Nigeria Launches Cash Transfers with Biometric ID Verification for 15M Households

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by Ayang Macdonald, Activist Post:

Some Nigerians who are expected to benefit from a government cash assistance scheme aimed at cushioning the efforts of fuel subsidy removal in the country, have already had their identity verified by the competent authorities overseeing the program. The new program, announced on World Poverty Eradication Day, is based on the biometric Bank Verification Number (BVN).

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The secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, officially launched the first phase of the program dubbed “conditional cash transfer program” this week in Abuja on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

For the past three weeks, the ID verification process has been ongoing and beneficiaries enlisted on the national social register have had their biometrics and national identification numbers (NIN) verified, The Cable reports.

The outlet cites Humanitarian Affairs Minister Betta Edu as saying that the first phase of the payment has already begun for registered beneficiaries who have had their identity credentials identified in all the 36 states of the country.

While the ID verification will continue for those already registered, the process will be extended to other groups of vulnerable persons such as pension earners, veterans, and widows of fallen soldiers, says Edu.

The federal government says the cash transfer program, which targets at least 15 million people, is part of efforts to reduce the effects of the fuel subsidy removal policy on the most vulnerable sections of the Nigerian population.

In the past, there has been a call from the Chairman of Nigerian digital ID services provider GAIN, Bisi Adegbuyi, for the use of a proper digital addressing and ID verification system for the cash transfer program in order to reduce fraud.

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