Transparency agency, Tracka, has exposed some payments agents are deducting N5,000 from the N20, 000 meant for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries in Katsina state.
The transparency agency has been monitoring the exercise across the country following claims and counter claims that the scheme was a scam.
Chronicle NG reports that this is the first time that it has been reported that beneficiaries are underpaid or that their money is deducted.
On Wednesday, Tracka reported that payment agents at Dabaibayawa Ward, Batagarawa LGA in Katsina state deducted N5,000 under the guise of ‘Phone and Association fees’.
“Today, our Katsina state tracking officer tracked the FG Conditional Cash Transfer and confirmed that selected beneficiaries got N15,000 in Dabaibayawa Ward, Batagarawa LGA.
“Findings reveal that N5,000 were deducted from the cash being payment for phone and association fees,” Tracka said.
Responding to Tracka’s post, Household Uplifting Programme (HUP) a unit of the National Social Investment Programmes said beneficiaries were paid N20,000 and not N15,000.
“Dear TrackaNG, beneficiaries at Batagarawa LGA were paid 20,000. We do not make any form of deductions from beneficiaries stipends. Your Tracking Officers were on ground, did they ask the Payment Agent or the Programme Officers the reason for any deduction? Thank you.
Tracka then responded. “Yes, the officials on ground confirmed to the tracking officer that the deductions are for mobile phone devices (N3,000) and association fees (N2,000). Please investigate this allegation.”
HUP then assured Tracka that the payment agents would be investigated. “Please if you have clear evidence of deduction of beneficiaries’ entitlement, report and it will addressed appropriate.
“The programme does not make deductions from beneficiaries. The Payment Service Providers can not do that either. The interest of beneficiaries are protected”.
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, said it would also investigate the matter.
“This observation is noted and forwarded for further investigation. Thank you,” ICPC wrote on its official Twitter account.