State urges Inua Jamii plan recipients to open accounts

Irene Githinji @gitshee

More than 1.3 million social safety beneficiaries have until end of this month to open individual accounts, which the government will use to disburse their stipends.

Social Protection Principal Secretary Nelson Marwa said yesterday the move will see 204,160 more beneficiaries open their bank accounts.

The payment plan, dubbed Choice Model, will target all beneficiaries who have been receiving the Sh2,000 cash transfer stipends.

This comes against the department’s move to introduce a new disbursement system where the Sh2,000 monthly stipend will be paid directly to individual accounts.  Under the old system, beneficiaries used to pick cash handouts from banks when it was disbursed.

Similarly, the new model will see beneficiaries withdraw the money from their individual bank account at will using ATM cards or over the counter. “The new system is expected to be efficient to enable beneficiaries receive their stipend in time,” Marwa said yesterday. As at yesterday, 68 per cent of all beneficiaries targeted to open the accounts had complied.

However, the 523,000 aged 70 and above and were covered under the enhanced Inua Jamii programme launched in 2018, will not be required to open new accounts as they had already opened them before the programme was launched.

The new campaign will thus target about 700,000 beneficiaries. The opening of the new accounts is free of charge and the account will also not have any ledger fee.

Authentication of the old people will be done through their finger prints and the beneficiaries will also access their funds through their mobile phones. The beneficiaries are to open accounts in Kenya Commercial Bank,  Equity, Co-operative or Post Bank.

“The banks will be expected to put in place mechanisms for efficiently delivering payments of the Inua Jamii stipend to the beneficiaries across the country,” said Marwa.

Beneficiaries of the cash transfer programme include orphans and vulnerable children programme, older persons cash transfer programme and persons with severe disabilities cash transfer programme.

The payments for the enhanced cash transfer for those aged 70 and above comes with a free medical cover through National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

The National Treasury allocated Sh6.7 billion last year to kick-start the scheme, covering the first half of the year to June last year.

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