Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:15 am
The Federal Government has reiterated its resolve to alleviate poverty across the country with N5,000 using biometrics data collation.
Mrs Maryam Uwais, Special Advisor, Social Investment, Office of the Vice President, said this while speaking at the international conference on “Child Poverty and Social Protection in Western, Central Africa,” in Abuja.
According to her, government allocated money to assist the poor and is ensuring that communities determine the poor within them for proper interventions.
“For the first time government has budgeted money for the poor in this country, and first and foremost we have been given the mandate to develop a credible register of poor people.
“So we are actually going into the communities organising group focused discussions, asking the communities what poverty means to them and we ask them who fits into the parameters they have defined.
“When we get all those names, we go back, do the enumeration with Bank Verification Number (BVN) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) because we don’t want to create ghost beneficiaries.
“We want to get the actual identities, we want them to have an identity number and a BVN number because we want the banks to pay directly to the beneficiaries this N5,000,” Uwais said.
According to her, the government will do unconditional transfers initially and add livelihood support.
“In doing unconditional transfers, we target the productive people in a particular family, because when we go back to do the BVN, NIMC and the identity enumeration, we ask questions from each household.
“There is a whole list of questions that we ask; for the children we will take pictures, for the adults we take biometrics.
“We are setting up mechanisms for payment directly and we are supported by NIMC and by the banks to go in and ensure that the money goes directly to these people.
“These people will be paid in their communities, they will be paid N5,000, and won’t need to travel to the capital to go to a bank branch or go to where an ATM is,” she said.
According to her, the banks have to get the monies through the market place down to the beneficiaries.
She added that they were starting with 30 per cent of the poverty population of each state, their local governments and then move up to 50 per cent in 2017.
Uwais stated that government agencies were supporting the project, adding that they have the resolve to implement it.
The conference which opened on Monday focuses on proffering solutions to tackle child poverty, protection to children across the West and Central African region.