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FG’s N5,000 conditional cash transfer list of 8 states ready

There are indications that the list of beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s N5,000 conditional cash transfer for eight states is ready. our5kFeelers from political and World Bank Country office in Nigeria have shown that the list for the conditional transfer has been in the making. The World Bank, it was learned, has used its template that it applies globally to help the federal authorities identify the poor and needy in the eight states while work is said to be in progress in other states of the federation. The feelers suggest that the team compiling the list in each state goes to two poorest local governments in a state and then identify the two poorest villages or communities in such state. From the poorest community, a list is drawn. One million poor Nigerians will benefit from the programme. The feeler is that the compilation is in collaboration with the World Bank, which had even started compiling a Social Register before the current administration came on board. According to those, who have working knowledge of the programme, eight states of the federation have already been covered and that the criteria to determine beneficiaries have been clearly spelt out. They include: school enrolment by the parents of school-age children; immunization of children against child-killer diseases as well as the aged and disabled poor. It was learned that the programme would run throughout the period of the administration’s life. It was gathered that contrary to widely held opinions in some quarters, the N5,000 monthly stipend programme has not been cancelled by the Buhari administration. The source clarified that while some people held that the Federal Government was to pay N5,000 monthly to graduates, the graduates’ scheme would be the recruitment of 500,000 volunteer teachers, who would be paid N30,000 monthly. “The graduates’ volunteer programme would run for two years, with the expectation that the volunteers would be able to secure other jobs as the economy throws up new opportunities,” the source said. In addition, he said that the administration’s Micro-credit scheme for small businesses would act as a game-changer in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) subsector of the economy. Under that scheme, a revolving loans fund would be made available to Nigerian youths who wants to go into small business as well as those already in business, to enable them expand their operations. Nigeria is one of the top five countries with the largest number of poor, ranking third, with China and India, ranking second and first respectively. Majority of Nigeria’s desperately poor never had the opportunity to attend a school, nor receive some form of education, whether formal or informal. The Buhari administration is keying into the World Bank advice to nations last April. It will be recalled that the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, had said at last year’s IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings that Nigeria is one of the top five countries that has the largest number of poor. Nigeria, he said ranked third in the world while India ranked number one with 33 per cent of the world poor. China is ranked second with 13 per cent of the world’s poor, followed by Nigeria where seven per cent of the world poor live in. He said that Bangladesh has six per cent share of the world’s poor while the Democratic Republic of Congo has five per cent of the world’s poor population. Jim Yong Kim said these five countries are home to 760 million of the world’s poor, adding that another five countries, Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya would encompass almost 80 per cent of the extreme poor. World Bank had said that a sharp focus on these will be central to ending poverty, the “while economic growth remains vital for reducing poverty, growth has its limits, according to a new World Bank paper. Countries need to complement efforts to enhance growth with policies that allocate more resources to the extreme poor. These resources can be distributed through the growth process itself, by promoting more inclusive growth, or through government programs, such as conditional and direct cash transfers. Direct cash transfers “It is imperative not just to lift people out of extreme poverty; it is also important to make sure that, in the long run, they do not get stuck just above the extreme poverty line due to a lack of opportunities that might impede progress toward better livelihoods. Economic growth has been vital for reducing extreme poverty and improving the lives of many poor people. Yet, even if all countries grow at the same rates as over the past 20 years, and if the income distribution remains unchanged, world poverty will only fall by 10 percent by 2030, from 17.7 percent in 2010. This is simply not enough, and we need a laser like focus on making growth more inclusive and targeting more programmes to assist the poor directly if we’re going to end extreme poverty.” Kim added: “To end extreme poverty, the vast numbers of the poorest – those earning less than $1.25 a day – will have to decrease by 50 million people each year until 2030. This means that one million people each week will have to lift themselves out of poverty for the next 16 years. This will be extraordinarily difficult, but I believe we can do it. This can be the generation that ends extreme poverty. “Growth alone is unlikely to end extreme poverty by 2030 because as extreme poverty declines, growth on its own tends to lift fewer people out of poverty. This is because, by this stage, many of the people still in extreme poverty live in situations where improving their lives is extremely difficult. Even if there is no change in inequality, the “poverty-reducing power” of economic growth is less in countries that are initially more unequal.” The transfer will go directly to the beneficiary. The President it was gathered has instructed that there should be no third party arrangement in the transfer process. The technology to effect the payment is being worked out. President Muhammadu Buhari is said to be very passionate about social investments by his administration among the ordinary Nigerians who were mainly responsible for his election and would not do anything to jeopardize their confidence in him.


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