By John Ikani
The Federal Government on Thursday commenced payment of the second phase of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in the Federal Capital Territory.
At the flag-off of the upgraded Household Uplifting Programme in Abuja, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq stated that an initial 23,893 beneficiaries across three Area Councils will benefit from the programme in Abaji, Kuje and Kwali.
She added that the ministry has directed the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) to proceed with a phased migration of the beneficiaries from offline payment systems to open online systems using accounts opened by licensed Payment Service Providers (PSPs) that include Commercial Banks, Microfinance Banks, Payments Service Banks and Mobile Money Operators.
“With this development, beneficiaries can access or control their accounts through the use of Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), perform all transactions like withdrawals, bank transfers and bill payments etc. For now, 25% of the beneficiaries are targeted and we will gradually extend this to all beneficiaries as far as the industry constraints would allow,” Farouk was quoted as saying.
The Coordinator of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, Hajiya Halima Shehu thanked the minister for the recommencement of the programme which has now been upgraded for transparency and equity.
“This program focuses on digitization and financial inclusion. The Honourable minister must be commended for her relentless efforts in transforming the conditional Cash Transfer Programme from the one that brings beneficiaries’ stipends through virtual accounts to the one that is now transactional with features for savings, withdrawals and transfer of funds,” She said
It is worthwhile to note that the CCT which is an approved partnership with the World Bank, is designed and developed as a safety net programme for Nigeria under a broad based platform of the National Social Safety Nets Project.