By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja – The Federal Government in collaboration with the UN Children Education Fund (UNICEF) has implemented the Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) in Niger and Sokoto states with 23,665 girls as beneficiaries.
Mr Terry Durnnian, the Chief of Education, UNICEF said the disbursement in Niger and Sokoto made this known at a CTP briefing on Dissemination of Impact Evaluation Report in Abuja on Thursday.
Durnnian said the CTP, which spanned two years was targeted at increasing schools’ enrolment.
He said that out of the 23,665 girls from the first UNICEF sponsored CTP, 12,314 and 11,341 girls from Niger and Sokoto states respectively had benefitted.
He said the programme had also increased enrolment of girl child in Niger and Sokoto states with 29.4 per cent and 32.4 per cent respectively.
Durnnian said that the programme was also aimed at increasing school attendance rates for children and enhance the socioeconomic well-being of beneficiary households in the states.
Following the increasing number of out-of-school children globally, the UNICEF chief said the organisation was currently implementing the CTP in Kebbi and Zamfara States as part of its initiative to reduce out-of-school children targeted at 41,391 children.
He added that the organisation had targeted 31,044 children in Kebbi and 10,347 children in Zamfara State.
He said that the each child would get N48, 000 (152 dollars) for the period of two years.
Speaking on first disbursement, Durnnian said 8,353 children in Kebbi would receive the Phase 1 of the disbursement, while 2,629 children in Zamfara would get their share of the cash transfer.
He said that 1,995 children would receive the Phase 2 of the disbursement in Kebbi with 820 children in Zamfara.
“ The vast majority of out-of-school children are located in northern Nigeria. Children living in the rural areas have less chance of attending schools than those in the urban areas.
“As we speak, the CTP has been given out at the state levels as more than 23, 000 girls have benefited from the programme.
“To increase school enrolment and attendance rates, UNICEF is implementing the Cash Transfer Programme in Kebbi and Zamfara funded by Education Above All Foundation.”
Durnnian said the menace of out-of-school children was worrisome as 264 million students were out of school globally with more than 10 million out of school children in Nigeria.
Dr John Adeoti, the CAPRA International, UNICEF partner, at a presentation of key findings from CTP Impact Evaluation in Sokoto and Niger states, said the programme had increased enrolment in the states.
CAPRA is a consultancy firm provides consultancy services in programme evaluation on social responsibilities.
Adeoti said the state governors of the two states had made move to support UNICEF in returning students back to school.
He said that the initiatives would also focus not only on enrolment but the quality of education in the states as well reach out to more girls.
Mr Mamuda Galadimawa, Sokoto States Coordinator of the programme said the state had already made plan to sustain the programme with the support from the governor.