The National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) of the Federal Government, on Monday began payment of N20,000 to more than 25,000 beneficiaries of the Cash Transfer Programme in Kwara.
The disbursement commenced at the Adewole Ward in the Ilorin West Local Government area of the state after an official flag off by Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
Speaking with newsmen after payments at the Adewole and Ubandawaki Wards, Hajia Aminah Yahaya, the Head of the Kwara Unit, NCTO, said the payment for four months was part of the Federal Government’s relief package for COVID-19.
The payments, which were made in other wards in the council also extended to the eleven wards of Ilorin South Local Government Area.
According to Yahaya, the beneficiaries are paid in advance in compliance with the Presidential directive to help them comply with the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. “The reason for paying more than the usual N5,000 is because of the Presidential directive that we should pay for four months to all the cash transfer beneficiaries.
“This is to help them comply with the stay-at-home order for the COVID-19, so that they will be able to sustain their families, especially during this period.
“So we are paying for January, February, March and April together; we are paying 25,124 beneficiaries this time around in the 16 local government areas of Kwara,” she said.
Yahaya asserted that N550,405,000 would be disbursed to the beneficiaries in the state.
The Kwara Unit Head advised the beneficiaries to take care of themselves with the money during the lockdown period.
“The message to the beneficiaries during this period is to be able to manage within the resources available to them.
“They shouldn’t go on shopping spree because they have gotten this money now.
“They should use it wisely because we don’t know how long we are going to remain locked down during this period of the pandemic,” she said.
Responding to the government’s gesture, one of the beneficiaries, Mrs Zanaib Ishola, who acknowledged the receipt of N20,000, said the programme had been on for more than three years.
She commended the Federal Government for the four months payment, noting that it would surely ameliorate the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on their means of livelihood.