Eight million Nigerians, 1.6m households enjoying FG’s conditional cash transfers – Buhari

Says scheme biggest in Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari has listed eight million Nigerians and 1.6 million households as the number of beneficiaries currently enjoying the Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, (CCTP), a scheme designed to tackle blooming poverty that is ravaging a vulnerable populace.

President Buhari, who spoke virtually during the opening ceremony of the 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, (CIBN), revealed that the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable Nigerians had 32.6 million persons from seven million poor and vulnerable households identified, imploring bankers to play a stronger role in improving livelihoods.

“From this number, 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households, comprising more than 8 million individuals are currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer programme, which pays a bi-monthly stipend of N10,000 per household”, he stated.

The president also disclosed that over N300 billion has been disbursed to farmers under various intervention programmes.

The President added that the National Social Investment Programme was the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa and one of the largest in the world.

According to him, “Some of the various initiatives embarked upon to boost agric trade in Nigeria include the Anchor Borrowers Programme, through which the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), had made more than 300 billion Naira available to over 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities including rice, wheat, maize, cotton, cassava, poultry, soya beans, groundnut, fish, cultivating over 3.8 million hectres of farmland.

To further strengthen recovery and enable more Nigerians, President Buhari said, last year, he approved the establishment of a world-class infrastructure development vehicle, InfraCo Plc, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion, managed by an independent infrastructure Fund Manager.

The president affirmed that the theme of the conference: “Economic Recovery, Inclusion, and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance’’ was most appropriate, following the global shocks from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The president said a report from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 5.01% in the second quarter of 2021; the strongest rise since the fourth quarter of 2014.

President Buhari implored financial institutions to play a stronger role in making sure the Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were fit for purpose, with support in the full implementation of the “Agreement”.

The president added the Covid-19 pandemic changed everything in the world, from interaction, work, communication to general lifestyle, noting that the epidemic also triggered new opportunities that helped to reshape the economy in the areas of digital transformation, trans-African trade, financial inclusion, security, a workforce of the future, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, processing, supply, and logistics.

In a goodwill message, President Paul Kagame of the Republic of Rwanda said exploring new technology in the banking sector, with more focus on innovation, will enhance financial inclusion.

“The banking sector can lead the way in integration. Banking is about trust”, he stated.

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