Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday explained how the beneficiaries of the direct cash transfer from the $322m recovered from the loot stashed in Switzerland by the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, would be paid.
Osinbajo was represented by Special Adviser to the President on Social Protection, Mrs Maryam Uwais, at the launching of the Monitoring of Recovered Assets through Transparency and Accountability project.
The launching was part of the ‘Roundtable of the African Union Champion on Anti-Corruption’ to commemorate 1st African Day of Anti-Corruption.
The event co-organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption and the African Union, was with the theme, ‘Enhancing Domestic Resources for Sustainable Development Goals by Improved Asset Recovery and Asset Return’.
Uwais, on behalf of Osinbajo, assured that the cash transfer programme would be monitored to ensure transparency of the process.
She said monitors would visit the individual households that have been identified through “deliberate targeting”.
She explained how the beneficiaries would be determined from a register being developed.
She said, “By the end of this year, we should have a register of the entire country. This register is where all our beneficiaries will be mined from. There is a number for each of the beneficiaries, and we’ll have pictures captured.
“When we started, three banks offered to support us with the biometrics. By the time they started going to the locations they realised it was costly for them. So they backed out. Now, we’re working through agents to ensure we pay at the last mile, because if a person is on this register, and is actually deserving of this our N5,000, many of them cannot travel for long distances.
“Many of them need the money so we don’t want them spending money going to look for their money. So we’re using the agents. We’re working to see that their biometrics are captured.
“It’s more than just financial inclusion. It’s also social inclusion. It’s important for planning that every state is aware of where these people are located. We’re also collating data on access roads to these communities, nearest primary schools, secondary schools, healthcare centres, connectivity issues.
“There is a huge conversation on how to ensure that we’re able to make payment by virtual wallet, because a lot of our women on pay days are visible when they go to collect their money and we need to protect them.”