The much-anticipated poverty alleviation payment scheme by the federal government of Nigeria known as Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme has commenced on Tuesday in Oyo State with the official flag-off of payments to the beneficiaries by the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Alhaja Faosat Sanni, in three of the state’s Local Government Areas, Sofo can confirm.
The poverty alleviation scheme was officially flagged off in Oluyole, Egbeda, and Ona Ara, local government areas of the state with recipients getting N20, 000 or N30, 000 depending on the payment group they belong to in the CCT scheme.
According to the detail gathered by Sofo, N5000 was originally meant to be paid every month to the beneficiaries, hence the current payment covers all the four-month arrears owed from January till April 2020.
Caregivers of homes with no additional beneficiaries in the same household will receive N20,000 each while those who qualified for the top-up programme where additional payment of N5000 will be given to specified beneficiaries twice monthly and this category of people are those who are between the ages of 18 and 40 years of age.
One of the coordinators of the scheme by name, Oyekola Oladipo, while speaking to the media on Tuesday, confirmed the authenticity of the payment flag-off.
“Yes, it is true that the payment of CCT started today in the state, we were to start yesterday but we had a technical challenge; the challenge was that the payment agent could not be credited by the assigned payment service provider. It was very late yesterday and early this morning that the payment agents were credited. That is why we are starting today, the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, myself and officials from the Ministry went out to do the monitoring at Ona Ara, Oluyole and Egbeda, the commissioner did official flag-off of the payment,”Mr. Oyekola Oladipo, one of the coordinators of the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme in Oyo State.
Oyekola explained further that the people paid were not just picked based on political affiliation or any bias but were those that had been assessed earlier for the scheme by another agency.
“The people that are being paid are existing beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer scheme that had been part of the scheme since 2016. They are not new people or affiliated to any political party or persons, but those that had been assessed and had been enjoying the conditional cash transfer since 2016. They are not just presented because of the coronavirus pandemic; they have been beneficiaries of this initiative for long.Oyekola stressed.
He further stressed that there is an agency in charge of the collation of beneficiary details that are working under the Federal Government of Nigeria, and they are responsible for the assessment of people and population register used for the disbursement since the inception of the conditional cash transfer scheme.
“We do not generate register for the beneficiaries, another agency working for the Federal Government of Nigeria did the assessment of these people and the population register used long before now and it is the register generated by that agency that we made use of. We only implement the payment, we don’t generate register, – Oyekola affirms.”
The conditional cash transfer scheme (widely known as CCT) is an initiate of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at alleviating poverty through welfare programs where an assigned agent of the government transfers money to the people that meet a set criterion for receiving the payment in order to reduce poverty.