By Ben Adoga Ugaga
No fewer than 20,000 residents of the FCT benefited from the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), FCT State in 2019 under the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government (SIP).
In a statement issued by Austine Elemue, S.A. Media to the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made this known during a one day Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Co-responsibility Engagement Stakeholders forum in Abuja.
The minister who was represented by the Special Assistant on Technical Matters, Mubdiyu Mustapha, noted that the components of the SIP were carefully planned to encapsulate the Administration’s cardinal objective of eradicating extreme poverty, and by extension, providing security and developing the economy of Nigeria.
She, however, lamented that in spite of the milestones recorded, Nigerians are not where they should be in the fight against poverty because there are a lot that could be done differently within the social protection circle.
According to her, “Specifically, we need more research, we need more young people venturing into the social protection field, and we need to improve our results chain. We need not reinvent the wheel but we must ensure we learn from past mistakes, by documentation and analysis for future references.
“Our health indices need to change for the better; our level and quality of education must improve; our life expectancy must increase; and our multidimensional poverty rating must be reduced. In addition, we must continue to work to checkmate unemployment, bring down the numbers of out of school children, provide vocational training opportunities especially in the grassroots where they are needed, and above all, continue to strive to ensure all human lives matter.”
In his remarks, the Head, FCT State Cash Transfer Unit, Dr. Luka Ayuba, while giving an overview of the CCT in the FCT described the introduction of SIP as the best programme of government geared towards tackling extreme poverty in Nigeria.
He stated that the programme has covered three area councils of Abaji, Kuje and Kwali, revealing that the unit will scale-up its activities in the other three area councils of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Bwari and Gwagwalada in the next phase.
Ayuba explained that the SIP has 5 key components namely: N-Power, GEEP (Market Money, Trader Money, Farmer Money), Home Grown School Feeding Programme, STEM Bursary, and Conditional Cash Transfer.