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FCT beneficiaries excited, as Farouq flags off N20,000 grant to vulnerable Nigerians

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The Federal government has on Thursday in Abuja flagged off the N20,000 cash grant to vulnerable Nigerians.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq described the flag off as a symbolical programme of national interest innovatively aimed at uplifting many of the poorest and vulnerable citizens nationwide.

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According to her, this is a clear indication of citizens commitment to support Mr President in deploying solutions to address poverty in the country

She recalled that since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, the Federal Government has sustained efforts in listening to the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country, adding that this led to the introduction of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion for all.

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She asserted that the NSIP is one of the largest social protection programmes in Africa with over N400 billion earmarked annually to positively impact the lives of the poor and vulnerable in the country.

Farouq said since its introduction in 2016, the NSIP has changed the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
She said,”The Grant for Vulnerable Groups (GVG) programme was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s Administration.

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“It is consistent with the national target of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural and peri-urban areas of the country.

“A cash grant of N20,000.00 is being disbursed to poor women and youths across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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“Our target in the FCT is to disburse the grant to over 2,900 beneficiaries across the 6 Area Councils. In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s social inclusion, 70% of the total number of beneficiaries is for women while the remaining 30% is for the youths.

“In addition, about 15% of the total number of beneficiaries is specifically allocated to the segment of the population with special needs, including Persons with Disability (PWDs), internally displaced persons (IDPs) and senior citizens in the FCT.

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“The cash grant we are disbursing today is expected to increase income and productive assets of the target beneficiaries, especially when economic challenges at global and local levels are affecting the socioeconomic conditions of our people.

“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to improve productive activities that would generate more income and improve their living standard. We hope to see petty traders, peasant farmers, artisanal workers and other beneficiaries of this programme including people with disabilities to prosper.”

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Farouq acknowledged the immense contribution of the FCT administration, to ensuring that this event is successful.

She stressed that with the stakeholders, the target beneficiaries and many more Nigerians in the State will be out of poverty to prosperity,” and we will, as a country, remain on track of lifting 100 million out of poverty by 2030 as strategized by Mr President.

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“To other stakeholders present ., we deeply appreciate your support. We thank you all for joining us today in this flag-off, and urge you to prepare to remain committed to uplifting the poor and vulnerable in the country.

“I . by flag-off the GVG programme – 2020.”

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The Minister stressed that over 12 million Nigerians (and still counting) have benefitted from NSIP interventions in the last 5 years, including nearly 1 million unemployed graduate beneficiaries under the N-Power under Batches A, B and C nationwide, each taking home a monthly stipend of N30,000.

She also said that an estimate of nearly 300,000 non-graduates receiving training and starter-packs empowerment, in addition to a monthly stipen of N10,000 for a period of 9 months.

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According to her, nearly 12 million poor and vulnerable households have been recorded in a National Social Regidter (NSR) from which 2 million poor and vulnerable households have been mined into a National Beneficiary Register (NBR) who are receiving a monthly cash transfer of N5,000.00,.

“Also an estimated 9.8 million Primary 1-3 pupils nationwide are receiving nutritious meals prepared by over 100,000 cooks who are all women.

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“Furthermore, nearly 3 million Nigerians have benefitted under the GEEP and about 1 million are going to access the GEEP loans soon.

“With the creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development by President Buhari in 2019,

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“I have instituted processes to ensure institutionalization and restructuring of the NSIP to respond to ensure the right beneficiaries are targeted, and to enhance impact of the programme on target beneficiaries.

“In view of the life-changing experience of beneficiaries of NSIP, President Buhari graciously approved the expansion of the programme to touch more lives and lift more Nigerians out of poverty. With Mr. President’s approval, we will, in sha Allah, double the coverage on job and wealth creation opportunities for the teeming youths in the country including the FCT and increase the number of beneficiaries of the School Feeding, Conditional Cash transfer, and GEEP loans.

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“We will also intensify effort to ensure implementation of this laudable pro-poor programmes is sustained beyond this Administration so that Nigeria will remain on the trajectory of poverty alleviation and achieve our national and global development goals by 2030,” She said.

Beneficiaries were full of excitement and gratitude to the Minister and the President Muhammed Buhari’s administration, as they said the grant would help them start businesses that will empower them financially.

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One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Ijeoma Anamba who was into a petty business, making of snacks and natural juice, said she was very grateful for being a partaker of the cash grant, as she was surprised and did not believe it could be real.

She said,”I am very very grateful to the Minister and the federal government for this because I didn’t t see this coming. The money help me expand my business.

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“Am grateful to the present government for doing this for the poor masses and vulnerable people.”

Another beneficiary, Grace Sunday said,”I got an invite through an NGO few weeks ago and I got a message so I had to come, and I have benefited. The 20,000 cash grant will really help me a lot in my business.

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“Am grateful to the Humanitarian Affairs Minister and the government of President Buhari for empowering poor Nigerians.”

Many other beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the Minister and Federal government for coming to their aide and rescue from the prevailing excruciating economic hardship.

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