Beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty (LEAP), would be paid their monies electronically starting from this year, Nana Oye-lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MOGCSP), has stated.
The move aimed at improving cash transfer arrangement for LEAP – a safety net to provide some relief to the indigent in the country, comes as a result of a two-year successful piloting of the e-payment system in three regions and it would be implemented by the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement System (GHIPSS).
Nana Oye-lithur, who was addressing the opening of a capacity-building workshop for district staff of the Department of the Social Welfare (DSW) in Koforidua said as part of the new system, all the beneficiaries would be enrolled onto the e-zwich platform.
The sector minister who spoke of a more robust and secure payment system added that “this would include a second level biometric verification, which will authenticate the identity of LEAP beneficiaries to remove fraud and issues of intermediaries /impersonation during payments”.
Nana Oye-Lithur disclosed that, LEAP was impacting over 700,000 individuals in Ghana and this year, the ministry had earmarked to enroll 100,000 additional households to the LEAP platform raising the total beneficiary level to 250,000 households by December.
According to the Minister, the LEAP programme in Ghana, is touted to be one of the best social intervention programmes in the whole of Africa and this feat is largely attributable to the Government’s commitment and continuous support for the achievement of the United Nations Development Goals 1, 3 and 4.
Nana Oye-Lithur admitted that despite the huge success chalked over the years with the introduction of the LEAP since 2008, poverty, vulnerability and inequalities still existed in many communities in Ghana and urged the staff of the DSW to intensify their efforts in identifying such persons to be enrolled on to the programme.
The workshop brought together DSW district staff from the southern zone -Volta, Eastern, Central and Greater-Accra Regions.
Other financial institutions partnering the Ministry to facilitate the new payment system also attended.