The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, has reportedly faulted comments that the regime’s N5,000 monthly national conditional cash transfer to some poor and vulnerable people is insufficient to lift Nigerians out of poverty.
The Minister reportedly made this known at the State House on Thursday during the weekly ministerial media briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to her, “If you look at the people that you are taking this intervention to, N5,000 means a lot to them, because these are poor and vulnerable households, and it changes their status; but for you and me, N5,000 is not even enough for us to buy recharge card; that’s the difference.”
She stated, “But for these poor people in the communities, they were able to save out of that N5,000; if it’s not making any impact, if it’s not changing their economic status, I don’t think anybody will force them to contribute that N1,000 to provide that vehicle for their use. So, N5,000 goes a long way.”
Commenting on the government school feeding programme Farouq stated that , “Some people here, if you talk about out-of-school children, they think you are talking about Almajiri in the North. Some people think it’s actually religious or a Muslim thing. But I can tell you that we have established it as a national issue in this programme.”
She maintained that, “We sent a team to Lagos. They went to Mokoko; they met 7,000 out-of-school children picking things from the dirt. The guys returned shaking. We sent another chap to Jos; he returned shaking also. We sent another guy to Enugu, and for the first time, everybody realised that the out-of-school children issue is a national problem.”
Commenting on the N-Power, she stated that, “On the N-Power, thank you for bringing that up, and you asked another question if anybody really benefited from the programme. We have 500,000 on the programme, with the batches ‘A’ and ‘B’ being on the programme for four years and two years, respectively. Batch ‘A’ was on the programme for about four years, and we were giving them N30,000 stipend monthly. And Batch ‘B’ benefited for two years.”
She added that, “So, yes, the N-power beneficiaries have benefited, because these are people who were not employed, who had nothing to do, but were engaged and were being paid stipends to earn a decent living.”