Beneficiaries hail programme in Kwara
Akorede, in a chat with The Guardian in Ilorin, said even though the scheme remains a federal government programme aimed at alleviating poverty among the identified group of persons in the state, Ahmed has directed its effective and smooth implementation.
Already, Hajia Ayinke Saka, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, has said the state government, through her ministry, would provide “all the logistics supports” to the beneficiaries, identified mostly as women.
IBTC/Chartered Bank is the official bank for the disbursement of the funds through money transfer technology.About 10,800 households are at present benefiting from the first phase of the programme in the state.
Under the scheme, 12 local councils out of 16 are participating in the first phase, while the remaining four are being considered to benefit in the second phase.
The Head of Unit, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Aminah Yahaya-Bagudu, said in Ilorin that each of the beneficiaries would receive the money six times in a year, with a single register already opened for it.
Yahya-Bagudu said the programme was part of the components designed by the federal government to tackle poverty in the country. She disclosed that beneficiaries in the state started receiving payments on Thursday January 5, this year.
Yahaya-Bagudu explained that the selection process was based on data collected for the World Bank- supported Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), where each community identified those considered as poor.
According to her, the process was transparent and devoid of any influence or interference, adding that the second phase would commence as soon as the social register is shared with her unit for the payment of the stipend.
For her, the selection process, which covered many villages, were secretly carried out, as the facilitators failed to disclose its true mission at the time the data was being collated, “hence the room for manipulation was difficult, as none of them knew the real motive for it.”
She added: “We were not the ones that identified the beneficiaries; community based tracking processing was used to arrive at the results. “Those in charge were silent about it. There was no noise at all to prevent it being hijacked by politicians.”
She said plans were on to encourage beneficiaries to form thrift and credit groups to enable them access bulk money at the end of the exercise, adding that they would be sensitised and encouraged to learn some vocations towards channeling the money into trades, rather than seeing it as a succour for pleasures.
Yahaya-Bagudu said the scheme could still accommodate more people, with a caveat that only the federal government could determine how long the programme would last.
On current hitches in payment, she said the selected bank had engaged the services of a consulting firm to decentralise its payment process to all beneficiaries across the state.
Mrs. Sherifat Oba, an octogenarian beneficiary of the scheme from Ilorin West Local Council, said the money would assist her a great deal.In the same vein, Mrs. Asiata Ayobola, in her seventies, commended the federal government for the “miracle money.”