The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has commenced the disbursement of N20,000 cash grants to 3,415 vulnerable groups (GVG) in Kogi State.
The Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, who inaugurated the disbursement on Tuesday in Lokoja, said other beneficiaries under the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) would also get their various packages.
She said the programmes include: Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP 2.0), Digitised Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), NPower and Home Grown School Feeding Program (HGSFP).
She said the NSIP remained a project that is consistent with the deliberate National agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
She said the GVG was designed to provide a one-off cash grant of N20,000 to some of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians in the rural and peri-urban areas to ease them out of poverty.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties in the Ministry, Mrs Nadia Soso-Muhammed, said their target was to disburse the grant to 3,415 beneficiaries across the 21 local government areas of Kogi.
She noted that President Buhari, through his deliberate social inclusion agenda, had directed that 70 per cent of the beneficiaries should be women, and 30 per cent youths.
She added that 15 per cent of the total beneficiaries would be allocated to the people with special needs and the senior citizens.
She explained that the GEEP 2.0, was in three categories: Trader-moni, Market-moni and Farmer-moni, in which beneficiaries would get loans ranging from N50,000 to N300,000 with zero interest depending on the category.
She stressed that the GEEP 2.0 was designed for the vulnerable and low-income Nigerians involved in commercial activity and capacity but never had opportunity to access loans.
She said about 1,142,783 potential beneficiaries had been registered across the 774 LGAs in Nigeria out of which 50,394 were from Kogi.
She added 14,404 out of the 50,394 registered in Kogi had been verified out of which about 3,437 were enumerated and selected for payment in the first phase.
The minister said a total of 9.9 million children are currently being fed nationwide, adding that President Buhari had approved additional 5 million children to be included.
She commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for his immense contribution and commitment which had ensured the great success the NSIP had recorded in Kogi.
Farouq urged all beneficiaries of the various programmes to use the grants and loans to improve their productivity, create wealth, employment, and improve their living standard.
The Minister condoled the government and the people of Kogi over the recent flood disaster that ravaged the state, saying National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had donated some relief items to the victims.
In his remarks, the Governor thanked the President and the Minister for all the various intervention programmes that the federal government had put in place for Kogi people and Nigeria at large.
READ ALSO : Two female police officers perish in a car crash while on their way to Akwa Ibom for a police sporting event
The governor said that as ‘a pace setter’, he remains committed and will not relent in setting the pace for others to follow in all aspects of the economy.
He urged the federal government to do everything within its power to make Kogi a disaster resilient state, so that it could withstand the incessant flood disasters.
Earlier, Hon Abdukareem Suleiman Onyekehi, the State’s NSIP Focal Person, said the programmes were huge and unprecedented, and meeting government’s aims and objectives towards eradicating poverty, and creating job.
Onyekehi, who doubles as the Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, said a total of 353,768 beneficiaries had directly and indirectly benefitted from the NSIP in Kogi State.
According to him, 12,964 youths benefitted in the Npower Batch A and B, while over 26,000 are benefiting in batch C (Stream 1&2) with N30,000 monthly stipend.
The focal person added that about 200,000 public school pupils are currently benefitting in the school feeding programme with the engagement of 3,000 cooks in the state.
He further said that over 74,000 poor and vulnerable citizens are beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer who are receiving N10,000 bi-monthly, aimed at eradicating poverty in the state.
He, therefore, appreciated the President, the Minister and the Governor for the laudable programmes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the representatives of the minister and the governor presented the cash grants and other items to the various beneficiaries based on their categories.
Mr Ibrahim Arome, the Chairman of Persons with Disability in Kogi, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the the President, the Minister, the Governor and the focal person for the gesture.
Arome praised the governor for the practical inclusion of persons with disability in the state, saying they have been involved directly in all the intervention programmes.