The federal and state governments have been cautioned to stop confusing the three-year old Conditional Cash Transfer with relief package designed to alleviate people confronted with fresh conditions of poverty brought by the COVID-19  lockdown.

In a statement on Sunday, anti-corruption group, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, accused Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, of confusing the Conditional Cash Transfer programme launched in 2016 with the palliative measures aimed at reducing the economic hardship associated with the COVID-19 spread and governments' lockdown directive.

The group demanded due process and transparency in the disbursement of local and international donations the government had received to support the fight against the pandemic.

The statement signed by HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, reads, "The least we owe Nigerians is not to play politics with the misery of millions of people. The fact is that the CCT began in 2016.

“It should not be confused with any measure of any government to tackle the hunger and poverty occasioned by the lockdown. They are two different distinct programmes. One cannot substitute for the other."

HEDA said that for hanging onto the CCT as a palliative measure suggests that state governors had no indigenous means of responding to the economic hardship brought by the lockdown.

Suraju added, "The minister is suspected to have deliberately acted in this manner to blur the line of accountability, disguising the conditional cash transfer as payment under the COVID-19 intervention and relief package.

“The payment presently is only made to about 900,000 households and not over two million as claimed by the minister.

"We are hereby calling on state governors suddenly launching the payment of CCT, a programme that has began three years ago as if it is a new intervention and project. 

"They should desist from this misrepresentation and come forward with their latest intervention to cushion the effect of the lockdown on citizens."

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