AN anti-corruption civil society organisation, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) has warned the Federal and State governments to stop politicising the conditional cash transfers meant for vulnerable people in the country.
HEDA in a press statement signed by the chairman of the group, Olanrewaju Suraju asked the governments to stop confusing the three-year old Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) with relief package designed to alleviate people confronted with fresh conditions of poverty brought by the COVID-19 lockdown.
According to Suraju, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, is confusing the Conditional Cash Transfer programme launched in 2016 with the palliative measures aimed at reducing the economic hardship associated with the COVID-19 spread and governments’ lockdown directives.
Suraju said: “The minister is suspected to have deliberately acted in this manner to blur the line of accountability, disguising the conditional cash transfer as payment under the COVID-19 intervention and relief package. The payment presently is only made to about 900,000 households and not over 2 millions as claimed by the ministers.
“The least we owe Nigerians is not to play politics with the misery of millions of people. The fact is that the CCT began in 2016. It should not be confused with any measure of any Government to tackle the hunger and poverty occasioned by the lockdown. They are two different distinct programmes. One cannot substitute for the other,” Suraju noted.
The group slammed state governors who according to them launched the CCT as if it is a palliative initiated by them, adding that such action shows that many of them do not have an indigenous way to respond to the economic hardships caused by coronavirus.
HEDA also charged the governments to include democratic and legislative measures in dealing with COVID-19 fallouts, adding that a due process should be followed in the disbursement of local and international donations the FG and States are receiving in the fight against the coronavirus.