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Fifteen thousand eight hundred households receive the Federal Government’s N5,000 monthly grant in Niger, according to Hajia Hadiza Shiru, Head of Conditional Cash Transfer programme in the state.

Shiru disclosed this on Tuesday in Minna, at a two-day enrollment training for cash transfer facilitators in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training, which had 204 facilitators in attendance, was organised by the CCT National office, Abuja in collaboration with the state unit.

Shiru stated that 133 facilitators from 18 Local Governments were being retrained to correct anomalies noticed in the past, while 71 facilitators from the remaining seven council areas were coming on board for the first time.

She said that the cash programme was one of the components of the National Social Investment Programme designed by the Federal Government to tackle poverty and hunger in the country.

According to her, a mechanism has been put in place to root out those not entitled to benefit from the scheme.

Also speaking, the Director-General, CCT programme, Dr. Abdullahi Abasu, said that the aim of the training was to ensure that the highest standard of transparency was adhered to, in selecting targeted beneficiaries.

Abasu cautioned the facilitators against sharp practices like extortion, exploitation and short-changing of beneficiaries.

“You must conduct yourselves in a respectable manner as you go about your job of relating with the targeted beneficiaries to ensure effective implementation of the cash transfer programme.

“I want to strongly caution you all against short-changing, racketeering, extortion and harassment of beneficiaries. You must also avoid the exploitation of the vulnerable persons because you will not be spared when caught.

“Facilitators working under the programme must not be seen to be taking undue advantage of the poor people they are supposed to be serving and helping,’’ he added.

One of the participants, Mohammed Usman, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria, lauded the initiative, and described the scheme as a “very impactful” poverty alleviation programme.

Usman, however, advised the authorities to provide logistics that would ease access to the rural communities.

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