In an attempt to clear the current controversy surrounding the N5,000 monthly stipend, the presidency has revealed that beneficiaries of the stipend were selected before Buhari's administration assumed power in 2015.
The Senior Special Assistant to Vice President (Yemi Osinbanjo) on Media and Publicity, ‘Laolu Akande’ revealed this in a press statement released yesterday.
According to Akande, officials at the federal level and state level worked together to identify the poorest Local Government Areas (LGAs) using existing poverty maps of the state.
"There is no way anyone can describe the selection of the beneficiaries of the CCT as partisan, as the beneficiaries from eight of the nine pilot states were picked even before this administration came into office. First, the officials at the federal level, working with the State officials, identify the poorest Local Government Areas, using an existing poverty map for such State".
"Then the local government officials identify the poorest communities in the LGAs and we send our teams there".
"The Community-Based Targeting (CBT) model of the World Bank was used two years ago to identify most of the beneficiaries in the pilot States, as the World Bank is also an active agent in the entire process".
“The first thing our team does after selection of the LGAs is to select members of the NOA, the LGA and community officials to form the CBT team".
"Then we train the selected officials on how to conduct Focus Group discussions at community level. These focus groups comprise of women, men, youth, as the community determines".
"After training them, the CBT teams now go to each of their communities to sensitize the leaders, including traditional rulers, to the CBT process and the necessity for objectivity and openness in the process".
"At that meeting, they chose a date to convene a community meeting at a designated location within the community".
"This is an entirely fair and transparent process and short of mischief. There is no way you can describe this process as partisan. The President is President of the entire country and the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) are for all Nigerians as the case may be".
"The states have been updated on the requirements for the engagement by the federal team and once the lists from states are enumerated, their details are uploaded onto a server at the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, (NIBSS)".
Last week, Ekiti state governor, ‘Ayodele Fayose’ decried the claims made by the Presidency who revealed that payment of N5,000 monthly stipend to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians had commenced in nine states across the country. [Read here if you missed it]
The presidency also urged Nigerians not to believe Governor Fayose adding that Buhari's administration is built on integrity. [Read here if you missed it]