Kaduna State’s Governor Uba Sani has critically labeled the federal government’s proposed cash transfer policy as a “scam.” He made this bold assertion during his recent appearance on ARISE NEWS Channel’s News Night programme.
Governor Sani emphasized his doubts about the policy, questioning its relevance and execution during this pressing period. He argued that the initiative lacked transparency and clarity, particularly in terms of recipient identification. He further strengthened his argument by citing his experience as the Chairman, Committee on Banking for four years in Nigeria, overseeing the Central Bank and the country’s commercial sectors.
The Governor urged the government to prioritize including the financially marginalized groups, particularly in the North-west, into the financial ecosystem before implementing such a cash transfer program. He highlighted that approximately 70 to 75 percent of the rural population in the North-west lacks access to financial services and don’t even possess a bank account.
Sani called on development partners, particularly the World Bank, to invest more in incorporating more people into the financial services sector, especially the vulnerable groups. He stressed the need to open bank accounts for these groups to ensure that the money doesn’t end up with the wrong beneficiaries.
The cash transfer policy was initially unveiled by FG, proposing a monthly N8,000 transfer to12 million of the country’s poorest households for six months as a measure to alleviate the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.
However, the federal government has since decided to reconsider this plan due to the widespread public disapproval it provoked among Nigerians. This decision was taken in the wake of the removal of the petrol subsidy and the subsequent surge in petrol prices to N617 per litre. The National Executive Council (NEC) has recommended integrity tests on state social registers as the cash transfers would be conducted via these registers, taking into account state peculiarities.
A six-month cash award policy for public servants has also been introduced by the federal government.
IMAGE: The Sun