By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja – The Federal Government in conjunction with Kogi State Cash Transfer (CCT) Unit, has commenced training of beneficiaries of its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) on good savings culture under the Households Uplifting Programme (HUP).
Mrs Falilat Abdurasaq, the Head of the state CCT Unit, told newsmen at the training centre on Thursday that the three-day event, tagged, ”Savings and Group Mobilisation (SGM)”, was for Cash Transfer Facilitators (CTFs) from 12 out of the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
She said the training which started on Sept. 7 will end on Sept. 11, noting that the CTFs from the remaining nine LGAs had been trained in the past.
She said that the government felt that the CCT beneficiaries should not only receive the N5,000 monthly stipend and spend it on food, but to also save and invest part of the money for the future.
According to her, the SGM training is designed to build the capacity of the CTFs to go back and step-down the training to CCT beneficiaries at the grassroots.
”Most of the beneficiaries are uneducated and do not have the idea of saving.
”So, we are training them on how to develop the culture of savings, to increase their productivity and improving their economic status in the community.
”The beneficiaries will be encouraged to form themselves into different groups such as savings, social and economic groups, among others,” she said.
Abdulrazaq noted that the savings by beneficiaries will be voluntary and not compulsory as being portrayed in some quarters.
”Saving is voluntary and not mandatory, but we encourage beneficiaries to save for the future,” she said.
She stressed that the CTFs were expected to go back to their communities and cascade the training to the beneficiaries using adult learning principle and moral persuasion rather than forcing them to save.
”The number of beneficiaries receiving monthly stipend of N5,000 in Kogi is 34, 456. The number of would be beneficiaries awaiting payment is 39,225.
”Presently, Kogi has 73, 681 households enroled in the National Beneficiaries Register (NBR) for the CCT programme,” she said.
She stressed that the households uplifting programme had had positive impact in the lives of the beneficiaries with improved well-being and standard of living, through their success stories.
She commended the State Government for being very supportive to the CCT programme, saying, ”all the CCT personnel are state’s civil servants; we enjoy our salaries, with adequate working tools.
”We urge the state government to sustain the programme even if the federal government decides to stop it after the stipulated five years,” Abdurazaq said.
Mr Emmanuel Eban, the Master Trainer from National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), Abuja, said the training was to engender and foster a culture of savings among the CCT beneficiaries.
According to Eban, the training will enhance the capacity of the beneficiaries to be better persons and the CTFs to be a better community mobilisers in the nearest future
”It is a strategy for sustainability, to save, invest, and expand their businesses,” Eban said.
Some of the participants, Mr Sani John, a CTF from Ajaokuta, and Mrs Rikiyat Abdul from Olamaboro LGA, said that the training had greatly empowered them to know how to save, and learn how to be patient while saving.
The participants were drawn from 12 LGAs -Lokoja, Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Yagba East, Ankpa, Olamaboro, Kogi, Idah, Ijumu and Ogorimangogo. (NAN)