Tinubu Flags Off Conditional Cash Transfer for 15m Households
President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday flagged off the Renewed Hope conditional cash transfer for 15 million households in the country to mark the commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Speaking at the event inside the briefing room of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, he said the occasion was significant for Nigeria and for his administration as it presented him the opportunity to restate his administration’s commitment to poverty alleviation as expressed in his 8-point agenda.
While noting that his government’s plans for food security, ending hunger, poverty eradication, economic growth and job creation were all means to fight poverty and help the most vulnerable members of the society, the president, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, outlined the steps government had already taken.
These, he said, included restructuring the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to include poverty alleviation and providing the policy framework for an aggressive poverty alleviation drive in Nigeria; developing the Renewed Hope Agenda for humanitarian response and poverty alleviation, and expanding the National Social Register to capture Nigerians living below one dollar per day.
Other steps, he noted, were restructuring the National Social Investment Programme and repositioning it for quick and efficient delivery that was transparent and accountable and partnering with the World Bank Group and other development partners to implement conditional cash transfers, business grants and other forms of support for the most vulnerable households.
While noting the theme of this year’s commemoration, “Decent Work and Social Protection: Putting dignity in practice for all,” Tinubu said that it was no doubt in perfect alignment with the Renewed Hope agenda of his administration.
He said: “My government will lead from the front in seeking to ensure that all Nigerians have decent opportunities for dignified work and sustained social protection.
“Today, my administration is launching the Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer Program for vulnerable groups as an immediate intervention to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal and other economic shocks.
“However, the government is working to develop and deploy several more solutions and interventions to help Nigerians of all walks of life.”
The president called on stakeholders to continue to contribute their own quota in partnership with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, saying “It is only via a sustained collaborative approach that we can win this war against poverty in Nigeria and the world at large. Hope is here.”
“ I ask the Nigerian people to please ensure that they key into all the available programs because they are here to help. Our objective is to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty. Yet, this will only be possible that with the cooperation of the people we seek to help.
“Let us continue to work together to achieve our collective goal of eradicating poverty in Nigeria,” the President added.
Earlier in her address, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, warned that ignoring poverty alleviation in the country would amount to sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
She observed that the N75,000 already announced by the president for disbursement to vulnerable households in the country was enough to run small-scale businesses successfully.
She stated: “Beyond this, the government will be providing low-cost shelter for the poor and internally displaced persons as a form of providing that cover for them. Several other interventions, including the rural vocational skills Intervention, will be carried out at a mass scale. All of these are targeted at the various dimensions of poverty in the country.
“As a nation, we must come together to fight poverty. Poverty is that scourge, poverty is that hydra-headed cobra in the room that, if not tackled, would consume everyone.
“Sitting and ignoring poverty at any level will only seem or equate to sitting on a keg of gunpowder, and that’s why today, the president is taking it headlong.
“We want to encourage Nigerians, we want to encourage the private sector, we want to encourage our development partners that are here, it’s time to step up to the occasion.
“We have a clear-cut roadmap, an action plan for implementation of the eradication of poverty from Nigeria. Everyone must key in and be part of it.”
Edu assured that Tinubu would eradicate poverty in the country by the year 2030.