The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Wednesday began the distribution of N20,000 each to 5,000 beneficiaries in the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the ministry, the move was to cushion the effect of the lockdown in parts of the country occasioned by spread of coronavirus.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said the initiative was under the ministry’s Conditional Cash Transfer programme.
She said the N20,000 that was given to each of the beneficiaries covered a period of four months and was in line with the directive issued on March 29, 2020, by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Buhari, who announced a lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, had stated that the payment would cushion the effect of the lockdown on poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria.
Speaking to journalists after giving out cash to some of the benefiting households in the Kwali area of Abuja, Farouq said, “The CCT is for poor and vulnerable households in the country. Beneficiaries are entitled to N5,000 every month.
“Today’s payment of N20,000 to each beneficiary is for four mouths. It is going to happen all over the country, but we are starting with FCT, Lagos and Ogun. These are the frontline states. Other states will follow.”
She added, “With the current pandemic and circumstances on ground, this amount will go a long way to support the families in their daily lives.
“Today, we are giving out N20,000 each to about 190 beneficiaries in Kwali Area Council. The total number of beneficiaries in FCT is 5,000.”
Farouk further noted that over one million Nigerians located in 34 states were benefiting from the scheme.
Hundreds of beneficiaries gathered at the Kwali Town Hall on Wednesday to receive the cash and they stepped out one after the other to pick the money after being called by officials of the ministry.
Serah Gadaga, a mother of two, who collected N20,000 from the minister, stated that the fund was for January to April and that it would go a long way in boosting her petty trade.