficiaries, and training of beneficiaries on Livelihood activities.
While thanking the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Musa Bello, and the Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, for not resting on their oars in order to see to the successful implementation of the NG-CARES programme in the FCT, he also commended President Muhammadu Buhari, in sustaining the implementation of the Social Safety Net Programme for the benefit of the poor.
Highpoint of the event was the symbolic presentation of dud cheques to some of the beneficiaries. Those presented include Okorie Charity Ogbonne, Elizabeth Zaphania, Iliyasu Yusuf, Wusila Hassan, Daniel Dantani Goko amongst others.