Special Adviser to the Nigerian president on National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Mrs Maryam Uwais, has revealed that over 80 million out of estimated Nigerian population of over 150 million are poor.
However, only about 455,857 of the number of poor people have been captured in the National Social Register (NSP) being used by the Federal Government for its National Cash Transfer Program.
Even then, the monthly stipends of N5000.00 is being paid to only 297,973 out of 455,857 identified poor and vulnerable households captured in NSP.
Uwais revealed this when briefing the media on the efforts of the President Buhari administration to fight poverty in the country.
She also explained that there is a system in place to ensure that only the right set of people benefit from the program. In this regard, she said the federal government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with states to ensure that the funds released get to the intended beneficiaries.
She said, “It is important for us to get the targeting right, so only the poorest of the poor will get paid. We have, according to statistics, up to 80 million people that are poor. And so, we had to devise a strategy to ensure that we get the poorest and also insulate the process of getting to that poorest from any outside influence, whatever the influence maybe.”
She further expressed that only 30% of the number is being catered for because of inadequacy of fund.
She said, “We select 30 percent because we had cash constraints. We couldn’t cover 80 million people that were poor. We now said we will start with 30 percent from each state. That comes to 30 percent of the poorest of the poor from each senatorial district.”
“Working with NBS, we looked at the local governments that are the poorest in the senatorial districts for a balance and we shared the names of the local government with the states. They signed off.”
“So far, we have 455,857 poor and vulnerable households uploaded onto the National Social Register, from which 297,973 households have been mined and are being paid stipends in 20 States.
Uwais mentioned Jigawa Bauchi, Kogi, Osun, Cross River, Anambra, Katsina, Kano, Taraba, Gombe, Adamawa, Niger, Nassarawa, Benue, Oyo, Ekiti, Kwara, Borno (IDP), Kaduna and Plateau as the states where stipends are currently being paid to households already captured in the program.
In addition, Uwais said that 2,495 community facilitator has been trained to facilitate forming of cooperatives, basic financial training, skills and engage caregivers.