The Conditional Cash Transfer Programme is set to flag off another round of payment nationwide from Monday August 23, 2021 with over 20,000 beneficiaries from Abia State receiving about 600 Million Naira which represents months of arrears of payment due to the beneficiaries.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja after a visit to the National Programme Coordinator, Hajia Halima Shehu, Chinenye Nwaogu, the State Focal Person, said the Programme has greatly supported the improvement of livelihood of beneficiaries in the state.
Chinenye Nwaogu who is the National Secretary of the Body of State Focal Persons thanked President Buhari for approving this round of payment at a time many Nigerians are facing harsh economic challenges. He expressed confidence in the ability of the Minister in Charge of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Hajia Sadiya Umar to effectively implement these programmes.
He further thanked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for strengthening the structures of the Abia State Social Investment Programme to domesticate and implement these programmes in the state which has greatly impacted on the lives of the poor and vulnerable, positively.
He noted that under Governor Ikpeazu, Abia has remained in the forefront of properly implementing pro-poor Social inclusion programmes targeted at the poor and vulnerable in the state.
Nwaogu recalled the extended free school feeding programme to include pupils from primary 4 to 6 by the Governor making Abia the only State in Nigeria to do so.
He also noted that the geriatric Programmes of the Governor which reaches out to old and abandoned people in rural communities has improved the health and living conditions of the aged and elderly in the State, amongst many other pro poor initiatives.
He extended his appreciation to the Wife of the Governor, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu, for her huge support for these programmes and impacting on the lives of the rural poor through her micro credit scheme which provides start up capital for rural women and construction of over 150 houses for poor widows in the state
Mr Nwaogu who announced that plans are in top gear to increase the number of beneficiaries in Abia State to cover the entire 17 Local Government Areas of the State, urged the Local Government authorities to continue to support the implementation of these Programme.
He recalled that many beneficiaries have judiciously utilised the funds to set up petty business in their communities, while encouraging them to always invest the money in profit yielding ventures. Mr Nwaogu who used the occasion to state that the Abia State Social Investment Programme has been very successful in implementing these initiatives transparently over the years without any incidence of fraud or malfeasance, urged everyone within the implementation value chain to maintain the integrity of Programme. He expressed appreciation to the State Cash Transfer Unit for their resilience and commitment to their duties.
Recall that this is the fourth round of payment in the state which has seen beneficiaries in the past pocketing over 1.5 billion Naira at no cost to them. Beneficiaries of this Household Upliftment Programme are mostly poor and vulnerable women from rural communities mined from the Abia State Social register, who receive monthly stipends to support their livelihood.
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