The Federal Government says it disbursed N48.72 million to no fewer than 3,826 beneficiaries in Ondo State under its conditional cash transfer programme in 2019.
Mrs Sadiya Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, made the disclosure at the flag-off of cash grant to rural women on Thursday in Akure.
She said that beneficiaries from six local government areas in the state received the sum between September and December before the stoppage of the programme due to problems by the Payment Service Provider (PSP) with ICPC.
The minister, who said that the problems were being resolved, assured the beneficiaries that the programme would resume in earnest.
Farouk said the grant was introduced in 2020 by the ministry as part of the Federal Government’s social inclusion and poverty reduction agenda, including the realisation of the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and the most vulnerable women in rural areas in Nigeria.
“A grant of N20,000 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“The grant is expected to increase access to financial capital required for economic activities.
“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the opportunity to increase their income, enhance their food security and improve their living standard,” she said.
The minister expressed the belief that with the support of the state government, the target beneficiaries would be on their way out of poverty.
Earlier, Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said that his administration had provided an enabling environment for women empowerment, tackling poverty and resuscitating the economy after a long period of deprivation engendered by the COVID 19 pandemic.
He commended the initiative, saying that this would empower rural women as a social inclusion and poverty reduction agendum.
“This initiative is in consonance with the state government’s aspiration to lift a sizeable proportion of women out of poverty.
“It is in realisation of this that government always keys into the social intervention programmes in ensuring the provision of a reasonable means of livelihood for the poor and the vulnerable, especially for the women folks,” he said.
A beneficiary, Mrs Tolulope Kumuyi from Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government area, thanked the federal and state governments for the initiative.
She said that the grant would be used to set up a shop as a means of livelihood for herself and her child.