Cash transfer: CBN starts payment, FG disqualifies Nigerians without BVN or NIN

    As part of its Conditional Cash Transfer program, the federal government is updating and enlarging the National Social Register to include retirees and former service members.

    Additionally, recipients who have crossed the poverty level are being removed.

    According to information obtained by Saturday PUNCH, those lacking Bank Verification Numbers and National Identity Numbers would be disqualified by the government, which was also removing deceased beneficiaries from the roster.

    It was also learned that the Central Bank of Nigeria would pay the recipients directly rather than via consultants, with the first round of bulk payments scheduled to start for five million homes next week.

    The Conditional Cash Transfer program is a component of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Programme, an initiative designed to raise the standard of living and boost the economy for millions of Nigerians living in extreme poverty.

    Tuesday in Abuja marked the 2023 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. As a social safety net initiative, President Bola Tinubu began disbursing N25,000 to 15 million households for a three-month period.

    The objective is to lessen the effects of the most recent elimination of gasoline subsidies and contribute to the national eradication of poverty.

    In response to questions from Saturday PUNCH, Rasheed Olanrewaju, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, provided additional information about the project, stating that it has been enlarged and reviewed.

    The Federal Government responded, “We are using a verified expanded register that has pensioners and veterans, as well as other vulnerable persons who were not captured,” when asked if it will transfer the funds using the outdated register from the previous government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

    Cash transfer
    Cash transfer

    The National Communications Manager, National Social Investment Programme Agency, Jamaldeen Kabir, affirmed the stance of the minister’s media assistant, stating that those who had overcome the poverty level were being taken off the list.

    The expansion of the register makes what Olanrewaju (Olanrewaju) told you quite accurate, Kabir remarked. To remove those who are not below the poverty threshold from the previous registration, it must first be validated.

    Are the people in the register still considered to be poor, or have they moved outside of it? In addition, wives of slain heroes and pensioners will be added to the expansion.

    Regarding the commencement date of the cash transfer, Olanrewaju said that some of the verified recipients had already begun receiving payment alerts, even though bulk payments would start the next week.

    “The cash transfer program has been implemented, and households get payment after verification. The batches start this month—next week, to be exact—but authenticated individuals have already begun to receive alerts, the speaker said.

    Speaking about the start date of the cash transfer, Kabir added, “Some recipients were actually given checks when the initiative was announced at the Presidential Villa three days ago.

    Therefore, the first phase beneficiaries—which serve five million households—will receive theirs by the end of this month. Therefore, we anticipate that those five million households will get financial assistance in October, November, and December,” Olanrewaju continued.

    The minister’s assistant said that several steps had been taken to give the plan legitimacy, including the creation of the NIN and BVN, when asked how many ghost beneficiaries had been found.

    “We have numerous procedures in place to ensure that the process is clean and genuine, even though they might not be ghosts. Initially, we searched for the NIN and BVN to match biometrics and in-person verification. There are no middlemen in the process; everything goes from the CBN to the beneficiaries, according to Olanrewaju.

    When asked how many recipients had passed away, he said, “We have struck off many names following the verification.” We’ll know the ultimate sum in a few weeks; it might be in the millions.

    “Wait till we get the compilation ready; some are dead, some are no longer in that category (of the poor), and some could not be identified at the locations given,” he said.

    When asked who was involved in identity theft, he replied, “Everyone will know when the final report is released. Those who have been fully authenticated will receive payment, and their identities will be posted in communities.

    “As there are five people on average per household, fifteen million households represent roughly 62 million individuals.”

    According to the ministry of humanitarian relief, the federal government’s commitment to ending poverty aligns with the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda, which prioritizes the elimination of poverty, food security, economic growth, and employment creation.

    Representing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, Tinubu listed the measures his administration had taken to reduce poverty in the nation during the Tuesday launch of the cash transfer program.

    The President listed these as creating the framework and road map for policies aimed at reducing poverty, creating humanitarian responses, and enlarging the National Social Register to cover Nigerians who make less than $1.95 a day.

    Minister of Housing and Urban Development Dangiwa plans to build ‘Renewed Hope’ Cities.

    Additional actions include working with the World Bank Group and other development partners to implement conditional cash transfers and business grants, among other things, and restructuring and realigning the National Social Investment Programme for prompt, transparent, and efficient delivery.

    According to the ministry, in order to provide more affordable transportation, the government was also spending N100 billion to buy 3,000 20-seater buses that ran on compressed natural gas.

    It went on to say that 500,000 hectares of farmland would be planted for N200 billion in an effort to increase food security.

    The transfer of 2,000 metric tonnes of grains to households in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory from the strategic grains stockpiles was also mentioned by the ministry. the provision of 225,000 metric tonnes of seedlings and fertilizers to farmers who are dedicated to ensuring the food security of the country.

    “The allocation of N75 billion to assist 100,000 startups and small-to medium-sized businesses.” One million families are the focus of the renewed Hope Shelter Program for the impoverished, refugees, and internally displaced people.

    “Business grants and loans, among other interventions from various ministries through a multi-sectoral approach, for vulnerable market women, farmers, and traders to expand their business, targeted at two million beneficiaries.”

    According to a recent statement made by Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Nigeria should have the cooperation of all parties involved, including the corporate sector, development partners, and foreign countries, in its efforts to eradicate poverty.

    “Giving the poor and vulnerable Nigerians a new breath of hope is the cardinal goal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, which is also in line with the SDG target,” she said.

    “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will not give up until Nigerians who are at risk of poverty are entirely lifted out by 2030.”

    According to Edu, conditional cash transfers are a tried-and-true method of reducing poverty since they enable people to create micro and small businesses, pay for food and basic healthcare, keep their kids in school, and take care of other pressing needs.

    “Mr. President, we have gone through a thorough and rigorous process of verification for the National Social Register, giving us the lead way to begin payments,” she said on the October 1, 2023, national broadcast.

    “It is being done in a transparent, traceable, and verifiable manner, with beneficiaries selected from every state in the union as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

    Beyond this, the government will offer low-cost housing to the impoverished and internally displaced people in order to give them that cover.

    “A number of other initiatives, such as the rural vocational skills initiative, will be implemented nationwide. These are all aimed at the different aspects of poverty that exist throughout the nation.

    Explore more news>>>