Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa on Monday said the launching of the Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in the state will complement his administration’s efforts at fighting poverty.

Okowa disclosed this on Monday during the flag off ceremony for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Scheme of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) at Aniocha North Local Government Council Secretariat, Issele-Uku.

He stated that Deltans were delighted that the Household Uplifting Programme ( HUP) as it is also known was formally taking off to focus on the poor and vulnerable households in the state.

Represented by the State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr Barry Pere-Gbe, the governor lauded the Federal Government for the gesture, saying it will help to address extreme poverty, social exclusion and vulnerability.

According to the governor, the Conditional Cash Transfer programme aims to address extreme poverty, social exclusion and vulnerability through the transfer of monetary benefits of five thousand naira (N5,000) monthly to the poor and vulnerable households to enable them meet some of their basic needs.

“The formal launching of this laudable programme is indeed a great pleasure for me and a source of joy for us in Delta.

“Studies and experience from other nations have shown that the targeted cash transfers to the poor represents a formidable and effective tool not only in combating poverty but also in addressing inequality and promoting socio-economic development.

“At a time when our dear country an indeed the world at large is grappling with the crippling socio-economic effects of COVID-19, there can hardly be a better time to launch the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme in our state.

“I am sure the scheme will complement the measures my government has put in place to support the poor and vulnerable members of our society during this harsh economic time and will go a long way in facilitating socio-economic recovery and overall development of Delta.” the governor stated.

He said the State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU) which is domiciled at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development has commenced full operations with the required staff compliment.

He assured that the state government will give maximum cooperation and commitment to ensure the effective implementation of the programme so that its lofty objectives would be fully achieved in Delta.

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouk represented by Mr Raphael Obi, a Director in the ministry, said “the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme was a statutory programme designed right from inception by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as a social protection scheme to help the poor as they grapple with the effects of the harsh economy.

“The programme is a continuous one until the people were lifted out of poverty.

“This is a fulfilment of the promise made by the President during the celebration of Democracy Day on June 12 to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years.”

Earlier, in her welcome address, National Programme Coordinator, National Cash Transfer Office, Dr Temitope Sinkaiye represented by the Delta State Focal Officer Barr. Bridget Anyafulu said the scheme was intended to help vulnerable households to improve consumption and overcome extreme poverty.

She said the National Office of the programme accords high priority to its successful implementation nationwide and therefore was delighted at formal commencement of the scheme in Delta.

In his closing remarks, Chairman Aniocha North Local Government Council Hon. Chuks Oseme commended the Federal and state governments for the scheme assuring that his administration will continue to support its implementation in the local government area.

Some beneficiaries of the scheme said they were elated at the commencement of the programme, saying that it will go a long way to ameliorate their sufferings especially in these trying times.