Claim: A viral screenshot claims the minister of humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Farouk, said the government’s cash transfer policy is only for the North as there are no poor persons in Southern Nigeria.
This claim is false as our findings and information on the National Cash Transfer Office website indicates that this statement is unfounded and was not made by the minister.
The National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, is the intervention arm of the National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP) which facilitates cash transfers for capacity building of beneficiaries.
The NCTO through the Household Uplifting Programme provides support for poor and vulnerable citizens through targeted cash transfers for capacity building, coaching and mentoring, and livelihood support.
Recently, the screenshot of a Twitter post claims that the minister of Humanitarian affairs, Sadiya Farouk, said that there are no poor people in the southern part of Nigeria which is why they are not sharing money to that region.
“We are only sharing money to the poorest Nigerians in the North because we don’t have poor people in Southern Nigeria, they have people outside the country that is taking care of them so we are not going to South Nigeria” the viral Twitter screenshot read.
According to this screenshot, which showed no source (i.e which Twitter user made the post), the post was shared on Saturday, November 27, 2021.
The claim surfaced following the federal government’s recent decision to remove fuel subsidy by 2022 and replace it with N5,000 monthly transportation grant to poor Nigerians.
Dubawa first observed the Minister’s name in the viral screenshot was not properly spelt. Farouq was spelt as Farouk which is a red flag.
Dubawa tried to trace the Twitter post and found a post by Baasegun Alabe (@baasegun) with the caption “this is what these boldface thieves call one Nigeria”.
Dubawa therefore tried to find out if the minister actually said this but found no record of the statement. Also, according to the NCTO website, its mandate is to deliver the targeted cash transfer across the country.
Our search also led to a fact-check by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in April 2020, which debunked the claim. According to this check, the claim was circulating on Instagram at the time, which shows this is a recirculated claim.
The National Bureau of statistics (NBS) data on poverty and inequality in 2019 shows that poverty level cuts across different regions in the country. This counters the claim that southern Nigeria does not have poor people.
Also a report by Premium Times noted that in August 2021, the federal government recommenced the conditional cash transfer from which over 6,000 Lagosians had benefited, according to Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Yetunde Arobieke. This further discredits the claim as Lagos is in the South Western region of Nigeria.
Our findings show this statement is a recirculated claim from 2020 and was not made by the minister. Also, NCTO’s website notes that its mandate cuts across the country, not restricted to the North.