The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq, says the federal government considers Nigerians who buy N100 call credit as poor and will ensure they get relief cash.
The minister, who earlier confirmed that N-Power beneficiaries were being paid their stipends, spoke in an interview with State House correspondents on Tuesday.
NAN quoted her as disclosing that urban poor dwellers with an account balance of N5,000 or less will be among the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer scheme.
Farouq said the prospective beneficiaries would be part of the additional one million households approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in his national broadcast Monday night.
“You are also aware that Mr President in his broadcast directed that we expand the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer by one million. In this regard, we are going to focus more on the urban poor.
“These are people who depend on the informal sector to earn their livelihood. They are daily wage earners and these are people we are really going to focus more on as well as people living with disabilities,’’ she stated.
Farouq explained that aside the National Social Register, Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and previous record of purchase of recharge cards by mobile phone owners formed part of criteria to identify Nigerians that will get the cash transfer.
“We are also using the mobile network, people that top up their phones with maybe N100, N200. These are the people we consider to be poor and vulnerable,’’ the minister added. Nigerians have been condemning the methods of the federal government’s disbursement of cash and food items.
Likewise, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for “failure to provide palliatives” to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.