Lockdown: FG Sacks 2 Contractors Over Delay In Disbursement Of Cash Transfer

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

The federal government has terminated the contract of two Payment Service Providers (PSPs) “for their total failure to meet the contractual agreement to commence Conditional Cash Transfer” to beneficiaries in four states of the federation assigned to them, a report by DailyTrust has revealed.

The two payment providers are Data Mining Company and Innovative NIPOST.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this on Tuesday in a statement signed by her media aide, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta.

She said the affected states are Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom in the South South; Abia in the South East and Zamfara, in the North West. The minister said the termination was with immediate effect.

Daily Trust reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had during his first national broadcast announced the payment as a measure to cushion the effect of the coronavirus lockdowns in the country on poor and vulnerable households.

But the minister stated that “The immediate termination of the contract would be with the guidance of the World Bank, and a new procurement process launched using World Bank procurement guidelines to ensure that payments commence in the affected states on or before April 28, 2020.”

The Minister said that the Federal Government cannot accept delays in the current payment round of N20,000 stipends to beneficiaries in poor and vulnerable households under any excuses in the four states or any other states of the federation.

“The failure of any payment service providers to meet their contractual agreement is unacceptable. The Federal Government through the Ministry cannot allow contractors to derail the immediate Conditional cash transfers to the poor and the vulnerable,” the Minister added. Daily Trust reports that Hajiya Farouq, had on March 30, said the Federal Government had identified over 11 million poor Nigerians to benefit from the palliatives to cushion the harsh effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking in Abuja at the briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, she said the ministry had “11,045,537 individuals, 35 states, 453 local governments, 4,946 wards, 47,698 communities and 2,644,495 households on the national social register of poor and vulnerable households.”

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