3000 Rural Women to Benefit from FG’s Grant in Kogi – Minister

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By Stephen Adeleye.

The Federal Government has said that no fewer than 3000 indigent women would benefit from the Federal Government’s Cash  Grant for Rural Women Project”, in Kogi State.

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouk, disclosed this at the Flag-Off of the ”Federal Government Cash Grant for Rural Women Project” at Government House Lokoja on Tuesday.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Bashir Nura Alkali, the Minister said that a cash grant of N20,000.00 would be disbursed to about 125,000 poor women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. 

“Our target in Kogi State is to disburse the grant to about 3,000 beneficiaries across all Local Government Councils. 

“The grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries.

“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the grant to generally contribute towards improving their living standard by using the fund as seed to boost their trade and business for greater income,” Farouk said.

She enjoined the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the fund and not to see it as their own share of the so-called National Cake.

The minister stressed that the Grant for Rural Women programme was introduced in 2020 to sustain the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari’s Administration, to give a lifting hand to some of the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in the country. 

She added: ”It is consistent with the President’s now national vision 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”. 

She explained that President Muhammadu Buhari, initiated the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in 2016, as a strategy for reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion. 

According to her, 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.

“Since its introduction in 2016, the social investment programme has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria as millions of households have benefitted from NSIP interventions in the last 5 years. 

“This included payment of a monthly Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N5,000.00 to 1 million indigent Nigerians to protect them against economic shocks and gradually elevate them out of poverty.

“Also, over a million micro and small business owners accessed loans to boost productivity, increase income and reduce poverty under the Government Enterprise Enhancement Programme (GEEP).

“The N-Power programme provided temporary income-generating opportunities for 500,000 unemployed youths in the first instance while over eight million primary 1-3 pupils in public schools currently are receiving one meal per day under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.

“It is in view of this, that President Muhammadu Buhari graciously approved the expansion of the programme to touch more lives and lift more Nigerians above the poverty breadline.”

She restated the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure that the right beneficiaries were targeted, and to enhance impact on target beneficiaries. 

She added that the Ministry was also working tirelessly to address some of the socioeconomic problems that are bedeviling all parts of the country by strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus as well as other poverty reduction programmes.

“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.

“Finally, let me acknowledge the immense contribution of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Kogi State and his Executive Council as well as the State Focal Person to ensuring that this event is successful. We are indeed most grateful for this cooperation,” she said.

In his remarks, the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, thanked the President for the initiative and for always putting the issue of women in the front burner in his Administration.

Represented by his Deputy, Mr Edward Onoja, the governor said the initiative would add values to the wellbeing of the beneficiaries and boost the socioeconomic of the state and the country at large.

He appreciated the minister and her team for their consistency in ensuring that the wide gap between the poor and the rich was bridged through the effective implementation of the NSIP project over the past five years.

“Kogi has also key into the the Mr President’s programmes of empowering women and the vulnerable; it has been the tradition in Kogi by His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello over the past five years.”

The governor further congratulated the President over the safe return of over 300 school girls abducted recently in Zamfara State.

In their goodwill messages, the NSIP Focal Person in Kogi, Mr Suleiman Onyekehi, and the State’s Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajia Fatima Buba, both commended the federal government for the initiative, saying it would go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the indigent and vulnerable women in the state.

The project was inaugurated by the governor, and a sum of N20, 000 was presented to each beneficiary at the venue including persons living with disability.  One of the beneficiaries, Queen Christopher, thanked the President, the Minister and the Governor for the wonderful program for person living with disability and vulnerable women in the society.

“I also believe that with the help of this money, we are going use it very well and it will be a plus to our society”, she said. 

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