Niger Government has begun the disbursement of N266.
Hajiya Hadiza Shiru, the Head of Unit, Niger State Cash Transfer, said this at the inauguration of the programme on Thursday in Minna.
She said that the NG-CARES programme was designed to restore the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable as well as to maintain food security.
She said the programme was meant to facilitate the recovery of small and medium enterprises which were the key objectives set out in the Federal government’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to respond to the current economic crisis in the country.
“The social transfer programme is to enhance consumption for the poor and vulnerable groups, aged and persons with disabilities, chronically ill and urban poor households.
“The livelihoods grant component is to provide short livelihoods and soft skills training with one-off payments to economically active and self-employed women and youths,” she said.
Shiru said N20,000 would be paid bimonthly to beneficiaries of the social transfer using mobile agents, card-based payments or e-payment such as e-wallets while beneficiaries of livelihoods grant would be paid N150,000 at once.
Also, Gov. Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger said the focus of the government was to empower women and the youth as well as develop their skills in various areas to bring them out of poverty.
Bello, represented by Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government, said government was committed to ensuring that the programmes succeeded to reduce youth unemployment in the state.
He urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to provide support to beneficiaries by guiding them.
In his remarks, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, Chairman of the Steering Committee of NG-CARES and Commissioner for Planning, said the social transfer and livelihoods grant were meant to lift women and youths out of poverty.
He commended the governor for approving N1.
3 billion for the empowerment programmes and urged the beneficiaries to use the money judiciously to improve the lives of members of their households.