LOCAL NEWS 1.6M HOUSEHOLDS, 8M INDIVIDUALS BENEFITTING FROM CONDITIONAL CASH TRANSFERS -PRESIDENT BUHARI By Admin Posted on 1 week ago 6 min read 0 0 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin By Fawziyyat Yusuf. President Muhammadu Buhari stated in Abuja on Tuesday that efforts to eradicate poverty in the country are progressing, with 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households, totaling more than 8 million people, benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer program, while farmers have received N300 billion. The President, speaking virtually at the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria’s 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference, said the National Social Register of poor and vulnerable Nigerians had identified 32.6 million people from 7 million poor and vulnerable households, urging bankers to play a bigger role in improving livelihoods. “From this number, 1.6 million poor and vulnerable households, comprising more than 8 million individuals are currently benefiting from the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which pays a bi-monthly stipend of N10, 000 per household,’’ he said. The National Social Investment Programme, according to President Buhari, is the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa and one of the largest in the world. He claims that “Some of the various initiatives embarked upon to boost agric trade in Nigeria include the Anchor Borrowers Programme through which the Central Bank of Nigeria had made more than 300 billion Naira available to over 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soybeans, Groundnut, Fish, cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland. “It is on record that 80% of rice consumed in Nigeria is now produced locally.’’ President Buhari said last year that he approved the establishment of InfraCo Plc, a world-class infrastructure development vehicle, wholly focused on Nigeria, with combined debt and equity take-off capital of N15 trillion, managed by an independent infrastructure Fund Manager, to further strengthen recovery and enable more Nigerians. “The Solar Power Naija project was launched in April 2021 with the aim of delivering 5 million off-grid solar connections to Nigerian households. In May 2021, the Rural Electrification Agency announced the planned deployment of solar-powered grids to 200 Primary Health Centres and 104 Unity Schools nationwide. “Under the Family Homes Fund Limited, Social Housing programme incorporated by the Federal Government of Nigeria, more than two thousand hectares of land with title documents have been issued by 24 states with the capacity to accommodate about 65,000 new homes. The Central Bank of Nigeria is providing a N200 Billion financing facility, with a guarantee by the Federal Government,’’ he said. Following the global shocks from Covid-19, the President stated that the conference theme, “Economic Recovery, Inclusion, and Transformation: The Role of Banking and Finance,” was most suitable. “I salute the Institute and the entire banking and finance industry for the commitment towards charting a practical path for economic recovery and transformation of our country, Nigeria, and by extension Africa as epitomized by the theme of your conference. “I commend the financial services industry for its interventions and contributions towards the promotion of financial inclusion and literacy in our country. And more importantly, the roles played by the banks in fostering economic growth of the country. “I am confident that the speakers that have been carefully selected to contribute to conference will share insights that will help individuals, businesses and governments at all levels make necessary adjustments and take the right steps towards our collective resolve to position Nigeria as one of the top economies in the world,’’ he added. According to a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product increased by 5.01 percent in the second quarter of 2021, the fastest rate of growth since the fourth quarter of 2014.