The Federal Government on Monday reiterated its resolve to alleviate poverty across the country with N5,000 using biometrics data collation.
Maryam Uwais, Special Advisor, Social Investment, Office of the Vice President, said this while speaking at the international conference on “Child Poverty and Social Protection in Western, Central Africa,” in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference focuses on proffering solutions to tackle child poverty, protection to children across the West and Central African region.
According to her, government allocated money to assist the poor and is ensuring that communities determine the poor within them for proper interventions.
“FOR THE FIRST TIME GOVERNMENT HAS BUDGETED MONEY FOR THE POOR IN THIS COUNTRY, AND FIRST AND FOREMOST WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE MANDATE TO DEVELOP A CREDIBLE REGISTER OF POOR PEOPLE. SO WE ARE ACTUALLY GOING INTO THE COMMUNITIES ORGANISING GROUP FOCUSED DISCUSSIONS, ASKING THE COMMUNITIES WHAT POVERTY MEANS TO THEM AND WE ASK THEM WHO FITS INTO THE PARAMETERS THEY HAVE DEFINED.
WHEN WE GET ALL THOSE NAMES, WE GO BACK, DO THE ENUMERATION WITH BANK VERIFICATION NUMBER (BVN) AND NATIONAL IDENTITY MANAGEMENT COMMISSION (NIMC) BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT TO CREATE GHOST BENEFICIARIES.
WE WANT TO GET THE ACTUAL IDENTITIES, WE WANT THEM TO HAVE AN IDENTITY NUMBER AND A BVN NUMBER BECAUSE WE WANT THE BANKS TO PAY DIRECTLY TO THE BENEFICIARIES THIS N5,000.
IN DOING UNCONDITIONAL TRANSFERS, WE TARGET THE PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE IN A PARTICULAR FAMILY, BECAUSE WHEN WE GO BACK TO DO THE BVN, NIMC AND THE IDENTITY ENUMERATION, WE ASK QUESTIONS FROM EACH HOUSEHOLD.
THERE IS A WHOLE LIST OF QUESTIONS THAT WE ASK; FOR THE CHILDREN WE WILL TAKE PICTURES, FOR THE ADULTS WE TAKE BIOMETRICS. WE ARE SETTING UP MECHANISMS FOR PAYMENT DIRECTLY AND WE ARE SUPPORTED BY NIMC AND BY THE BANKS TO GO IN AND ENSURE THAT THE MONEY GOES DIRECTLY TO THESE PEOPLE.
THESE PEOPLE WILL BE PAID IN THEIR COMMUNITIES, THEY WILL BE PAID N5,000, AND WON’T NEED TO TRAVEL TO THE CAPITAL TO GO TO A BANK BRANCH OR GO TO WHERE AN ATM IS,” SHE SAID.
According to her, the banks have to get the monies through the market place down to the beneficiaries.
She added that they were starting with 30 per cent of the poverty population of each state, their local governments and then move up to 50 per cent in 2017.
Uwais stated that government agencies were supporting the project, adding that they have the resolve to implement it.
Enrique Delamonica, UNICEF Nigeria, Chief Social Policy Officer, said that it was important to reduce child labour and poverty for a better society.
“Economic integration can help with reduction of child poverty in countries within the region and having common frame works of social protection also. It also requires facilitation of labour market integration.”
According to him, the government is on the right path to the eradication of child poverty and protection with dialogues, investing in nutrition, among other interventions.
He stated that there had been remarkable result in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adding that the Sustainable Development Goals would enable the government record more milestone in child poverty eradication.
Dennis Zulu, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone Country Office Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO), said a significant number of children across the world and Africa were involved in child labour due to poverty.
Zulu said that poverty ravaged care givers and guardians of children who compel them to make income for their families.
He added that consented efforts needed to be made by governments to ensure that national social protection laws were guaranteed at the national level.
The director stated that interventions to tackle child labour and ensure protection required sensitivity of social security system.