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Ecobank disburses MDG funds to beneficiaries in Ekiti State using MobileMoney

By The Citizen

Ecobank Nigeria Limited and the Ekiti State government have commenced the disbursement of funds to over  2,250 residents earmarked in the State as the first set of beneficiaries of the Federal Government Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) project of Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAP) on MDGs.

The intervention fund has so far been successfully disbursed to all the beneficiaries through cash transfers on the Ecobank Mobile Money platform. Each of the beneficiaries received N5000 which will henceforth be paid monthly as grant for the upkeep of their families while a lump sum of N100,000.00 will be paid out to them for start-up of small agriculture business after 12 months. This is made possible as the OSSAP on MDGs earlier distributed cell phones and SIM cards  to the beneficiaries while the Bank registered them for MobileMoney for the purpose of smooth transfer of the monthly subvention.

Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who inaugurated the cash transfer scheme in Ado Ekiti, described it as a kind of social security fund which makes a lot of economic sense, as it serves as a platform through which government reaches out to empower citizens within the low income bracket, especially women.

In his words, 'the N5,000 monthly grant and the final N100,000 make a lot of economic sense in that women are prudent managers of resources. I can assure you that by the time all the women receive the N100,000 for small business start-up, they will generate a lot of economic activities within the state. So to us as government, this is not only an intervention fund, this is an investment' he said.

Also speaking, Deputy Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, said Ecobank identifies with the target beneficiaries in this project hence the choice of  Ecobank Mobile Money which is a mass market product and can be easily accessed by all. According to Mr. Okpanachi this is part of the bank’s contribution in its  strategic partnership with Government on realizing the MDG goals. He said Ecobank Mobile Money wallets have been created for the beneficiaries and money is disbursed monthly on instructions from the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs.

He added that the bank was also using Ecobank MobileMoney to assist the Ekiti State Ministry of Agriculture in support of the state Youth Commercial Agriculture Development (YCAD) for farmers in the state.

According to Okpanachi, the bank is poised to consolidate its existing partnership with the Federal Government in all parts of the country, with a view of ensuring that all beneficiaries of the MDG scheme have equal opportunity to financial services such as micro-savings, micro-loans, among other valued-adding services from Ecobank.