FG set to restart direct cash transfers to 15 million households

Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Wale Edun,

The Federal Government has completed arrangements to restore direct cash transfers to Nigeria’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

This comes on top of the hardships that millions of Nigerians are experiencing due to rising commodity and food costs, as well as the naira’s continued depreciation.

With around 3 million Nigerians benefiting from these schemes, the federal government anticipates that an additional 12 million persons, or families, will benefit from these direct payments due to the rapid rise in the cost of living, increasing the total to almost 15 million homes.

This was made known by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, during a retreat of the ministry on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

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Edun said that the presidential panel on the social investment programmes are set to meet with President Bola Tinubu and recommend the restart of the direct cash payments to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.

  • He said, “The presidential panel on the social investment programmes, have prepared to go to Mr. President with an internal recommendation to restart the direct payments to the poorest and the most vulnerable. Everything is being done to ease the pain.
  • “We know that there’s been about 3 million beneficiaries now, but given the way the rates have gone, there are probably another 12 million people, households that can benefit from that payment.”

The minister noted that the expansion of the direct cash transfer aims to reach a wider population struggling with the economic situation and to put more money directly in the hands of those who need it most, allowing them to prioritize their needs and alleviate poverty.

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He stated that the decision to inform the President of the Panel’s decision before the final report is completed is to keep the President abreast of developments, adding that technology will be used to ensure smooth and transparent payments, avoiding manual processes and delays.

  • The minister aid: “The only thing delaying that is not waiting for the end of the report. It is something that the intervention is meant to happen immediately.
  • “We have experts in technology, the commitment was to make sure that we use technology to ensure that we have a seamless payment, a seamless movement between the registered and the direct beneficiaries, without any manual processes in between. So it’s taking time to automate that process immediately that direct payment will resume”.
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