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283,003 Lagos Residents to Receive N25,000 FG’s Conditional Cash Transfer

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By Kunle Idowu

The Federal Government has commenced training of the Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer facilitators in Lagos State for the enrolment of 283,003 beneficiaries.

At the one-day training for the facilitators on Tuesday in Lagos, Dr Micheal Ajuluchuku, the National Programme Manager, National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), Abuja, said the initiative would bring financial relief to vulnerable citizens in the state.

The Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer of President Bola Tinubu’s administration would provide 15 million Nigerian households with cash transfer of N25,000 for three months.

Ajuluchuku said the step-down training was designed to equip the facilitators on enrollment of the 283,003 beneficiaries in the state.

He charged the facilitators for the speedy enrolment process of beneficiaries in order to complete the circle as planned.

He was represented by Hajia Zanaib Usman, an official of the National Cash Transfer Office, Abuja.

He said the programme was non-partisan and non-political adding that the Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer Programme was for only Nigerians.

According to him, the project focus would be on rural and urban, poor and vulnerable households in the country.

“The design of the scale of NASSP-SU intervention has two components, Shock Responsive Social Protection (Urban), and Shock Responsive Social Protection, (Rural) that is aimed at providing N25,000 for three months to beneficiaries amounting to N75,000,” he said.

On the selection process, he said the National Social Safety Net Project has two programme implementing units, the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office, responsible for the population of data of the poor and vulnerable across the country.

“Basically, their mandate is to generate data of the poor and the vulnerable.

“The second programme implementation unit is the National Cash Transfer Office, which is mainly responsible for delivering the intervention.

“To us at NCTO, we mine these two data of the poor and vulnerable from the National Safety Net Coordinating Office.

“The criteria are that the beneficiaries must be poor and vulnerable and must fall between the poverty line as established by the Federal Government so that is how this data is obtained for intervention.

“This programme, the design is such that it is non-partisan and non-political. It is for Nigerians and Nigerians as a whole.

“As you are aware, poverty does not know political party, poverty hits whoever that comes its way,” he said.

Ajuluchuku noted that President Bola Tinubu decided to sustain the project which started with the former administration because of the impact the programme had made in the lives of Nigerians.

He said that Tinubu’s administration had increased the number from two million to 15 million beneficiaries.

“This is basically because the country is hit with a lot of challenges, economical, inflation, fuel subsidy removal and so on.

“The government is not just sitting back without addressing the challenges,” he said.

Also, Commissioner, Lagos State Wealth Creation, Akinyemi Ajigbotafe, lauded the Federal Government commitment through the NCTO under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

Ajigbotafe said the programme had put smiles on the faces of benefitting households across the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He also appreciated Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his relentless support and care for the downtrodden in the state.

He said the great humanitarian strides and efforts was evidenced in the various humanitarian programmes to cater for the poor, the vulnerable and the indigent citizens in the state.

“It is truly a great rising season for our state.

“President Bola Tinubu launched the Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) in November, 2023 to mitigate amongst others, the economic shocks arising from government policies.

“With this, the Federal Government established a time-limited economic shock Response – Cash Transfers of N25,000 for 283,003 poor and vulnerable households in Lagos State to cushion the effect of the on-going economic reforms as mandated.

“A total of 283,003 poor and vulnerable households have been mined for enrolment into conditional cash transfer in the state.

“This includes 209,385 mined Poor and Vulnerable Households and 73,618 from the National Social Register and Rapid Response exercise.

“This will aid the capacity building of the nominated 186 cash transfer facilitators to be equipped for this task,” he said.

The commissioner urged the cash transfer facilitators to be a beacon of hope to the beneficiaries and good ambassadors of the state.

“To the facilitators, do not forget that you are by extension, a beacon of hope to the beneficiaries since the information you garner from them and input into the server will be used to facilitate the payment of N25,000 to them.

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Dr Abiodun Onayele, said the National Cash Transfer Office had commenced the immediate roll-out of cash transfers to beneficiaries of the Renewed Hope Cash Transfer Programme.

Onayele said the programme would provide 15 million poor and vulnerable Nigerian households with N25,000 monthly for three months.

He said that priority would be given to female adult households.

“As part of the institutional arrangement, the cash transfer facilitators who are drawn from local governments and local council development areas of the wards where the targeted beneficiaries were validated must be enrolled into the Cash Transfer programme.

“The facilitators must attend an enrollment training on utilisation of digital gadgets to capture and validate the beneficiaries,” Onayele said.

The Programme Manager, Conditional Cash Transfer, Lagos State, Lola Orimogunje, urged beneficiaries to provide their National Identification Numbers (NIN) during the enrollment process to meet the eligibility criteria for opening bank accounts in fulfilment of the recent Central Bank of Nigeria directives.

Orimogunje said that all beneficiaries would be paid through their bank accounts.

She noted that those with existing bank accounts would be paid through their accounts while new accounts would be opened by the programme for those without bank accounts.

According to her, this strategy will help to ensure all beneficiaries are financially included through the programme.

“Each beneficiary will receive N25,000 per circle, for three payment circles, culminating in total financial support of N75,000 only.

“This financial assistance is to make a significant impact on the lives of the beneficiaries, contributing to their well-being and resilience due to the hardship caused by the current economic reforms in the country.

“We urge the public to visit their communities to enquire if their community is part of the current disclosure.

“They should check their names on the disclosure list which is often displayed on a location agreed by the community members for unhindered access and convenience of the members for validation and enrolment,” she said.

Enrolment Officer, National Cash Transfer Office, Abuja, Muhammed Adams, explained the processes of enrolment for the Cash Transfer to the facilitators.

Adams urged the facilitators to participate fully in the training in order to conduct a smooth enrolment process.

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Education

Benue Born Medical Doctor Breaks Uncommon Grounds in Literature

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By David Torough, Abuja 

A Benue born Medical Doctor and a writer, Dr Mark Ogbodo, has broken uncommon grounds in literature as his third Novella, “Untold”, has been certified and approved by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), as a general reading material.

In a letter, the Executive Secretary of NERDC, Prof.

Ismail Junaidu, stated that the book, Untold, has been assessed by NERDC and found useful, and therefore, “it is recommended as a general reading material”.

The approval made it the second approval of Dr Ogbodo’s books, as the first Novella, “Amour Maternel”, was also approved by NERDC as a supplementary reader for all JSS 2 classes in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Fellow, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) who is also the immediate past Deputy Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), Professor Idris Amali, has congratulated Dr. Ogbodo for his successful outing in another literary work.

“This is an important achievement to be on a national reading list. This is creativity with a purpose with immediate impact. 

“The concept well held for many years that there is no money in literary creativity is becoming a thing of the past and the era of milking the author without replenishing the milk is no longer tenable in the 21st Century. 

“Thus, the exploitation of the third world creative writers by the west is mellowing down. The Nigerian writers can today pursue his copyright issues to a gainful and logical end. 

“This position therefore makes  Dr. Mick Ogbodo, a potential instant  millionaire from the sales of his latest outing which has been placed on a national reading list of schools nationwide. This is a great feat.

“This situation should spur you to write more specific literary creativity  that targets such an audience which would attract a national audience for a specific purpose like the one you have written.

“Let me therefore congratulate you for this achievement. Manage the success well,” Prof. Amali stated.

Ogbodo who is the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Medical Association, Benue State Branch is also the Chairman, Publication Committee, Nigerian Medical Association, Benue State Branch as well as the Secretary, Association of Nigerian Authors, Benue State Chapter.

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NEWS

Tinubu Approves Implementation Of Oronsaye Report, To Merge Agencies

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President Bola Tinubu has ordered the full implementation of the Oronsaye report.⁣

⁣Consequently, it announced the merging, subsuming, scraping and relocation of several agencies of government. ⁣

⁣The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, revealed this to State House Correspondents after Monday’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

“So in a very bold move today, this administration, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, consistent again with his courage to take very far-reaching decisions in the interest of Nigeria, has taken a decision to implement the so-called Oronsaye Report.

⁣“Now, what that means is that a number of agencies, commissions, and some departments have actually been scrapped. Some have been modified, and marked while others have been subsumed. Others, of course, have also been moved from some ministries to others where the government feels they will operate better,” said Idris. ⁣

⁣Consequently, the President constituted a committee to implement the mergers, scrapping and relocations within 12 weeks, said Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Policy Coordination, Mrs Hadiza Bala-Usman. ⁣

⁣Submitted in 2012, the Oronsaye report on public sector reforms revealed that there are 541 — statutory and non-statutory —Federal Government parastatals, commissions, and agencies.⁣

⁣A year earlier, the then President Goodluck Jonathan had set up the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, under the leadership of former Head of Civil Service, Stephen Oronsaye.⁣

The 800-page report recommended that 263 of the statutory agencies be slashed to 161; 38 agencies be scrapped; 52 be merged and 14 be reverted to departments in various ministries.⁣

The report also recommends that the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission be repealed and its functions taken over by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.⁣

⁣It advised the FG to merge the nation’s top three anti-corruption agencies—the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau.⁣

More details shortly… ⁣

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NEWS

How SOAR Initiative is Changing SGBV Narratives in Abuja Community

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Pigba Kasa community in Apo District, Abuja, says the intervention of Sexual Offences Awareness and Victims Rehabilitation Initiative (SOAR Initiative), an NGO, is changing the narratives on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the community.

The community members stated this during the graduation of beneficiaries of the NGO’s ‘Right to be a Girl’s Project’ in the community on Monday.

Reports says that the project, a nine-month intervention, is being supported by Mundo Cooparente, a Spanish humanitarian aid organisation.

The project is designed to empower 240 vulnerable adolescent girls from ages 10 to 16 with the right information and life-skills to protect themselves from violations, improve their ability to speak out against SGBV and forced marriage.

The Chief of Pigba Kasa community, Ayuba Kulobi, described the project as a game changer in addressing the challenges of SGBV in the community.

Kulobi said that prior to the project, the incidence of SGBV was high,but now on a downward trend due the  NGO’s intervention.

He particularly said that the Right to be a Girl’s Project has empowered adolescent girls with the needed information on how to protect their rights and seek redress when violated.

He added that the NGO helped the community to set up a Community Protection Committee (CPC) centre, where community members meet monthly to share ideas and advise families on how to address SGBV.

“More so, we now have access to the police, and we can call them anytime we have issues of SGBV. Gladly, the police intervened promptly and made arrests.

“Due to these interventions, we now hardly record cases of SGBV in our community,” he said.

The Deputy Chairperson of CPC in the community, Ms Christiana Manji, said the community members were now speaking out courtesy of the project.

“Hidden issues are now being exposed because people now know their rights and can seek redress,” she said.

Similarly, the committee’s secretary, Mr Ibrahim Idris, said that several persons have been arrested over alleged domestic and sexual abuse.

Some of the beneficiaries of the project thanked SOAR Initiative for the gesture, saying it broadened their knowledge on the rights of the girl-child among others.

One of them, a 13-year-old Jessica George, said she now knows a lot about sexual abuse, dangers of early marriage and self-esteem.

The story was the same for Mary Ayuba, a 10-year-old, who said that the project has empowered her to defend herself against SGBV.

“I am so empowered that I can now help other girls to overcome SGBV and enlighten them on how to seek help,” the girl said.

The Youth Advocate of the NGO, Miss Lolade Ipele, expressed satisfaction on how the adolescent girls embrace the 12-week project.

“I saw them grow from timid girls to intelligent girls with confidence to face the future,” Ipele said.

The Project Officer, Mr Yakubu Levi, said that the project was implemented in two communities – Chafuyi and Pigba Kasa, leveraging four public schools serving the communities.

Levi said that the girls were trained on safe spaces and other life skills, including access to case management, psycho-social counseling, and legal-aid services.

For sustainability, the project officer said that the NGO would support the establishment of a girls’ club in the four benefiting schools in collaboration with FCT Education Secretariat. (NAN)

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