The Federal Government has injected the sum of N1.6 billion into Plateau economy in the last two and half years.
Hilda Neyol-Buenyen, Head of Unit, Plateau State Cash Transfer Unit, made the disclosure on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the unit’s Mid-Year Review Meeting held in Jos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the unit head explained that the programme is a component of the government Social Investment Program.
Neyol-Buenyen said the programme was developed to reduce poverty, bridge inequality and prevent the vulnerable from falling further.
According to her, the programme began in 2016 with eight pilot states, it came to plateau in 2017, after the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Government.
She said: “The total number of beneficiaries in Plateau was over 21, 000 but was reduced to 11, 000, when Mean Test was applied on the data of our beneficiaries.
“So far, N1. 6 billion has been injected into the economy of Plateau, done through payment service providers directly to beneficiaries in six benefiting local government areas which are: Kanke, Bokkos, Jos East, Bassa, Langtang Noth and Wase.”
The head of unit said that the payment of the cash (N5, 000) was being carried out bi-monthly known as a Payment Cycle, paying N10, 000 per beneficiary.
She said that beside the Basic cash transfer for all the beneficiaries who had been enumerated and enrolled, “there is another called Top -Up (Core responsibility) Transfer”.
She said: “The Top – Up was a package to support beneficiaries in broad areas of health, education, nutrition and environment, the choice of which depends on individual states.
“Plateau has chosen health, implying that the poor and vulnerable households with pregnant women, lactating mothers and children of 0-5 years of age will enjoy the Top -Up, aimed at reducing mother and child mortality rate in the state.”
Emmanuel Lar, Chairman, Kanke Local Government, lauded the effectiveness of the programme and urged the enumerators to ensure that no poor or vulnerable household was left out.
Lar lamented a situation whereby the number of beneficiaries in Jos East Local Government was reduced from 10, 000 to 2, 000 without any explanation.
Dr Sumaye Hamza, Executive Assistant to Governor Simon Lalong on Special intervention Programme, said that the Phase II and III of the programme had been matched together for implementation “because of our commitment in Plateau”.
Hamza, who was the Programme Focal Person, charged the enumerators to step up their efforts at capturing the vulnerable within the hinterland so as to improve their livelihood.
Declaring the meeting opened, Agata Bot, Representative of the state secretary to the state government, described Plateau as a fertile ground for many programmes.
Bot stated that the state government had provided the enabling environment for the cash transfer programme to “thrive and succeed for the good of the citizens”.