Tinubu’s Anniversary Gift: FG Launches Cash Transfer Scheme for 75 Million Nigerians

Nigeria Must Make Difficult Changes - Tinubu

The Federal Government announced the reinstatement of the suspended social investment programme on Tuesday, unveiling a revamped cash transfer scheme to provide direct payments to 75 million Nigerians across 50 million households. This initiative aims to alleviate the hardships faced by vulnerable groups.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, shared the news during a ministerial sectoral briefing in Abuja to mark President Bola Tinubu’s first year in office. Edun emphasized that the cash transfer programme had been overhauled to address fraud issues.

Previously, on January 12, Tinubu had suspended all programmes managed by the National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA) for six weeks, following allegations of malfeasance. Additionally, on January 8, Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, was suspended.

The suspended programmes included N-Power, the conditional cash transfer scheme, the government enterprise and empowerment programme, and the home-grown school feeding initiative. The House of Representatives had called for the resumption of these programmes on March 13.

To revamp the programme, Tinubu established a Special Presidential Panel led by Edun to conduct a thorough review and audit of the financial frameworks and policy guidelines of the social investment initiatives.

Edun stated, “The government has restarted the social investment program, providing direct payments to 75 million Nigerians in 50 million households. Access to credit has been improved, with N1bn allocated to consumer credit and grants of 50,000 Naira being given to 1 million nano industries.”

Regarding food inflation, the National Bureau of Statistics reported a 33.69 per cent inflation rate in April, driven largely by food inflation at 40.53 per cent. Edun highlighted the government’s efforts to address food security, mentioning a N200bn intervention program.

The finance minister also announced direct payments to contractors, suppliers, and vendors engaged by the government to curb corruption and ensure prudent expenditure of the nation’s wealth. Furthermore, an Economic Emergency Plan set to roll out over the next six months aims to stabilize the economy.

Edun assured that Nigeria has sufficient resources to pay its debts and highlighted improvements in Nigeria’s international credit rating by Moody’s and Fitch. This, combined with settling a $200m shareholding with the Islamic Development Bank, has boosted confidence.

Emphasizing the importance of infrastructure, Edun mentioned a fund established to support housing construction and low-interest mortgages. He also addressed the issue of companies exiting Nigeria, attributing it to previous administrations and affirming the current government’s commitment to economic stability.

The minister concluded by discussing ongoing efforts to implement economic reforms, stressing the importance of attracting investment to grow the economy, create jobs, and reduce poverty.

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