The Federal Government has so far paid N37.5m to support the
poor in Benue under its Social Re-investment Programme.
Mrs Mary Igwe, an official with the State Unit of the Cash Transfer
Office, said the money was paid to 938 extremely poor and vulnerable
persons in the state.
Igwe said at a training programme for cash transfer facilitators on
Tuesday in Makurdi, that each beneficiary received N10,000 every two
The training has as its theme, “Enrollment of Cash Transfer
Beneficiaries using New Mobile Application”.
She said that the programme which covered seven local government areas
of the state, began eight months ago.
According to her, the disbursement of the funds commenced after an
agreement between the Federal and Benue Government on the
implementation of the social welfare intervention programme.
She said the beneficiaries had been encouraged to form “financially
active groups where so many have benefited from the contribution
On the training, Igwe said it was to acquaint the facilitators on the
use of relevant technologies to enrol new beneficiaries into the
“The State Cash Transfer Unit has received a list of 4,832 names from
the National Cash Transfer office drawn from the National Social
Insurance registry for the purpose of re-enrollment using the newly
” The application is intended to automate data captured in the field
while minimizing data acquisition related problems.”
She said that the aim was to weed out those who were better off, and
allow only the poorest to benefit from the programme.
The official explained that the register had to be updated to
accommodate new beneficiaries while those not within the target group
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, Cash Transfer Office, Dr
Timitope Sinkaye, commended the Benue state government for implementing the
four components of the Social Insurance Programme.
The four components being implemented in Benue include; School
feeding, N-Power, G-Power and the Cash Transfer programmes.
The programs were part of the social intervention program of President
Muhammadu Buhari to alleviate poverty in the country by targeting the
poorest of the poor.
Sinkaye appealed to the state government to assist the facilitators
with motorcycles to enable them cover rural areas, as the social
insurance program was the most important aspect of the SIP.
“It is in the forefront of the scheme of President Buhari’s efforts in
tackling poverty across the state by uplifting the most vulnerable out
of the poverty bracket within a time frame, ” she added.
The national coordinator said identification of vulnerable poor in
communities across the country was ongoing, adding that “as more
people are discovered, more beneficiaries will be captured”.
She, however, admitted that the process leading to the identification
and payment was cumbersome, but assured that efforts were been
intensified to overcome the hurdles.
Sinkaye explained that the program was not just about cash transfers
but also about building the capacities of beneficiaries to transform
The coordinator, however, lamented that the program was encumbered by
challenges, especially in the area of electronic cash transfer to
“The commonest challenges we have are poor internet connectivity, lack
of banking infrastructure and mobile money agents in rural areas.”
She disclosed that in overcoming some of the challenges, beneficiaries
were now given specific dates and time for the disbursement of their
Sinkaye warned the facilitators against sharp practices as anyone
caught would be sacked.