The Presidency on Sunday explained that it used the World Bank’s Community Based Targeting (CBT) model, established two years ago, to select the beneficiaries of its N5,000 monthly stipends to the poorest Nigerians.
According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, the CBT model of the World Bank had been used two years ago to identify most of the beneficiaries in the pilot states.
Mr Akande gave the names of the nine pilot states where the programme had started as Bauchi, Borno, Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo and clarified that reference to Ogun, instead of Osun-among the pilot states- in his last press statement on the issue was an error.
He added that the World Bank was also an active agent in the selection process, explaining, however, that the data collected belonged to Nigeria.
He explained that in eight of the nine pilot states, the selection process had taken place at least two years ago under a programme supported by the World Bank in an agreement entered into directly with the state governments.
He said the ninth state, Borno, was added because of the situation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He said: “There is no way you can describe this process as partisan. The president is president of the entire country and the Social Intervention Programmes are for all Nigerians as the case may be.”
He added: “There is no way anyone can describe the selection of the beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) as partisan as the beneficiaries from eight of the nine pilot states were picked even before this administration came into office.
“First, the officials at federal level, working with the state officials, identify the poorest Local Government Areas, using an existing poverty map for the state, then the LG officials identify the poorest communities in the LGAs and we send our teams there.
“The first thing our team does after selection of the LGAs is to select members of the NOA, the LGA and community officials to form the CBT team. Then we train the selected officials on how to conduct focus group discussions at community level. These focus groups comprise of women, men, youths, as the community determines.
“After training them, the CBT teams now go to each of their communities to sensitize the leaders, including traditional rulers, on the CBT process and the necessity for objectivity and openness in the process. At that meeting, they firm up a date to convene a community meeting at a designated location within the community.
“On the set date, discussions are held in the local languages, using terminologies that resonate in that community. The CBT team will explain to the community the purpose of the gathering, i.e. to determine the parameters of poverty upon which persons can be described as poor and vulnerable within the context of that community.”