…As Presidency says 620,947 benefiting from Cash Transfer Initiative, not 6.6m***
A total of 30 blind students have benefited from a digital/ICT skill training programme sponsored by SIFAX Group in Lagos.
The Corporate Affairs Manager of SIFAX GROUP, Mr Muyiwa Akande stated this in Lagos on Friday, noting that the training was done in conjunction with the Initiative for National Growth Africa, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that caters for the less privileged in the country.
Akande who said that the training, held at the Nigeria Society for the Blind School, Oshodi, in Lagos, further added that it was designed to equip the blind students with the relevant skills to function well in the digital dispensation.
The Team Lead, Initiative for National Growth Africa, Mr Racheal Inegbedion, said the training was aimed at equipping the students with contemporary skills that would add value to their lives.
“The world is already digitally connected. It takes those who can tap into this to survive.
“The physically-challenged also need to be fully equipped with these skills and this is why we have taken the initiative to equip them with ICT and digital skills,” Inegbedion said.
Mr Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, represented by Olumuyiwa Akande, the Corporate Affairs Manager, noted the company’s resolve in making the society a better place for everybody.
Oyinloye said that helping the physically challenged was the main reason for sponsoring the training.
“At SIFAX Group, we take delight in supporting social causes that positively impact and add value to the society.
“The major beneficiaries of our social intervention programmes are the less privileged, the poor, orphans, widows, physically-challenged children, among others.
“The physically-challenged individuals are constantly shut out of many opportunities in the country due to their condition.
“This is rather unfortunate, because we believe they have something meaningful to contribute to national development, even with their condition.
“Many of them are immensely gifted and these potentials should be properly harnessed by giving them the required support and encouragement.
“The training is designed to prepare them for the real world and to equip them with skills they require to succeed, even in a competitive environment.
“That is the main drive behind SIFAX Group sponsorship of the training,” Oyinloye said.
In the meantime, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs. Maryam Uwais on Saturday highlighted that 620, 947 poor and vulnerable Nigerians are benefiting from the National Cash Transfer initiative and not 6.6 million people. The programme is a key component of the National Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government.
Uwais, in a statement in Abuja made the observation, explaining that the reports claiming that 6.6 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians were benefiting from the scheme were “not correct”.
Media reports had quoted the Presidential aide as saying that 6.6 million people were being paid the N5,000 monthly stipend.
“Although 1,491,296 households, comprising 6,056, 872 individuals have been captured on the National Social Register, only 620,947 of them are currently receiving the monthly payments and are being supported by trained community facilitators.
“I also want to clarify reports making the rounds that the Federal Government made a budgetary provision of N30 billion for 2020, as against the usual 500 billion benchmark for the N-SIP since 2016.
“Nothing has changed in the budgeting cycle as relates to the Social Investment Programmes (SIP).
“The SIP budget has always been pegged at N400 billion, while another N100 billion has been domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance, as counterpart of the Social Housing Fund,” she explained.
Uwais expressed hope that shortfalls in budgetary releases in the last three years would be a thing of the past.
“In 2016, we got 16 per cent of our budget; we got 36 per cent in 2017, and 53 per cent in 2018.
“But, in spite of the shortfalls in budgetary releases, the National Social Investment Programme has been very successful.
“It has impacted on 13 million people across the country, with 44 million as secondary beneficiaries comprising families, agents, farmers and others in the value chain,” she said.