Amidst economic uncertainties, President Bola Tinubu has officially kicked-off his administration’s Renewed Hope Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, meant to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal and other social constraints for vulnerable groups in Nigeria.
Irrespective of dire economic situation, the programme is expected to gulp at least N1.125trn trickling down to 62 million beneficiaries for the next three months, put at N75,000 each.
This came to the fore on Tuesday, at the flag off of the initiative to commemorate the International Day for the eradication of poverty, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Tinubu said the scheme is designed to cater for 15 million Households specifically targeted at uplifting the poor and vulnerable Nigerians.
Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) George Akume at the symbolic ceremony for the initial five beneficiaries, President Tinubu said his government is poised to lead from the front in seeking to ensure that all Nigerians have opportunities decent for dignified work and sustained social protection.
He disclosed that the government is working to develop and deploy several solutions and interventions to help Nigerians of all walks of life.
These, according to him include: Investment of N100 Billion to purchase 3000 units of 20-seater Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered buses for cheaper transportation; Investment of N200 Billion to cultivate 500,000 hectares of farmland to improve food security; The release of 2000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grain reserves to households across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory;
The President also announced a planned distribution of 225,000 metric tons of fertilizer and seedlings to farmers committed to the nation’s food security; release of 75 billion to support 100,000 SMEs and start-ups; Renewed Hope Shelter Programme for the Poor, Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons targeted at one million households; Renewed Hope Business Grants & Loans for Vulnerable Market women, farmers, and traders to expand their business (GEEP) targeted at 2 million beneficiaries; Renewed Hope support to MSME to cover 1 million MSMEs.
Tinubu equally announced Renewed Hope Skill Acquisition Programmes for young Nigerians who express interest for different clusters targeted at 5 million Nigerians over 5 years; Renewed Hope National Home Grown School Feeding Programme providing school meals for 10 million school children; Renewed Hope Alternate School Programme to provide transit learning education for 10 million out of school children who are out of school following
internal displacement or issues of insecurity; Renewed Hope for At-Risk Children Programme; Renewed Hope Community and Social Development Programme for community grassroot projects; and Renewed Hope Job Creation Scheme amongst
other people-centered initiatives.
While calling on citizens to continue to contribute their quota in partnership with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, President noted that it is only via a sustained collaborative approach that the country can win the war against poverty in Nigeria and the world at large.
“Our objective is to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty. Yet, this will only be possible that with the cooperation of the people we seek to help. Let Us continue to work together to achieve our collective goal of eradicating poverty in Nigeria.
“Our plans for food security, ending hunger, poverty eradication, economic growth and job creation are all means by which we shall fight poverty and help the most vulnerable members of our society,” he added.
“Let us continue to work together to achieve our collective goal of eradicating poverty in Nigeria,” he added.
Earlier in her address, the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, Betta Edu, warned that ignoring poverty alleviation in the country would amount to sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
She observed that the N75,000 already announced by the President for disbursement to vulnerable households in the country is enough to run small-scale businesses successfully.
She stated: “Beyond this, the government will be providing low-cost shelter for the poor and internally displaced persons as a form of providing that cover for them. Several other interventions, including the rural vocational skills Intervention, will be carried out at a mass scale. All of these are targeted at the various dimensions of poverty in the country.
“As a nation, we must come together to fight poverty. Poverty is that scourge, poverty is that hydra-headed cobra in the room that, if not tackled, would consume everyone.
“Sitting and ignoring poverty at any level will only seem or equate to sitting on a keg of gunpowder, and that’s why today, the president is taking it headlong.
“We want to encourage Nigerians, we want to encourage the private sector, we want to encourage our development partners that are here, it’s time to step up to the occasion.
“We have a clear-cut roadmap, an action plan for implementation of the eradication of poverty from Nigeria. Everyone must key in and be part of it.
Edu assured that Tinubu will eradicate poverty in the country by the year 2030.