Hardship: FG targets 12m households in cash transfer programme

Hardship: FG targets 12m households in cash transfer programme

The Federal Government said it is targeting over 12m vulnerable households in its cash transfer programme.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun who disclosed this on Wednesday in Uyo during the 2024 Ministerial Retreat with the theme: “Achieving the 8 Presidential Priorities: The Role of the Ministry”, said the government would increase the benefiting households from 3m to 12m.

He said, “Since May 29, the country has been set on a course of microeconomic stability. The unsustainable, wasteful expenditures that benefitted just a few people at the cost of the majority have been done away.

“So now the finances of the nation has been restored. The President has taken away from the few to give to the many. He has stopped expenditure on the few in favour of expenditure on the many. We are all familiar with how the trajectory has been.

“It is in those corrective action left undone, delayed and therefore the tansformation to the right course don’t come without a cost.

“Mr President’s commitment is that cost should be borne by the most people and the poorest of the poor, the weak would be protected, that is why even at this time of highly elevated food prices, he has stepped in to intervene.

“He has opened the grain stores, he has released 42,000 metric tonnes of grains and made them available with another 60,000, and this is to intervene to put food, to put grains into the markets in an attempt to drive down the cost of things and make food available. That is the key priority in terms of the fiscal size, in terms of the governing size.

“We know the Central Bank with whom we are working hand in hand, is doing all it can to stabilise the rates, and even bring down the foreign exchange rate as part of stabilising the microeconomic picture generally.

“It is a tactic change because there is a need to restore the value of the naira, a need to restore the confidence in holding the naira as a stock of value and all the instruments available are being brought to the fore and used. And surely, it is a battle the Central Bank would win, it a battle the government would win.

“The is about 3 million beneficiaries now but given the way the rate has gone, probably another 12 million households can benefit from that payment. Evidence has shown that when you pay someone directly, it reduces poverty. There is a commitment to immediately to start that process.

“We have the commitment to help bring down inflation and the monetary side, ways and means have been identified. We agree that the historical legacy that was inherited has to be dealt with and those are the revenue initiatives that we are focused on to remove that inflator burden on the economy,” he stated.

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, who was represented by the deputy governor, Senator Akon Ayakenyi, said the theme of the retreat shows the readiness of the Ministry to play its role in the actualizing the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Eno said besides the President, Nigerians look up to the participants of the retreat to fix the economy and called for the formulation of policies that will lead Nigerians back to agriculture, Information and Communication Technology and the utilization of its abundant solid minerals resources for the diversification of the economy.

“Beyond the President, Nigerians look up to you to fix the economy, tame the spiralling inflation, restore the strength of the naira and stabilize the exchange rate, pull more citizens out of multidimensional poverty, recreate a vibrant middle class, make the nation less import dependent, among others. Your responsibility is enormous and critical.

“Akwa Ibom State will continue to play its role in national development because for the nation to be great, all citizens, units, segments, sections, sectors, institutions and governments must be alive to their responsibilities and consciously perform optimally. Nation building is a collective responsibility”.

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