By John Akubo, Lokoja
The National Coordinator of Credit Cash Transfer for the N5000 stipend disbursement to the poorest of the poor, Mrs. Temitope Sinkaiye, has attributed the delay in the effective commencement of the programme to banking procedures.
Sinkaiye, who was in Kogi State yesterday to monitor the progress of the things, indicated that the process had actually started since October, adding that the Federal Government had since provided the funds.
According to her, if the banks had been prompt in opening accounts for the beneficiaries, they would have since got October dues since last year.
Her words: “The reason it is taking so long to pay is because we do not want to adopt the crude method where people carry physical cash which is subject to abuse.“This government has zero tolerance for corruption so the banks are taking the biometrics of the beneficiaries after which the money is paid into the their accounts.
“Remember the banks when they are at the communities, they are outside their comfort zone. So, it is taking them so long.”
Sinkaiye further explained that with over 15000 people spread across 12 local councils, it was Herculean for the banks to hasten the enrollment.
On the people’s negative perception for the programme, the coordinator said the doubters could only be the elite whom the project never targeted.
She enthused that in no distant time, the impact of the programme will be visible, adding that the World Bank’s involvement was still at the background until the loan was effective.
The coordinator noted that once the loan matures, the global lender facilitates all the technical support geared at building the capacity of the implementers and beneficiaries.
“Remember we have said that it is not just the N5000 plus, plus. What is the plus, plus? The first plus is that the beneficiaries’ capacity would be built on entrepreneurship skills, financial inclusion and other behavioural change activities. Then they would be supported to establish sustainable livelihoods which are the other plus.” (The Guardian)