Abuja – The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) would commence conditional cash transfer to the poorest of the poor across the Territory next month, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has said.
The Ministermade this known while declaring open a training session of community-based targeting team members at the FCT Pavilion in Abuja.
The Minister, who was represented by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Director of Human Resources Management, Hajiya Amina Abubakar however charged participants of the preparatory training and the operations coordinating unit “to work concertedly with the community-based targeting teams to give the task all it takes to be able to deliver Mr. President’s campaign promises to the poor and vulnerable in FCT.
According to him, “The Federal Government has committed itself to dedicate national resources to improve the lives of her citizens and strengthen the role of social protection in helping to redistribute resources more equitably. He further stated that, “This policy provides access to targeted cash transfers to the poor and vulnerable living FCT.
The cardinal objective of the program is to ensure that the most vulnerable in the FCT, no matter where they live, will begin to feel the impact of government”.
According to him, benefits of the training includes equipping the participants with requisite skills for the identification and selection of the ‘poor and vulnerable in the social register in the FCT’, facilitation of community engagement before kick-starting of the actual cash transfer.
The Minister also disclosed that the FCT has selected 6,464 volunteers and deployed them into key sectors of education (4,878), health (644) and agriculture (942), added that Abaji, Kwali and Kuje Area Councils would form part of the first phase of the identification and enumeration of the poor and vulnerable households, after which the rest of the Territory would be covered.
Bello therefore tasked FCT safety net “to measure up and set the pace for other States of the federation”, and accelerate its implementation in the FCT.
Earlier, the National Social Safety Net Coordinator, Mr. Peter Papka hailed the “bold step taken by the FCT Administration” through the training and noted that it was a new thing happening not only in Nigeria but also Africa. Papka regretted that governments at all levels come out with many poverty reduction programmes, but sadly, Nigerians remain poor, adding that “we know what is right but refuse to do it. So let’s celebrate the Federal Government for this noble initiative”.
Calling on the stakeholders to be sincere in ensuring the success of the programme, Papka hits back at public servants, accusing them of rather taking advantage of government efforts for personal gains, thus making such efforts to fail.
Also, the Acting Secretary for Social Development Secretariat, FCTA, Mrs. Irene Adebola Elegbele disclosed that the second phase of the programme would accommodate Gwagwalada, Bwari and the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) after the first phase.
“This social intervention programme is meant to offer a conditional and unconditional cash transfer of N5,000 to each of the most vulnerable households and indigent people in the FCT”. Elegbele revealed this and further explained that the programme was composed of State Operation Coordinating Unit and State Cash Transfer Unit.
The Acting Secretary therefore appealed to the FCT Council Chairmen “to constitute a selection committee which will in turn select the CBTT that will be responsible for the identification of the poorest and the vulnerable households for inclusion in the Social Register for FCT”.