The federal government has made another round of two-month arrears of benefit payments to more than 74,000 beneficiaries of its conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in Kogi State.
The CCT is the disbursement of the monthly allocation of 5,000 N to poor and vulnerable households under the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Program (NSIP).
Hajia Falilat Abdurasaq, head of the Kogi State CCT unit, revealed it to reporters at the LGEA school payment point, Mopo, Isanlu, Yagba East local government area.
She noted that the federal government had recently introduced a digital payment method of benefits to beneficiaries to replace the usual table payment.
She added that in August, the federal government paid N20,000 each to more than 74,000 beneficiaries in the state in arrears from January to April 2021.
She added that the payment of N 10,000 to each beneficiary with arrears from May and June 2021 started on Thursday October 7 and has been completed.
She stressed that the essence of the cash transfer was to fulfill President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Abdulrasaq praised the federal government for digitizing the payment, saying it was a great relief for beneficiaries and CCT officials given the challenges faced while paying the table.
According to her, the disbursement is digitized to mitigate the risk of transporting huge cash and bringing many vulnerable elderly women together in one place and in harsh weather conditions.
She further praised the efforts of the National Program Coordinator, Hajiya Halima Shehu; and the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, for initiating digital payment and ensuring smooth processes.
Also speaking to reporters at one of the Lokoja collection points, Mr. Stephen Mohammed, team leader of Fortis Mobile Money, a company responsible for disbursing CCT in Kogi, said digital payment has come for to stay.
“We are no longer testing digital payment, but it has come to stay; although the beneficiaries seem not to understand, we will not relax to continue educating them.
“We educate beneficiaries on the need to accept and adopt digital payment of their benefits, but sometimes change is difficult.
“We will continue to educate beneficiaries because of their level of understanding until they adjust to the system,” he said.
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