Reporter : CHUKWUBUIKE MADU
The Federal Government has commenced disbursement of its “Cash Grant for Rural Women” in Enugu State.
The programme was lunched on behalf of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Bashir Nura Alkali.
The Cash Grant for Rural Women, introduced in 2020, is part of the empowerment components of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) being handed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Under the programme, beneficiaries, comprising poor and vulnerable rural women, are given a one-off #20,000 as part of strategies for reducing poverty and enhancing social inclusion in Nigeria.
According to the representative of the Minister, Mr. Alkali, Enugu is among the first set of states to benefit from the programme.
He expressed the hope that the fund would get to the right target, whom he urged to use it in line with the objectives of the scheme.
“The grant for rural programme was initiated in 2020 to sustain the inclusion agenda of this administration and consistent with the President’s national vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“This programme is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural and semi-urban areas of the country.
“This money is meant for you to use in any small business venture that you deem fit and that will improve your life.
“We also believe with the complementary efforts of the state government, the target beneficiaries will all be adequately covered within the next few days,” Mr. Alkali stated.
Enugu State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended the President Buhari led government for all its social inclusion and poverty alleviation programmes, noting that the state government had been implementing similar intervention programmes, especially for poor and rural women.
Mrs. Ezeilo, however, urged the Humanitarian Affairs Minister to ensure full incorporation of Enugu State in all its other social investment programmes.
“Use your good offices to see that our state is accorded its possible maximum opportunities on other components of the National Social Investment Programme under your watch, namely: Cash Transfer, N-Power, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), the Home Grown School Feeding et cetera,” the Deputy Governor appealed.
One of the beneficiaries and physically challenged person, miss Victoria Nneji, who spoke on behalf of others, could not hold her joy as she thanked the government, promising judicious used of the grant.
“I am very, very glad and I’m grateful that I am one of the people considered today because I must tell you, #20,000 in this country, in the way this nation is going now, is a great thing to us. I say may God bless Nigeria and bless Enugu State,” she prayed.
There was a goodwill message from the Enugu State Commissioner for Gender Affairs ans Social Development, Princess Peace Nnaji, who called for more attention to agriculture as a panacea to the economic hardship brought about by COVID-19 pandemic.