Vulnerable ex-servicemen, widows, families to benefit in Conditional Cash Transfer, others – Edu

By Nudoiba Ojen

The President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government has included vulnerable ex-servicemen, widows, and dependants of fallen heroes in the National Social Register to benefit from the Conditional Cash Transfer and other social intervention programmes.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said “the innovation became necessary to include those who paid the Supreme price for the Sustenance of the peace of the country and their dependants to serve as a morale booster for those currently securing the country”.

Edu, who made the disclosure during an official visit to the Ministry of Defence Headquarters, in Abuja, sought accurate data on the affected ex-servicemen and their dependants to enable them to be captured in the ongoing national social register verification.

She said, ”This scheme is in line with President Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda and I am here to inform you that the programme has been expanded to accommodate retired personnel of the Ministry of Defence mostly families of those who lost their lives in the course of defending the country.

“Their wives can use this to start small businesses that will help their children stay in school provide basic health care and even sustain the families. Of course, your Excellency, this guest show is not only for the 75,000 in their household”, she added.

The Minister said the Federal Government had created the Government Enterprise Empowerment Program (GEEP), which is geared towards helping small-scale businesses and boosting the welfare of Nigerian market women and farmers which the ex-servicemen and widows can key into.

Edu also called on the Ministry of Defence to collaborate with the Humanitarian Ministry to ensure the president succeeds in eradicating poverty in Nigeria.

She urged the Minister of Defence to provide adequate security cover for humanitarian workers while going about carrying out their national assignment in all the states prone to Insecurity.

The Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, who lauded the FG, said the welfare scheme would go a long way to renew the hope of retired officers and their families and motivate the working officers to secure the Nigeria territorial integrity.

The Defence Minister, who was accompanied at the event by Defence Minister of State, Bello Mattawale, assured that the Defence Ministry would collaborate with its Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation counterpart to ensure proper coordination of the scheme.

On his part, the Chairman of Nigeria Legion, Major General Abdulmalik Jubril (retd), thanked President Bola Tinubu and Dr Edu for the innovation.

Jubril, who said, “This has never happened before,” added, “This organ of the military (Army, Air Force and Navy) retirees need government support, such gesture like this has not been given to us before including wives and families of the fallen heroes”.

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