The Federal Government on Tuesday recommenced payment of stipends to over 6,810 beneficiaries in Lagos under the Household Uplifting Programme-Conditional Cash Transfer (HUP-CCT).
HUP-CCT is managed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Mr Henry Ayede, the National Communication Officer who represented Hajiya Halima Shehu, the National Coordinator of National Cash Transfer Office at the Flag-Off and Recommencement of payment ceremony in Badagry, said the aim of the programme is to reduced poverty and improved house-hold consumption amongst others.
He said that 20,000 would be given to each of 1,273 beneficiaries in the local government area in this first batch of payment.
“In 2016, the Federal Government established the programme and the aim is reduce poverty, improve house-hold consumption and ensure beneficiaries establish sustainable means of livelihood.
“We have been paying consistently for sometimes but we had to take a pause to strengthen our systems in order to improve our implementation processes to ensure better delivery of services to beneficiaries as ensure value for money.
“We are here in Badagry today and in about five local governments in Lagos to ensure beneficiaries receive their stipends.
“We are here to pay the backlog because we have not paid them for sometimes, so for this batch, each beneficiaries will receive N20,000 covering two payment circle, then we will continue again next month,” he said.
Ayede said that the six councils in Lagos that would benefited from the programme were Amuwo-Odofin, Badagry, Apapa, Ibeju-Lekki, Ele and Lagos Island.
According to him, 365 beneficiaries will receive from Amuwo-Odofin, 1273 from Badagry, 2,308 from Apapa, 1504 from Ibeju-Lekki, 989 from Epe and 371 from Lagos Island.
“Overall, it is not about the cash we pay, there is more to the programme, there is capacity building in term of Saving and Group Mobilisation, Life Skills and Micro Business Development Skills at the community just to ensure that as they receive the money they have something to put it into.
“This is to ensure that at the end of it all they will not fall back to where they use to be because the aim is not just to give those cash but to improve their livelihoods,” he said.
Mrs Lola Orimogunje, the Head, Lagos State Cash Transfer Unit, said that each beneficiary would go home with N20, 000 in line with FG mandate of lifting millions of households from poverty.
She commended the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for its sensitivity toward the plight of the less-privileged in the society.
She said the arrangement of reaching vulnerable poor has proven successful, adding that by 2030 millions of Nigerians will be lifted out of poverty.hm
Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, said another six local government areas would be captured in the coming disbursement to make it 12 councils.
According to her, the councils are Ojo, Ikorodu, Ikeja, Suru-Lere, Kosofe and Mainland.
She said that every council in the state would be soon be captured in the programme.
Arobieke commended President Buhari and Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for being sensitive to the plight of the people in the state.
Mrs Josephine Okocha, one of the beneficiaries in Badagry said that she would invest the money in her fish business
Okocha expressed satisfaction with the President Buhari government for giving her hope.
Another beneficiary, a 60 year old grandmother, Mrs Grace Avoseh, said she would remain grateful to the federal government for the kind gesture shown to her and promised to invest the money to generate more income to help sustain her life.