The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management has resumed payment of Conditional Cash Transfers to 15,768 vulnerable households in Anambra.
Head of Unit, Anambra State Cash Office, Ralph Enukorah, said the beneficiaries cut across 11 of the 21 local government areas of the state.
He said the payments started with six pilot local government areas considered poorest in the state including Awka North, Anambra West, Dunukofia, Ihiala, Anyamelum and Orumba South, adding that the programme had been extended to five more local government areas which included Awka South, Onitsha North, Ogbaru, Nnewi North and Anambra East to accommodate more beneficiaries.
Enukorah said the register of beneficiaries was generated by a sister organisation, the social operations coordinating unit which goes to villages and wards to generate data on vulnerable households.
He said the payment was made every two months with beneficiaries getting N10, 000 in addition to any arrears for those not paid in previous months.
Enukorah assured all beneficiaries of the payment and commended the Federal Government for providing the framework for effective implementation of the programme.
“The Federal Government is paying the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer, as a social intervention programme of the Buhari administration.
“Every month, the poor and vulnerable households are paid N5,000 and in Anambra, we have a total of 15,768 beneficiaries spread across 11 local government areas”, he said.
A beneficiary, Sunday Nwanna, said the money would go a long way in ameliorating his burden and that of his family.
Nwanna, who said the N10, 000 would not be enough for him to set up a cottage business, but huge relief for him and his family, however, thanked the FG for the programme and urged it to continue, saying that the gesture meant a lot for the poor.
Also speaking, Mrs Regina Obikie, expressed joy for receiving the money as it would help her increase her small business.
Mr Bernard Nwobodo, the representative of the Payment Service Provided (PSP), said the system was being automated to reduce the stress of accessing payment to beneficiaries.
Nwobodo said the National Cash Transfer Office had begun the digitalisation of the payment process such that ATM cards would be provided for beneficiaries.
He said the process had been activated in some LGAs including Ihiala, Awka North, Orumba South and will be extended to others.
“When these cards are activated, the beneficiaries can access the money through the bank ATM and other financial services providers for easy withdrawal of their money upon verification”, he said.
Although the initiative is part of the Social Intervention Programme (SIP) of President Muhammadu Buhari administration aimed at providing support for the most vulnerable, critics however observed that the move is a political inducement of Anambra voters by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal government ahead of the November 6, governorship election in the state.