Monday, 9 January 2017

Beneficiaries of N5,000 Stipend Picked two years before Now- Presidency

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THE Presidency on Sunday disclosed that beneficiaries of the N5,000 monthly stipend from the Federal Government were identified before the advent of the present administration through a model developed and used by the World Bank two years ago.
In a statement tilted “beneficiaries of Conditional Cash Transfer were identified before May 29, 2015” issued by Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, in Abuja, it explained that the Community-Based Targeting (CBT) model of the World Bank helped to identify most of the beneficiaries in the nine pilot states.

The states are Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo.
According to the statement, in eight of the nine pilot states, this process had taken place at least two years ago under a programme supported by the World Bank under an agreement entered into directly with the state governments, on the YESSO project.
The ninth state is Borno, which it said was added because of the IDP situation, with the list of the beneficiaries that has been verified by SEMA.
The statement rejected accusations that the process used was partisan, saying “there is no way anyone can describe the selection of the beneficiaries of the CCT as partisan as the beneficiaries from eight of the nine pilot states were picked even before this administration came into office.

It gave the step by step process adopted for the implementation of the programme, stating “First, the officials at federal level, working with the state officials, identify the poorest “Local Government Areas, using an existing poverty map for the state, then the LG officials identify the poorest communities in the LGAs and we send our teams there.
“The first thing our team does after selection of the LGAs is to select members of the NOA, the LGA and community officials to form the CBT team. Then, we train the selected officials on how to conduct Focus Group discussions at community level. These focus groups comprise of women, men, youth, as the community determines.
“After training them, the CBT teams now go to each of their communities to sensitise the leaders, including traditional rulers, on the CBT process and the necessity for objectivity and openness in the process. At that meeting, they firm up a date to convene a community meeting at a designated location within the community.

“On the set date, discussions are held in the local languages, using terminologies that resonate in that community. The CBT team will explain to the community the purpose of the gathering that is to determine the parameters of poverty upon which persons can be described as poor and vulnerable within the context of that community.
“The CBT teams will then engage each group (men, women and youth) in the conversation around the criteria and parameters for determining the poorest people. The groups would then be encouraged to identify those households that fall within the criteria that the community itself determines, and told that the information is required for government’s planning purposes.
“Then the groups resume in plenary and report back the criteria and parameters discussed.

“The CBT team would then compile the criteria and parameters and ask each group to return to their break-out sessions and now begin to identify the households in the community that have been identified as fitting the criteria and parameters.
“Once that is done at the groups, everybody comes together again with names compiled by each group. Now, when the same name is featured in at least two of the three groups, it is deemed qualified to be listed on the Social Register.

“At this stage, we now enumerate the members of the household and open a bank account for each of the caregivers by capturing the biometric data of households identified as among the poorest and vulnerable.”
It added: “This is an entirely fair and transparent process and short of mischief, there is no way you can describe this process as partisan. The President is President of the entire country and the SIPs are for all Nigerians as the case may be.”

The Presidency informed that in addition to the nine pilot states, with the release of funds for the programmes, the CBT model has now commenced in other states.

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