By LUCY OSUIZIGBO-OKECHUKWU
AWKA- Anambra State Cash Transfer Unit reports that 16,636 poor and vulnerable households are currently benefiting from the N5,000 monthly cash transfer program in the state.
The head of the unit, Mr. Raph Enukora, made the revelation to Awka at the close of a two-day workshop for civil society organizations and the media.
The workshop which ended on Friday was themed “Improving Social Protection Programs in Nigeria”.
It was organized by the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a non-governmental organization, in partnership with the International Center for Peace and Civic Responsibility.
It was supported by Bread for the World in Germany.
Enukora said the number of households has increased from 3,122 in 2017 when the program started to 8,332 and currently stands at 16,636.
He said the program, which aimed to reduce poverty, has been renamed the Household Improvement Program.
“The Federal Government and the World Bank began disbursing the $322 million recovered from Abacha’s loot through conditional cash transfers (CCTs) in 2018 to poor households in 19 states.
“Anambra was one of the first states in the Southeast to participate in the program.
“Based on the World Bank’s Poverty Mapping Index, households were selected from six Local Government Areas (LGAs); later it grew to 11 LGAs,” he said.
The official listed the LGAs to include Awka North and South, Ogbaru, Ayamelum, Dunukofia, Ihiala, Anambra West and East, Orumba South and Onitsha North.
“Money budgeting is designed and determined at the federal level and payments have been digitized,” he said.
The Deputy Executive Director of ANEEJ, Mr. Leo Atakpu, said there is a need for the state to complement the efforts of the federal government by establishing state-centric social protection programs.
“From the reports we have received on the spread of poverty in the country, Anambra is one of the states that has a high number of people living in extreme poverty, despite the cash transfer program.
“There is a lot of work to be done
because we also discovered that there are no clear policies to boost social protection in Anambra.
“Having a social protection program will keep vulnerable groups safe, protect them from hardship and improve their social status,” he said. (NOPE)