By Emeka Ogenyi
The Federal Government has disbursed N20,000 each as unconditional cash grant to 2,700 women across all the local government areas in Akwa Ibom State.
The cash grant which is expected to increase the income and productive assets of the beneficiaries in the state was flagged-off by
the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiyya Faruk.
Speaking on Thursday in Uyo, during the Federal Government Cash Grant for Rural Women in the State, the Minister, Haj. Sadiyya Faruk who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Bashir Alkali, encouraged beneficiaries of the programme to make good use of the grant to improve their living standard.
Faruk urged them to utilised the fund as seed to boost their trade and business for greater income and not see it as their own share of the so-called National Cake adding that the FG would remain on track to improve the livelihood of ordinary Nigerians.
“Since its introduction in 2016, the social investment programme has impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria as millions of households have benefitted from these NSIP interventions in the last 5 years.
“This included payment of a monthly Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of N5,000.00 to 1 million indigent Nigerians to protect them against economic shocks and gradually elevate them out of poverty.” She said.
The Minister explained that the programme has been restructured to enhance impact on targeted beneficiaries.
“With the creation of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development by President Buhari in 2019, these programmes are being restructured and revamped to respond to peculiarities of different parts of the country.
“This is to ensure that the right beneficiaries are targeted, and to enhance impact on target beneficiaries. The Ministry is also working tirelessly to address some of the socioeconomic problems that are bedeviling all parts of the country by strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus as well as other poverty reduction programmes.
“Our target in Akwa Ibom State is to disburse the grant to about 2,700 beneficiaries across all Local Government Councils. The grant is expected to increase income and productive assets of target beneficiaries.” She explained.
Governor Udom Emmanuel represented at the occasion by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Dr Ini Adiakpan commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari for putting in place poverty alleviation programmes mostly targeted at women.
“Today, I join the beneficiaries of this particular Cash grant, to thank the government for this N20,000 one-off grant to the rural women. This money will go a long way in cushioning the hard economic realities birthed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Akwa Ibom State Womem are known for their enterprise and industry. Our rural women engage mostly in petty trading, farming, plam oil production, soap making and would stop at nothing if assisted to expand their trade and vocation.
“The government of Akwa Ibom State led by an enterprising and women friendly Governor, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel since assumption of office has vigorously pursued programmes aimed at not only mitigating poverty but also to restore the dignity of women in the state,” she stated.