This was during the World Bank support mission on the implementation of the National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP) and engagement with stakeholders in Lagos State.
Iorwa said the CCT scheme has been designed to benefit poor and vulnerable households with a monthly stipend of N5,000.
He said the program was due to end on June 30, but was to be extended to accommodate more needy households.
“Much of this is primarily attributed to the success of the program. We aimed to identify four million households, today we have identified 11 million households, made up of approximately 46 million individuals, which is by far the most comprehensive database of individuals in our country.
“Secondly, the program has been adopted by state governments, particularly Lagos State, which not only adopted the program but established it as a department.
“Now this has created a certain level of confidence and belief in the ability of the program. The Federal Government approached the World Bank due to the economic shocks caused by the rising cost of living and high inflation rates for extend this cash transfer.
“It has grown from two million to 10.2 million, or 8.2 million additional families, for Lagos State we are expanding it from just 10,000 to 295,000 poor and vulnerable households,” says the national coordinator.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Ms. Yetunde Arobiekesaid that although the cash transfer program has been running ever since, it was only during the government. Babajide Sanwo-Oluof the administration, that the State was able to access it.
Arobieke said it would therefore be unfair if not all local governments were covered, hence the need to continue the program.
“I am delighted to reveal that these fortnightly stipends for 10,985 beneficiaries in Lagos State have made a huge impact on them.
“It smoothed household consumption, improved school enrollment and attendance, encouraged financial and asset acquisition, as well as group formation and savings,” she says.
The commissioner urged recipients not to use the allowances for frivolous things, but to use them to improve the lot of their families.
M Olujumi Igethe permanent secretary of the ministry of wealth creation and employment, said that the beneficiaries were sensitized on the ways to use the money and some of them had even created a savings account among themselves.
“I’m sure now they have about 5 million naira in savings, which they can fall back on themselves, just like forming cooperatives for themselves.
“The economic benefit to the state is also huge as we see that there will be a multiplier effect of this money in the economy of Lagos State.”
One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Oladipupo Kayoded’Epe, said the program had been very useful, as it had helped to give hope to the needy.
“So far it’s been a good program because many have already lost hope, especially during the lockdown, but over time the program has emerged.”