Wednesday, March 3, 2021 8:44 am
By Richard Elesho/ Lokoja
The Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk on Tuesday flagged-off Federal Government’s Grant for Rural Women Project in Lokoja with symbolic disbursement to some women at Kogi Government House.
Hajiya Farouk disclosed that not less than 3,000 vulnerable women in the State will benefit from the N20,000 cash grant from the federal government under the programme.
The Minister said the grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries.
Represented by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Bashir Nura Alkali, the minister expressed optimism that the beneficiaries will make good use of the grant to generally improve their living standard by using the fund as seed to boost their trades and businesses to generate more income.
She advised them not to see the grant just as their own share of the so-called national cake.
According to the minister, “We believe with the complementary effort of the State Government, the target beneficiaries will all be adequately covered within the next few days. I am optimistic that with the support and cooperation of Your Excellency and other stakeholders present here, we will remain on track to improving the livelihood of the ordinary Nigerians.
”To the beneficiaries, Let me, however, reiterate that this money belongs to you and you alone. It is meant for you to use in any small business venture you deem fit and that will improve your lives. Please ensure that you use it for this purpose”
She said since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015, the Federal Government has paid more attention to addressing the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country despite the economic slump and glaring revenue challenges.
”It is a fact your excellency, that no single approach can be relied upon to achieve poverty reduction goals. It will require a combination of strategies, each targeting specific sectors among the population.
”This informed the decision by Mr. President to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion. The NSIP is adjudged as the largest social protection programme in Africa with over $1billion earmarked annually to cause positive changes in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the country” she added.
The Grant for Rural Women programme according to Farouk, was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s administration.
Giving an overview why the scheme was set up last year, the minister noted that it is consistent with the President’s mission of reducing poverty. ”A cash grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory”.
In his address, Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by his Deputy Chief Edward David Onoja thanked the President for the initiative.
He added that his administration will continue to key into programmes that ameliorate sufferings among the people of the state.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba and the State Focal Person National Social Investment Program, Suleiman Oyekeyi.