State to release cash for elderly

Labour and Social Protection Permanent Secretary Nelson Marwa when he addressed the journalists.

More than one million beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer programme will receive a total of Sh8.7 billion starting on Monday, Labour and Social Protection Permanent Secretary Nelson Marwa has said.

The money will be for the months of July, August, September and October. Mr Marwa said the delays had been caused by the migration of payments.

Since last November, the ministry has successfully migrated the beneficiaries from the card-based payment mode to bank accounts.

“We are giving people dignity, livelihoods have been saved, we want Kenya to take care of its own people,” the PS said, adding that the ministry is also targeting beneficiaries yet to open bank accounts.

“Those who do not have accounts will not receive, but we are working to make sure everyone has one.

"We wanted to make sure there are no third parties,” he said in his office at NSSF Towers, as he called on various bank managers to expedite the payments.

Faced challenges

Card payment faced challenges including long distances to pay points, a limited window of 21 days, mass system failures and mapping beneficiaries to specific branches.

The programme operates under three pillars: older persons' cash transfers, orphans and vulnerable children, and persons with severe disabilities.

The new system consolidates cash transfer for the three pillars into a single payroll thus enhancing efficiency.

The beneficiaries include over 533,000 who are 70 years and above with the money paid at four banks - KCB, Co-operative, Equity and Post Bank.

Government allocation to the programme has been rising and is estimated to hit Sh32 billion.

The programme is expected to boost social and economic inclusion and help reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

The programme is financed by The Treasury and other partners such as the World Bank.

“We have eliminated the challenges of distances and security and enabled people to withdraw only what they want to spend, unlike before when they had to receive all the money at once,” the PS said.