School feeding Farouq

Over N400bn budgeted annually to positively impacts lives of poor Nigerians — Farouq

The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that over N400 billion is earmarked annually to positively impact the lives of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

This was claimed by Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social development during the inauguration of the Grant for Vulnerable Group (GVG) programme in Abuja.

She hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his vision to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.

The GVG programme disbursed N20,000 each to more than 2,900 beneficiaries in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to Farouq, since the inception of Buhari’s administration in 2015, the Federal Government has sustained efforts in listening to the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country.

Farouq explained that the efforts led to the introduction of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion for all.

“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.”

She said since its introduction in 2016, the NSIP had changed the lives of the poor and vulnerable in the country.

She said the GVG programme was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of Buhari’s administration.

Farouq said that it was designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural and semi-urban areas of the country.

“A cash grant of N20,000 is being disbursed to poor women and youths across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

“Our target in the FCT is to disburse the grant to over 2,900 beneficiaries across the six area councils; that of the 36 States will commence by next week.

“In line with Buhari’s social inclusion, 70 per cent of the total number of beneficiaries is for women, while the remaining 30 per cent is for the youths.

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

“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,” she said.

The minister said the hope of the Federal Government was for the beneficiaries of the programme to 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.”

Also, the National Coordinator of NSIP, Dr Umar Bindir, appreciated Buhari and Farouq for the gesture.

Bindir called on the beneficiaries to judiciously use the grant to better their lives and that of their families.

The National Coordinator, National Cash Transfer Office, Hajiya Halima Shehu said the programme “is fully digitalise”.

“Our beneficiaries over the country have bank accounts. That is a successful achievement. Today, all our beneficiaries have debit cards and were given financial training so that are financially included.”

Meanwhile, the Focal Person for NSIP in the FCT, Mrs Chinwe Amba thanked Farouq for the support and commitment to actualise Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Sakinat Audu from Jahi District said she would go into petty trading to help take care of her family.

Similarly, Mrs Grace Agu from Lugbe.said she is selling roasted plantain and yam, adding that the money would help her expand her business.

Agu said the programme had put smiles on the faces of poor and vulnerable women, ” may God bless Buhari, Farouq, Bindir, Shehu and Amba for their efforts.”

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