Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, has described those who perceive the N5,000 monthly cash transfer of the Federal Government as insufficient as talking from an elitist point of view.
Her reaction came in response to questions directed at her from State House Correspondents, asking if she truly believes with the harsh economic realities on ground N5000 can bail any poor Nigerian out of extreme poverty.
Farouk claimed the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty has impacted over 1.6 million lives through the various intervention schemes.
The Minister made these remarks while speaking at the Ministerial Briefing, organized by the Presidential Media Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
She said those who are the direct beneficiaries, who are categorized as the poor and vulnerable of society, value this N5000 and they have come to see that it helps them escape from the precarious situation of their social status to a better one.
She, however, noted that on the other hand, those who fall within the elites in society may easily write off the N5,000 as insignificant for their everyday needs, like recharging their phones with the fund.
“If you look at the people that you are taking this intervention to, N5,000 means a lot to them because these are poor and vulnerable households and it changes their status, but for you and me, N5,000 is not even enough for us to buy recharge card, that’s the difference.
“But for these poor people in the communities, you have seen, they were able to save out of that N5,000, if it’s not making any impact, if it’s not changing their economic status, I don’t think anybody will force them to contribute that N1,000 to provide that vehicle for their use. So, N5,000 goes a long way.
“When people say N5000 does not save people, that is an elitist statement, honestly because we’ve had causes to go to the field, and we have seen these people that when you give them this N5,000, they cried and shed tears because they’ve never seen N5,000 it in their lives. So, it goes a long way, it changes their status and by that, it lifts them from one stage to another”, she said.