The Presidency has confirmed that those who benefited from the monthly N5,000 stipend from the Federal Government to vulnerable Nigerians, were selected before President Muhammadu Buhari came into power.
This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, on Sunday.
The sum of N5,000 have been paid to beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer in nine States including: Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo.
Akande said the Community-Based Targeting (CBT) model of the World Bank, was used two years ago to identify most of them.
He said: “there is no way anyone can describe the selection of the beneficiaries of the CCT as partisan as the beneficiaries from eight of the nine pilot States were picked even before this administration came into office.”
“First, the officials at Federal level, working with the State officials, identify the poorest Local Government Areas, using an existing poverty map for the State, then the LG officials identify the poorest communities in the LGAs and we send our teams there.
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“The first thing our team does after selection of the LGAs is to select members of the NOA, the LGA and community officials to form the CBT team. Then we train the selected officials on how to conduct Focus Group discussions at community level. These focus groups comprise of women, men, youth, as the community determines.
“After training them, the CBT teams now go to each of their communities to sensitize the leaders, including traditional rulers, on the CBT process and the necessity for objectivity and openness in the process. At that meeting, they firm up a date to convene a community meeting at a designated location within the community.
“On the set date, discussions are held in the local languages, using terminologies that resonate in that community. The CBT team will explain to the community the purpose of the gathering, i.e. to determine the parameters of poverty upon which persons can be described as poor and vulnerable within the context of that community.
“The CBT teams will then engage each group (men, women and youth) in the conversation around the criteria and parameters for determining the poorest people. The groups would then be encouraged to identify those households that fall within the criteria that the community itself determines, and told that the information is required for government’s planning purposes.”