From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja

No fewer than 33,348 households in Kogi State  are now benefiting  from the Federal government cash transfer scheme.

Mrs Falilat Abdulrazaq, the Head of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Unit in Kogi, who gave the hint said the scheme is geared towards boosting the indigent households under the Federal Government’s CCT  Programme.

Abdulrazaq disclosed this at a three-day ‘’Savings and Group Mobilisation (SGM) Step-down training’’, organised for 76 newly selected Cash Transfer Facilitators (CTFs) from seven out of the 21 LGAs of Kogi State.

She said that additional data of 21, 892 new CT beneficiaries had been added to the existing 11, 456 to make a total of 33, 348 beneficiaries across the 21 LGAs of Kogi.

‘’As you are all aware that the CCT program is already covering all the 21 LGAs of Kogi, in which 11, 456 beneficiaries received N10, 000 from federal government every two-months.

‘’But due to the additional data, a total of 33, 348 CT beneficiaries across the 21 LGAs of Kogi, will now be paid N10, 000 this month for both September and October bimonthly payment. The essence of bimonthly payment is to make the money to be substantial for the beneficiaries.

‘’This implies that we would need more hands at the LGA level, so this training that is being conducted today is for the newly selected CTFs from seven LGAs that will be added to the existing CTFs’’, she said.

According to her, the seven LGAs are: Okene, Adavi, Kabba/Bunu, Lokoja, Dekina, Ofu and Ibaji LGAs.

She noted that the Community Based Targeting System being used to harvest the beneficiaries from communities and LGAs, were carried out in phases by the State Office Coordinating Unit, saying ‘’this are the first set of LGAs coming on board in the second round’’.

She said the training, tagged: ‘’SGM’’ training, was designed to improve CT beneficiaries’ knowledge and skills in saving and group mobilisation, as well as group formation and management.

Abdulrazaq  stressed that the objectives was for the beneficiaries to understand the importance and processes of savings; adopt positive attitude for saving culture; and mobilise their economic assets to improve their economic status.

‘’The CTFs are being trained to go back to their communities and cascade the acquired knowledge and skills to the beneficiaries at their various wards,’’ she said.

She commended the support the unit had been receiving from the State and Local governments, while appealing for more support especially from the local governments.

The cash transfer coordinator enjoined the CTFs to go back to their various communities and play their roles, while warning them against extorting money from the beneficiaries.

She, however, advised the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the money, saying it was not meant for frivolities but for them and their households so as to improve their consumption.

One of the Master Trainers, Mr Peter Popoola, said the aim of the training was to help the beneficiaries to develop their enterprises and expand their existing businesses for the benefit of themselves and their households so as to sustain their existing livelihood.

‘’We are impressed by the responses we are getting from the trainees for the three-day training,’’ he said.

Some of the CTFs, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, Mr Ojo Sunday and Mrs Salamat Yahaya, from Dekina, Kabba/Bunu and Okene LGAs respectively,  said that they had acquired knowledge and skills in the course of the training to be able to cascade same to the beneficiaries at the grassroots.

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