With 5264 vulnerable persons receiving cash grants, Borno is ranked to be among the states with the highest number of beneficiaries in that category, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq has said.
The Minister disclosed this while flagging off the Cash Grant for Vulnerable Groups programme in Maiduguri on Wednesday.
Mrs Umar Farouq said a total of 5,264 beneficiaries selected from across the 27 local government areas of the state are expected to receive the one-off cash grant of N20,000.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, the minister said has more beneficiaries than the other five states of the northeast subregion because it is more affected by the impact of insurgency.
“Our target in Borno State is to disburse the grant to 5,264 beneficiaries across the 27 Local Government Areas of the State,” she said.
“This is one of the highest slots in the country and this is because we put into account, the impact of insurgency and a large number of Internally Displaced Persons in the state.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, through his deliberate social inclusion agenda has directed that 70% of these beneficiaries must be women, while the remaining 30% is for the youths. He also directed that at least 15% of the total number of beneficiaries must be allocated to citizens with special needs, including Persons With disabilities (PWDs) and Senior Citizens in the State.
“It is on this note that we encourage the Borno State government to note and emulate this gesture and extend similar interventions to amplify social inclusion through its policies, programmes and projects”.
The Cash Grant project is meant “to increase income and productive assets of the target beneficiaries.”
“It is highly expected that the beneficiaries will use the grant to improve their productivity, create wealth, generate employment and improve their living standard”.
Executive Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum expressed, who was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Isa-Marte Hussein thanked President Muhammadu Buhari “for his concern for humanitarian issues in the state.”
The Governor attested to the positive impact which the various Social investment programmes have made on numerous beneficiaries in the state.
“I hope that the ministry continues with these interventions as it has positively affected the lives of so many children, youths and women in Borno state,” he said.
“We acknowledge the far-reaching benefits of these interventions to our vulnerable women and the reduction of unemployment among youths in the state”.
A Digitized Payment System for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Programme that will enable households to receive N5,000 monthly for two years was also flagged off by the minister.
The DPS4CCT programme was designed “to improve payment, transparency, accountability and enable generation of reliable payment data and records.
It was explained that an additional, 1500 Internally Displaced persons including Persons with disabilities and senior citizens will also receive a token of N50,000 each.
While 168 beneficiaries of the N-Skills scheme had received starter packs from the minister “to enable them to consolidate on their technical and entrepreneurial skills.”
The 168 trainees will, each, also receive a stipend of N10,000 monthly during the period of training and attachment.
To ensure accountable and judicious utilization of the funds disbursed to the beneficiaries, the Minister had during the event onboarded 107 Independent Monitors in Maiduguri who were presented engagement letters as well as monitoring devices to some of the monitors.
Each of the independent monitors will receive N30,000 monthly for one year.
On the same day, a National Sensitization Exercise for the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) was also flagged in Borno state. The perception-enhancing programme was meant to enlighten communities and stakeholders on better and more effective ways of executing the School Feeding Programme.
The school feeding programme which used to have about 9.9 million kids enrolled now has additional 5 million children following approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.
*Additional inputs to this report was by Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the Special Assistant on media to the Minister of humanitarian affairs.