Mobile financial service arm of Bangladesh Post Office Nagad is capable enough to disburse entire government allowances, said the outgoing Director General of the Department of Social Service (DSS) Sheikh Rafiqul Islam.
Currently 75% of social safety allowances administered by the Department of Social Services were distributed through Nagad, which he says was transparently and equitably distributed.
Government allowances are distributed by the Department of Social Service to the elderly, widows, underprivileged disabled, and disabled students who are the most underprivileged segment of the society, a press release reads.
The director general of the DSS expressed his delight with the inclusion of these marginalised individuals in digital services and stated, "We have worked with a group of society's least educated and most disadvantaged individuals. Many of them are unable to use mobile phones correctly; their fingers are so stiff that they cannot even press the cellphone buttons. OTP or PIN keys, they do not have any idea. For these individuals, accessing or transacting money through mobile financial services was a formidable challenge. This was accomplished, and Nagad was instrumental in overcoming this obstacle."
Reaching the underprivileged community was a key challenge in the disbursement of allowances.
Sheikh Rafiqul Islam says Nagad's determination in conquering the geographical obstacle is commendable.
He added, "Providing allowances in such regions posed the most difficulty. I shall discuss the case in Rangabali of Patuakhali. A portion of our allowance was distributed in the summer. The sea was turbulent, with terrible waves. At that time, in Rangabali or Kutubdia, the employees of Nagad navigated the stormy sea and accounted for the Rangabali people. It deserves applause."
Sheikh Rafiqul Islam further expressed his satisfaction with the manner in which Nagad completed the assignment saying. "The majority (75%) of these disbursements were carried out by Nagad. The management of Nagad is extremely dynamic, visionary, and competent. In a very short period, they expanded the number of employees, trained them, and helped open 60 lakh accounts. They have performed this feat with exceptional skill."
"I did not anticipate that 60 lakh accounts could be opened in such a short period of time. Also, we have not yet received any complaints regarding Nagad's allowance distribution. No one stated or no news was published anywhere. According to our reports, they disbursed allowances in a transparent manner. And I think all credit goes to Nagad's excellent management," he added
Rafiqul believes that Nagad has the capability to distribute 100% of all government allowances if given the responsibility, the release adds.
According to him, after disbursing the allowance, Nagad shares a detailed report on the project, which is subsequiently validated by Department of Social Services.
"We have seen that the Nagad allowance distribution method is completely transparent and nearly error-free. The error is primarily technical," Sheikh Rafiqul Islam further explained.
Earlier in January 2021, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has formally inaugurated the social safety net allowances disbursement and later in March this year the authority has renewed the agreement with Nagad.
With the safety net allowances and education stipend Nagad, the disruptive mobile financial service has disbursed more than Tk15,000 crore of Government to the distressed people.