ANAMBRA Flags Off The MDGS-CCT Scheme

By Mazi Odera

Anambra State Government, East of Nigeria has flagged off the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme. The scheme which kicked off in five Local Government Areas of the State namely, Anaocha, Ogbaru, Ihiala, Anambra West and Orumba South is designed to assist extremely poor households in the State to earn a decent living and eradicate extreme hunger and deprivation.

Under the scheme each benefitting household is to earn the sum of N5000 (five thousand naira) for a period of twelve months after which it will be given a bulk sum of one hundred naira to start a productive venture that will sustain livelihood. Being a conditional grant, benefitting households are to ensure that their children of school age attend schools regularly, pregnant women attend regular ante-natal clinics and children under five years are immunized and taken to welfare clinics regularly.

Speaking while flagging off the scheme and distributing telephone handsets to beneficiaries, the State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi reiterated the commitment of his administration to achieve the MDGs. He announced that beneficiaries of the scheme will start receiving the grants in two weeks as money for the programme has been earmarked and deposited in the Bank. He warned the beneficiaries not to go through agents but to visit the designated bank physically to collect their money on receipt of payment alerts in their telephone handsets at the end of every month

The Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on MDGs, Dr Precious Gbeneol who was represented by Alhaji Abdulahi Zubairu extolled the leadership qualities of the State Governor Mr. Peter Obi whom he said has shown serious commitment to the achievement of the MDGs by regular payment of the States Counterpart Cash Contribution to the programme. He rated Anambra State as number one in this regard and said the MDGs Office was happy to work with the Governor.

Earlier, Chairman of MDGs Implementation Committee in Anambra State and Hon. Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Professor Chinyere Stella Okunna had explained the criteria for selection of beneficiaries of the scheme which include: that household must be extremely poor, must have children of school age and a trainable adult who will be trained in a life-sustaining venture among others. She stated that about 2,350 households in Anambra State are currently benefiting from the programme adding that more households would be selected in future.