The Anambra State Cash Transfer Unit says 16,636 poor and vulnerable households are currently benefiting from the monthly N5,000 cash transfer programme in the state.
The Head of the Unit, Mr Raph Enukora, made the disclosure in Awka at the closing of a two-day workshop for civil society organisations and the media.
The workshop which ended on Friday was on “Enhancing Social Protection Programmes in Nigeria”.
It was organised by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a non-governmental organisation, in partnership with International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre.
It was supported by Bread for the World in Germany.
Enukora said that the number of households increased from 3,122 in 2017 when the programme started to 8,332 and currently, 16,636.
He said that the programme, which was aimed at reducing poverty, was renamed Household Uplifting Programme.
“The Federal Government and the World Bank commenced the disbursement of the recovered $322 million Abacha loot through Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) in 2018 to poor households in 19 states.
“Anambra was one of the first states in the South East to key into the programme.
“Based on poverty mapping index of the World Bank, the households were selected from six Local Government Areas (LGAs); later it increased to 11 LGAs,” he said.
The official listed the LGAs to include Awka North and South, Ogbaru, Ayamelum, Dunukofia, Ihiala, Anambra West and East, Orumba South and Onitsha North.
“The budgeting of the money is designed and determined at the federal level and payments have been digitalised, ” he said.
ANEEJ’s Deputy Executive Director, Mr Leo Atakpu, said that there was a need for the state to complement the efforts of the Federal Government by establishing state-centric social protection programmes.
“From reports we have received on poverty spread in the country, Anambra is one of the states that have high numbers of people living in extreme poverty, in spite of the cash transfer programme.
“There is a lot of work to be done
because we found out also that there are no clear policies to drive social protection in Anambra.
“Having a social protection programme will provide security welfare for vulnerable groups, protect them against hardship as well as enhance their social status, ” he said.