By Jerry Emmanson
The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the commencement of the payment of N5000 by the Federal Government to Nigerians living below poverty line.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, CESJET Executive Director, Joyce Adamu said the implementation of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme is a further testament that President Muhammadu Buhari is a leader who keeps his promises having similarly began the N-Power project that is paying N30,000 monthly to enrolled graduates as well as the home-grown school feeding programme.
According to her, the various empowerment programmes introduced by the President Buhari led administration is the best way to end radicalization of youths by extremists groups.
Adamu also appealed to the President to issue a directive that the anti-fraud component of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme and the other initiatives are scaled up to check abuses.
According to her, it is unprecedented that 10,173 households are benefitting from this intervention that would make a difference in their quest to improve their standard of living.
She said, "The programme is a confirmation that the administration is committed to safeguarding the interest of the vulnerable in the society.
"As we salute this feat by Mr President, we see meaningful interventions like these by the federal government as going a long way to de-radicalize youths who fall pray to the wicked hands of terrorists and extremists who usually come from other parts of the world to indoctrinate them into ways that are alien to our culture and tradition as a people."
Speaking further, Adamu said, "Our view is that these programmes are too vital to the populace to be allowed to collapse owing to the capacity of corruption to derail them.
"We count it fortunate that the National Identity Number, BVN and other identity data bases are assets that can and must be deployed to ensure that the bloodsucking demons that had stolen even from pension funds using multiple or ghost accounts are not allow to repeat their trickery with these laudable programmes."
She urged Nigerians to engage in self policing and to be whistle blowers to expose officials or individuals that attempt to steal from the poor under any guise as any money stolen from the programme would amount to snatching food from the mouth of hungry children and condemning them to starvation.
"Law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies must treat any fraud uncovered around the conditional cash transfer programme as heinous crimes that must be prosecuted to conclusion," she said.