By Habibu Harisu
Sokoto, Jan. 29, 2021 Beneficiaries of Federal Government’s Cash Transfer Scheme in Sokoto communities say the N5,000 monthly stipends have improved their nutrition status and boosted small scale businesses in their localities.
A cross-section of women from 21 political wards in Tureta and Raba Local Government Areas made this known at the disbursement exercise on Friday.
A beneficiary, Rahinatu Salisu said she collected two months stipends at the exercise and expressed appreciation to the Federal Government on the gesture stressing that it was distinct and immensely impacted on her life.
Salisu explained that she and other beneficiaries had established savings groups after mobilisation training where they were taught how to save from little to big while most of them had followed the guides.
“With the coaching given to us, some of us have gone into petty trading and livestock keepings.
“We have started telling success stories of the programme as the money had helped in changing the lives of the direct beneficiaries and their families for better.
“The whole programme is about household uplift; changing the living conditions from what it is for the better, such have been greatly achieved,” Salisu said.
Another beneficiary, Hurera Tukur lauded modalities designed by the officials to ensure transparency adding that each of the beneficiaries had to present an identity card with a correct photograph for identification before collection.
Meanwhile, Mr Henry Ayede, the National Communication Officer of the programme, at the National Cash Transfer Officer noted that he was excited with beneficiaries’ conditions and the way the payment exercise was being conducted.
Ayede, who represented the acting National Programme Coordinator, Mr Ibrahim Jafar-Yabo, said the aim of the programme was to improve household consumption, reduce poverty among poor families and improve nutrition for healthy living.
He added that the programme had assisted benefiting families to send their children to schools and establish a sustainable means of livelihood.
He said it was a Households Uplifting Programme-Conditional Cash Transfer (HUP-CCT) under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, noting that with what was on the ground, the desired impacts were achieved.
According to him, over 1.4 million Nigerians have been enrolled on the programme and are collecting the stipends across the country.
“ The beneficiaries were encouraged into group formation, they formed themselves into cooperative groups within a community to enable them to manage their bi-monthly stipends.
“During every payment circle, they make rotational contribution among themselves,” he said.
Ayede emphasised that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq, had accorded good attention to the programme to achieve the desired impacts of enhancing peoples through reducing poverty and health challenges.
He stressed that the Minister has been working tirelessly towards ensuring the poorest of the poor were lifted out of poverty.
Alhaji Zayyanu Marafa-Shuni, the Programme Head of Training and Communication in Sokoto State, said that at present about 53,165 beneficiaries were enrolled in the 23 local government areas of the state.
Marafa-Shuni explained that the figure indicated upsurge from about 3,000 that were enrolled for the previous months in Tambuwal, Gudu, Binji, Raba, Tureta and Isa Local Government Areas.
He said that the present disbursement was the fifth cycle and the major challenge being faced in the state was reaching beneficiaries in the security prone areas and, however, urged beneficiaries to sustain proper utilisation of the funds.
The acting Chairman, Raba Local Government Area, Alhaji Lawal Dhalhatu-Yartsakuwa, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative which had improved peoples’ lives.
Dhalhatu-Yartsakuwa said more than 500 people benefited in the council and that had boosted economic activities and healthy living of poor rural families.