The federal government has resumed payment of stipend to 48,687 beneficiaries in Nasarawa state, under its Households Uplifting Programme-Conditional Cash Transfer (HUP-CCT), according to an official.
Mr Imran Jibrin, the Focal Person, Nasarawa State Social Intervention Programme, disclosed this on Saturday at the resumed payment of the arrears of the stipend to beneficiaries in Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gederal government had suspended payment of the bi-monthly stipend of N10, 000 for some months, before it recently resumed payment to the current beneficiaries.
NAN also reports that the HUP-CCT is being implemented by the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Jibrin thanked the beneficiaries for their patience during the period they were not paid the stipend, saying that all outstanding allowances would be paid to them.
“We are gathered here today to pay our beneficiaries part of their outstanding.
“We are paying each beneficiary N30,000 which is three cycles of payment, as part of their outstanding arrears.
“Then the next payment will be two cycle of payments and then the outstanding will be over,” he said.
Jibrin said that the beneficiaries who were the most poor and vulnerable in the state, were carefully selected through the State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU).
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Sule on Humanitarian Services said the programme “is aimed at reducing poverty and preventing households from falling down the poverty line.”
“We have over 4,800 beneficiaries in the state and more are still coming on board.
Also, we are upgrading to electronic transfers instead of giving cash to the beneficiaries.
“Transferring the money to them prevent them from transporting themselves to this place and queuing up here.
“So we are still in the process. We are trying to make them open an account, get their Bank Verification Number, then we commence with that.
“Probably by next payment we should be able to pay some of them electronically,” he said.
Mrs Rhoda Agbawu, Head, Nasarawa state Conditional Cash Transfer Unit, while speaking with newsmen, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his sensitivity to the poor.
Agbawu said that the resumption of the payment of the stipend, after a year, was a huge relief from pressure on officials of the programme in the state.
“What we are trying to do now is to pay a backlog of that one year when payment stopped while the current year will be considered later.
“We cannot thank the President enough, because the stoppage of the payment affected the programme of CCT programme in the state but now the payment has resumed,” she said.
Agbawu confirmed that 4,8687 beneficiaries from six local local government areas of the state,were currently benefitting from the HUP-CCT.
“Presently we are implementing in six local government areas, which are Akwanga, Awe, Kokona, Lafia, Wamba, and Nasarawa.
“We have a total of 4,8687 benefitting from the programme for the past two to three years,” she said.
Agbawu appealed to the federal government to capture the remaining seven local governments in the state, that were yet to also benefit from the programme.
A beneficiary, Miss Rahmat Jaafar thanked the federal government for resuming payment of the stipend.
She said payment of the arrears would solve some problems for the beneficiaries.
“We thank God and are very appreciative to the federal government for resuming the payment of the stipends.
“This money will go a long way for many of us,” she said.
Mr Jibril Waziri, another beneficiary, also lauded the federal government for revisiting the payment of the outstanding stipend.
Waziri said the programme had been supportive of the many poor people in the state.