The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu has stated that the Federal government’s humanitarian assistance initiatives like the Farmer Money, Trader Money, and Conditional Cash Transfer have benefitted up to 3.5 million Nigerians.
She stated this during the commencement of payment of N20,000 to vulnerable groups in Cross River state as part of measures to reduce poverty.
- She stated, “The Federal Government has many initiatives such as the Farmer Money, Trader Money, Conditional Cash Transfer in which 3.5 million Nigerians have benefitted across 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 key fully to the centre.”
She called on the support of subnational governments to ensure these programs are successful across board.
Also speaking during the event was the Governor of Cross River state Bassey Otu who noted that the state government is looking into sectors like agriculture, security and tourism to create jobs and reduce unemployment.
Otu praised the initiative, stating that it would contribute to reducing poverty among vulnerable populations.
However, he emphasized the necessity for the president to garner collective support to achieve the goal of lifting 50 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
He further conveyed his administration’s willingness to endorse and collaborate with the initiative, as well as engage in partnership with other Federal Government programs aimed at poverty reduction. Highlighting the timely nature of the initiative, particularly during the Christmas season, Otu acknowledged that some individuals had already begun receiving payment alerts.
- He said, “With the way the government speaks to the economics of the nation, it means the nation’s future is secured.”
- “For Cross River, we are looking into all key sectors from agriculture, security and tourism. In no distant time, the state will be the toast of all the other states in the nation,”
The Minister’s claim that around 3.5 million Nigerians have benefitted from the FG’s humanitarian assistance initiatives contradicts a recent report from the World Bank which stated that less than 1% of the poor and vulnerable households have benefitted from the Federal government’s cash transfer program.
The assertions sync with another report from the Bretton Woods institution which stated that 99.9% of the target poor households for the FG’s cash transfer do not have a National Identification Number (NIN).
There have been reports that the review of the National Social Register might exclude people without the NIN and Bank Verification Number (BVN).
In October, the federal government officially launched the conditional cash transfer program which aims to give 15 million Nigerian households N25,000 for three months.
Also, the federal government has announced plans to provide N50,000 as non-interest loans to 1.5 million market women under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs dubbed the initiative Iyaloya Funds.