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Group holds review meeting on cash transfer program

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ANAMBRA State Cash Transfer Unit (ANSCUTU) in collaboration with National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), recently held their first half review meeting for the year.

The federal government established the conditional cash transfer programme to help the poor to graduate from poverty. The beneficiaries receive N5000 monthly to enable them enhance their living standards. Most female headed households have very low source of income in Nigeria. This is why government set up a poverty alleviation program, aimed at lifting the poorest of the poor out of poverty.

Members of this organisation were enlightened more towards the areas of their achievement to improve better and were also informed to ensure that they are giving free treatment to children at tuberculosis centres in their LGAs. They were also educated on how to save their money whenever they are paid by the federal government for future investment.

The Managing and Evaluation Officer of the National Cash Transfer Office, Mrs. Onyekachi Mabel said that the Anambra State Cash Transfer Office held the first half review meeting in collaboration with the national body, adding that the meeting was to access their performances from January to June, such as to evaluate themselves, know their weaknesses and strengthen it for better improvement.

In her words, “The household uplifting programme is designed by the federal government to help the poorest in the communities. It is being implemented in six pilot states which Anambra State is one of them. It is currently going on in local government areas like Orumba, Ihiala, Awka North, Ayamelum and Dunukofia and data has been gathered to scale up the program to other LGAs”.

The Head of Unit, Anambra State Household Uplifting Program, Mr. Raphael Enukaora, stressed that there are many benefits in the program, especially on the side of the poorest in the communities who are being given N5000 monthly by the federal government to enable them invest on many things and earn better living. He said, “Government uses us to implement their plan but indirectly, we have gains like capacity building which they are equipping us with. Beneficiaries are making savings out of what they are being paid every month in their communities and also forming cooperatives. Some are investing on oil palm processing, poultry and making more savings out of it, thereby living better than they were living before. The officers are as well guiding them and ensures that they are doing well”.

Mrs. Uzoamaka Okakpu, who is representing Ihiala Local Government Area, stated the challenges of the program in Ihiala which include late arrival of payment teams, non issuance of payment card, loss of payment card, no clear procedure on cash collection, overcrowding during reception of the cash, confusion due to change of payment date, inability of beneficiaries to access cash in good time, difficult in opening of bank accounts, among others.

She also noted the recommendations they made during their mid-year review meeting concerning the challenges as it will help them for better improvement.

Mrs Uzoamaka disclosed the impact of cash transfer to beneficiaries in the LGA includes reducing of child mortality, labour market, increase in education enrolment rate, increase in women savings and investment, improved quantity and quality of food, among others.

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