COVID-19: Lagos, Delta, Borno yet to benefit from Conditional Funds

By Robert Egbe 

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Poor and vulnerable households in Lagos, Delta and Borno states are yet to benefit from the Federal Government’s N500billion conditional cash transfer.

The cash transfer scheme involves the payment of N5,000 cash to each of the households registered on the National Social Register (NSR).

The NSR is an initiative under the National Safety Net cordinating office, NASSCO in collaboration with the the Youth Employment and Support Operation (YESSO), a World Bank assisted programme.

The scheme identifies the poorest households in given communities.

After identification, their details are uploaded into the NSR, after which the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) then pays the beneficiaries.

But not all registered households from 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory have been paid.

About 1,126,211 households are benefiting, with five states – Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kano and Plateau – topping the list.

The number is less than half of the 2.6 million households captured in the national social register.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday announced the addition of 1 million households to the NSR to cushion the effect of the impact of the coronavirus.

He said the addition should be done in the next two weeks.

Data obtained by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) from the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), suggests that Ogun State is also yet to benefit.

The Northwest region tops with the highest number of households benefiting from the cash transfer with 561,758 households.

Others are North Central- 321,434, North East- 109,442, South South- 67,696, South West- 37,904, and South East- 27,977 households.

Top five states with the highest number of beneficiaries are Katsina- 133,227, Zamfara- 130,764, Jigawa- 99,044, Kano- 84,148, and Plateau- 78,430.

Imo, Ekiti, Ondo, Enugu and Sokoto have the least number of beneficiaries in the scheme.

The programme started in 2015 with 14 states and has expanded to accommodate more states five years on.

Since 2016, the Federal Government has been allocating N500 billion yearly in the national budget for the implementation of its social welfare agenda.

According to a 2018 report by the World Bank, almost half the Nigerian population is living below the international poverty line ($2 per day), and unemployment peaked at 23.1 per cent.

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