The federal government, on Monday, commenced payment of N20,000 to vulnerable groups in Cross River as part of efforts to reduce poverty in the country.
Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River, who was joined by the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, inaugurated the process in Calabar.
Mr Otu commended the initiative and said it would help alleviate poverty among the vulnerable.
Mr Otu, however, said that the president needed the collaboration of all to succeed in the task of taking 50 million Nigerians below the poverty line by 2030.
He expressed his administration’s readiness to support the initiative and also collaborate with other initiatives of the federal government on poverty reduction.
While noting that some people had already started receiving payment alerts, he described the development as timely, especially against the background of Christmas celebrations.
The governor assured the people of a brighter future in the country and the state in particular.
“With the way the government speaks to the economics of the nation, it means the future of the nation is secured.
“For Cross River, we are looking into all key sectors, including agriculture, security and tourism. In no distant time, the state will be the toast of all the other states in the nation,” he said.
He said that the physically challenged would not be segregated by his administration, as a commission had been created to handle issues concerning them.
Earlier, the minister expressed the president’s determination to reduce poverty to the barest minimum.
She noted that President Bola Tinubu was working closely with the Cross River Government and other state governors to achieve this.
“The Federal Government has so many initiatives, such as Farmer Money, Trader Money, and Conditional Cash Transfer, from which 3.5 million Nigerians have benefited across the board.
“We also have the End Hunger Programme that will be launched in January and the Skill Acquisition Programme, among others; all I ask for at the state level is for the state to fully key into the centre.”
She appealed to residents of Cross River to support the governor of the state to enable him to effectively continue from where the previous administration in the state stopped.
On her part, Eyoanwan Otu, wife of the governor, said the initiative would have a significant impact on the lives of countless individuals in the state.
While thanking the president and his wife, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, and the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, she implored beneficiaries to put the grant to good use.