By Damian Ugwu
Beneficiaries of Household Uplifting Programme (HUP) in Enugu State have expressed joy following the commencement of digital payment of their allowances across the 17 LGAs of the state.
The payment is being effected by the state Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU), an arm of the National Social Investment Programme (N – SIP) operating under the aegies of National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO).
The focal person, N-SIP, Dr Ogbonna Innocent, told newsmen at Ozalla, Igboetiti LGA, that a backlog stipends owed to beneficiaries ‘are being paid to them progressively’.
He commended SCTU and Unified Payment Agency Services (UP) for their commitment in 12 LGAs of Enugu North, Enugu South, Enugu East, Nkanu East, Awgu, Igboetiti, Nsukka, Igboeze North, Igboeze South, Uzouwani, Udi, and Nkanu West.
He cleared the air of misconception on the disparity of stipends, affirming that enrolment is done in batches with the approval of NCTO and a beneficiary is paid according to when she/he was enroled in the programme, assuring all the beneficiaries whose credit cards are available that they would be paid.
The head of unit (HOU), Enugu, SCTU, Ogbuanya Sunday, said the payment activity was in line with the implementation guidelines of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (CCT) sponsored by World Bank-Federal and State Governments across the federation to release and uplift the extreme poor from poverty cage and prevent them from falling down further poverty line.
According to him, this is the third payment activity in the state, and the first digital payment activity which is a humongous task that demands constant sensitization, mobilization, commitment and full weight of concentration.
The introduction of debit card is to ensure financial inclusion of beneficiaries while participating in the cashless policy of the CBN, he said.
The group head of Unified Payment Agency Services (UP), Abisola Emmanuel, said that they were paying over 40,000 beneficiaries in thier payment schedule through the funded credit cards that undergo the process of capturing, activation and disbursement, expressing that huge success has been recorded so far.
A caregiver beneficiary, Mr Igbonekwu Juliana, thanked World Bank, federal and state governments for touching the lives of the extreme poor in the state.