ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
The Federal Government has resumed the payment of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) to the poor and indigent households in Bayelsa State.
The Federal Government’s poverty reduction programme is powered by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The payment resumed on Tuesday at Igeibiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, following a non-payment of six months backlog.
The Focal Person, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Bayelsa State, Mr Emmanuel Benson, explained that the exercise was aimed at reducing poverty in the state and the country at large.
Benson explained: “What is going on here today is a resumption of the conditional cash transfer. The figure of beneficiaries usually comes up at the end of the day because some don’t show up for their payment.
“So, in the end, we can then say this is the total number of people paid.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiq Umar Farouk for their support for the programme.
He said that the money was meant for the poor and the less-privileged to reduce poverty in the state, urging the Douye Diri government to key into the scheme and support the programme.
Benson, who doubles as the Coordinator of N-Power and the School Feeding Programme (SFP), expressed hope that by the end of November, more people will have benefitted across the state.
He also advised the beneficiaries to utilise the funds judiciously, noting that some beneficiaries who are traders were already giving positive feedback to encourage the Federal Government to do more.
It was gathered that Nembe, Brass, Ogbia and part of Southern Ijaw LGA were the remaining areas to be covered in the pilot scheme.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to reporters commended the Federal Government for the gesture.
A foodstuff dealer, Mrs Ebiere Ebiye, said: “This is not the first time I have received such stipend for the programme. The money has been helping me in my business and in handling little challenges in my home.
“I am very elated with what the Federal Government is doing and I pray God will continue to replenish them.”