By Babajide Okeowo
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Faruk has charged rural women in the country to use the N20, 000 cash grants from the Federal Government to start a business, improve their food security and uplift their economic status.
The minister made this call at the launch of the grant, on Wednesday, in Katsina, where 6,800 rural women would benefit.
“We are targeting over 160,000 poor and vulnerable rural women in Nigeria for the N20, 000 grant, to uplift their economic status. Our rural women with a disability will also be included.
It is my hope that the beneficiaries will use this opportunity to increase their income, enhance their food security and contribute toward improving their families.
The N20, 000 will go a long way in supporting any serious woman to start a business. What is most important is how judiciously you utilise the money” she said.
The minister said that over N9.5 billion was received by Katsina State, under the Conditional Cash Transfer programme, from the inception of this administration to date.
According to her, the grants had impacted on the lives of over 142,474 vulnerable households in the state, as 12 local governments were currently benefitting from the programme.
The minister listed the benefitting local governments to include, Bakori, Batagarawa, Baure, Bindawa, Dandume, Ingawa, Kaita, Kankara, Mani, Musawa, Rimi and Danmusa. The minister also said that the Federal Government, in partnership with World Bank, had designed a Safety Net programme for Nigeria, which included cash transfer, as well as a COVID-19 rapid response register.
“The President has approved 1 million beneficiaries in the country to be given another N5,000 for the next six months to cushion the effects of COVID-19. This time around, we are going to target the urban poor and the artisans who lost their small businesses as a result of the pandemic,” she said.
In his remarks, the state Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, who represented Gov. Aminu Masari, at the occasion, commended the Federal Government for the grant. Yakubu pointed out that the government had done so much through its social intervention programme, to uplift the living condition of people in the country, since its inception, and urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the grant, to enhance their livelihoods.