A number of civil servants and pension earners have been suspected to be among beneficiaries of the program that offers assistance to the poor and vulnerable households in Gombe State.

The Head of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) unit of the Federal Government's National Social Investment Program (NSIP) in Gombe state Umar Baba Kumo, revealed this on Tuesday, November 13th.

The official disclosed this in Gombe during an advocacy visit to the office of the CCT program by Dandalin Matasa for Rapid Development in collaboration with Development Exchange Centre (DEC) Bauchi and African Network of Economic and Environmental Justice (ANEEJ).

Umar Baba Kumo further revealed that the revelation led to the suspension of about two thousand beneficiaries in the three Local Government Areas (LGA), that program is currently running in the state.

According to Bachama Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dandalin Matasa for Rapid Development, the advocacy visit was to introduce and seek the support of the CCT office in the implementation of the Monitoring of Recovered Assets in Nigeria through Transparency and Accountability (MANTRA) project.

He said Dandalin Matasa for Rapid Development is the Gombe State implementing partner of the MANTRA project that is supported by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAID).

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Yusuf added that the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to monitor the use of the repatriated loot and advocate for the improvement of policy and legislative framework for asset recovery in Nigeria.

The MANTRA project is part of the broader UKAID Anti-Corruption in Nigeria (ACORN) program that aims to provide support for a period of five years (2017 – 2022) to Nigerian authorities and CSOs to tackle corruption.

The head of the CCT unit in Gombe state, Umar Baba appreciated the visit saying the involvement of the CSO in the program is important.

This, he said, is because the CSOs could help strengthen the process of generating and identifying the poor and vulnerable households to benefit from the program.

“The CCT program is standing on three or four pillars, there are other offices that are responsible in making the entire process operative. We have the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO) and the State Operations Coordinating Unit (SOCU) those are responsible for building the National Social Register (NSR), he said.

He added that the last payment of the beneficiaries was very tough for them in Talese, Banlanga LGA because the beneficiaries that were excluded almost unleashed their anger on them. "We had to seek the assistance of mopol to escut us and provide security".

He admitted that some eligible beneficiaries were excluded, ''but that is not from us, our responsibility is to enroll those that have been identified by SOCU, we don’t have the capacity to include or exclude anybody but we were the receivers of the brunt of those excluded'' he explained.

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