Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Faruk, yesterday disbursed N160 million to 8,000 rural women in Lagos State.
The Lagos edition is part of the nationwide grant for Rural Women Project.
The programme was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration.
The Minister said the programme is consistent with the President’s national vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, explaining that it is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural and peri-urban areas of the country.
The minister, represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mallam. Bashir Nura Alkali, explained that the grant was federal government’s gesture and support towards alleviating the trauma caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
According to Sadiya, the social investment programme introduced 2106, has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria as over 12 million households have benefitted from similar interventions in the last five years.
This included payment of a monthly Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N5,000.00 to one million indigent Nigerians to protect them against economic shocks and elevate them out of poverty.
In addition, 1,092,405 micro and small business owners accessed loans to boost productivity, increase income and reduce poverty under the Government Enterprise Enhancement Programme (GEEP). The N-Power programme provided temporary income-generating opportunities for 500,000 unemployed youths while 8,612,457 primary 1-3 pupils in public schools currently are receiving one meal per day under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
“It is in view of this, that President Muhammadu Buhari graciously approved the expansion of the programme to touch more lives and lift more Nigerians above the poverty line,” said the minister. The grant, Sadiya explained, among many other programmes in the ministry, is being restructured and revamped to respond to peculiarities of different parts of the country, to ensure the right beneficiaries are targeted, and to enhance impact on target beneficiaries. She said: “We are working tirelessly to address some of the socioeconomic problems that are bedevilling all parts of the country by strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. A cash grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. Our target in Lagos State is to disburse the grant to over 8,000 beneficiaries across all local government councils.
“The grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries. It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to generally contribute towards improving their living standard.
“We believe with the complementary effort of the Lagos State Government, the target beneficiaries will be adequately covered within the next few days. I am optimistic that with the support and cooperation of Your Excellency and other stakeholders present here, we will remain on the track of lifting 100 million out of poverty by 2030.”
The Lagos State governor was represented by his deputy, Dr. Kadiri Hamza, who helped in disbursing the grants to the beneficiaries.