The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has announced Centenary Bank as the new Payment Service Provider (PSP) for the senior citizens grants under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE).
The PSP provides channels to deliver the last mile of cash grants to older persons.
Centenary bank won the bid to take over from Post Bank Uganda, whose contract expires in March 2021 but between now and March, both banks will pay side by side.
Before Post Bank, the grants to the elderly were paid using MTN Mobile Money.
“I congratulate Centenary Bank for coming out as the winner of this bid. The Ministry together with our development partners, UKaid/DFID and Irish Aid, selected Centenary Bank through an elaborate and rigorous competitive bidding procurement process in which various prospective service providers proposed different payment mechanisms,” said James Ebitu, the acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development.
He said the evaluation team was particularly looking out for the feasibility and reliability of the proposed payment methods, distance beneficiaries would have to travel to receive their payments and value for money.
The Minister for Gender, Frank Tumwebaze said he was happy government was delivering on its promise in the 2016 campaigns to pay a grant to older persons.
“The national roll out of the senior citizens’ grant was an NRM manifesto commitment. I am happy that we are delivering on the promise. When the roll out is completed, we will reach out to 358420 older persons in all the districts of the country,” Tumwebaze said.
Speaking at the same function, Centenary Bank Managing Director Fabian Kasi said the bank will ensure they live to the expectations of both government and the beneficiaries of the grant.
“We commit to timely, convenience, anti-fraud and customer care to older persons,”Kasi said.
He noted that the bank will pay older persons through their bank agents spread across the country and through their bank branches.
“This means that the distance older persons have to travel to access the grants will drastically reduce,” he said.
Under the SAGE scheme implemented under the expanding social protection programme in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, government provides monthly grants of shs25,000 to older persons who are 80 years and above.
The grants are intended to enable older persons to meet their basic needs, access basic services, and to start income generating activities where they can.
The programme was piloted between 2010-15 in 15 districts and in November 2018, government announced a national roll out to cover all districts.