Connect with us

Top News

N5000 stipends: Kogi on the verge of disbursement, says coordinator

Published

on

Spread the love

N5000 stipends: Kogi on the verge of disbursement, says coordinator
By John Akubo, Lokoja

News of the commencement of payment of N5, 000 monthly stipends promised to the poorest of the poor by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, almost two years after it won election, was received in Kogi State with mixed feelings.

This was because, even though Kogi was mentioned among the beneficiary nine states in the first batch, there was no sign that such disbursement was ongoing. Many never believed such a thing existed, while some saw it as propaganda. But The Guardian was at the office of the Special Adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello on Multilateral Projects Mr. Adoga Ibrahim and met with the head of the state cash transfer unit, which is under the national cash transfer office, Razak Falilat Yinka, who disclosed that disbursement was set to commence as soon as they get the alert before weekend.

According to her: “The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme is an initiative of the present administration meant to tackle poverty at the grassroots for the poorest of the poor. “Poverty has various levels and degrees and when you see people that are poor, you know that some are poorer than others.”

She explained that compilation of beneficiaries was done via a Community Based Targeting (CBT) through the Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO), a World Bank-funded and supported office.

The coordinator pointed out that the operation deployed officers to communities, where they worked with the people to make the selection of the poorest of the poor possible.

She said the register was developed and sent to the World Bank, which screened it and affirmed that it was okay before they started using it. “So, we are fetching our beneficiaries from the social register that has been developed by the State Coordinating Office (SCO). It wasn’t our own selection and we did not stay in Lokoja to select beneficiaries; they (World Bank and its staff) actually went to the communities for the selection,” she emphasised.

Mrs. Yinka indicated that the state government was working in 12 local councils where the programme has been graduated in two phases of six local councils. “The SCO had completed the first six local councils early last year, while the second batch of another six was completed by the end of last year,” she explained.

According to her, for the first batch of six local councils, they have carried out adequate sensitisation and completed enrolment, while still working on the second batch.
“So, in Kogi, we have 12 local government areas that will benefit. In the first phase, we have about 6, 536 intended beneficiaries for the first six local government areas, while in the second round of six local government areas, we have a little above 5, 800 intended beneficiaries.

“We have completed the enrolment in Ofu, Ijumu and Olamaboro local councils, which fall into the second phase. “We are starting with Okene, Kabba Bunu and Adavi as part of the second phase.”

She listed the first round of local councils to include Yagba West, Okehi, Lokoja, Dekina, Ajaokuta and Ibaji. The coordinator explained further that they are already on the CBT process for the third phase of another six local councils, adding that when that is completed and the World Bank approves the register, they would have 18 local councils covered.

She noted: “I am sure we would work on the remaining three local governments areas. The process will cover the entire state, but they are just handling them in batches.

“For the first batch, we are expecting their alert any moment from now.”She noted that Kogi is in the second batch and the national coordinator has assured them that they are working on their alert, insisting that it is not propaganda, as being speculated by some people.
She said sustainability of the programme depends on the federal government, which came up with the initiative. On how the beneficiaries would get their dues, she said there are many payment options adopted by their banker in the state, Stanbic IBTC.

She explained: “The money is meant for people in the rural areas, so you don’t expect a beneficiary to come all the way from Ibaji or Insanlu to Lokoja just to collect N5000.

“There are agents that will pay them by the time they send alert to them, which means they have gotten the N5000. These agents are the ones that will go down to the communities to pay them.

“For example, our agent was in the office yesterday (Thursday) to discuss the schedule for payment, which is just to know the local government area and community to start with.”

She indicated that for those that have bank accounts, they would just link their BVN with the new programme, so that they could withdraw the money at their own leisure.

She added that in order not to stress such beneficiaries, the banks have also appointed agents that would make their payments.Mrs. Yinka indicated that there is a mechanism put in place in all the communities to redress grievances for people that may have complaints against a particular household that is not supposed to benefit or those whose paymaster did not pay or those whose money is not complete.

She stated: “In all the local government areas that we are working on, we have local facilitators who work for us with offices at the local government secretariat.”

The coordinate said the programme is for two years for a household, adding that government was giving out the money for a household to be able feed and send their children to school.

“In Kogi, our own is targeted at education and productivity. We call it the supply site. This N5000 is not supposed to be used for feeding. Somebody who is poor may not be able to buy school sandal of N500, and that is what we are targeting.

“The woman, who is the caregiver, collects the N5000 from the bank and brings it home to serve everybody in the house, for instance, to buy school uniform or sandals and supposed to make a little saving by going into little contributions of say N200 weekly.

“They should form cooperative groups and do this little contributions, which they can use to improve their living. “When they do this, after two years, they should have exited the scheme.”

A management information specialist in the unit, Olabanji Alabi, said Kogi has a poverty map that is World Bank approved, adding that the state YESSO goes round the local government areas, according to the poverty map.
“That is why you see that the first six local government areas selected are the poorest, followed by the next most vulnerable.“That is how it is being done,” he disclosed.

The gender and safeguard officer, Bridget Okpanachi James, explained that each local government area has 30 communities and each community has not more than 40 households as beneficiaries.

http://m.guardian.ng/saturday-magazine/cover/kogi-on-the-verge-of-disbursement-says-coordinator/

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top News

Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Buhari returns to Nigeria after weeks of medical trip to the UK

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buharihas returned to Abuja after weeks on medical trip in London.
This was according to a statement from the presidency on Thursday.
The president had been heavily criticized for his perchance for medical expedition inspite huge budgetary allocation to the Presdential Villa clinic.
His critics also blamed him for embarking on such trip even when resident doctors in his country were on industrial action.
The presidential aircraft that brought Buhari and some of his aides touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 4.45 p.m.
Dignitaries at the airport to welcome the president included the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, and the National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno.
Others were the service chiefs, acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali, the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, the Director General of the State Securitt Services, Yusuf Bichi and other presidential aides.
President Buhari, after a brief welcoming ceremony at the airport, boarded a presidentrtial helicopter that conveyed him to the Presidential Villa.

Continue Reading

Top News

Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Participants urge Kogi to key into Open Government Partnership

By Friday Idachaba

Participants at a one-day stakeholders strategic meeting on Open Governance Partnership have called on Kogi government to urgently key into the global concept to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.

The participants made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting organised by Conscience For Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) in partnership with African Centre For Leadership Strategies And Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the Communiqué was signed by Mr Idris Miliki, Executive Director of Kogi-based CHRCR and made available to newsmen in Lokoja.

The Communiqué said that in view of the importance of the global OGP concept with potentials to check corruption and enhance good governance, 16 states in Nigeria had presently signed up.

It however revealed that Kogi State was yet to key into the global concept and urged the state to, as a matter of urgency, sign up for the state to derive inherent benefits of the partnership.

Objective of the meeting in line with the OGP concept, according to the Communiqué, is to encourage accountability, transparency and reduce corruption in Kogi State.

It is also to build on the existing Networks on Anti-Corruption, Transparency and Accountability (NATA), to mobilize Media institutions and professionals in reporting activities on OGP in Kogi State.

The participants however, urged multi-lateral financial institutions particular the World Bank to begin to hold State Governments accountable by verifying the situations of implementations on ground before rating them on financed projects.

The Communiqué reiterated that there should be no rivalry but rather, a broad based relationship and partnerships between the state government and the Civil Society Organizations as both work for and in the interest of the citizens.

The Communiqué said there was need for the current House of Assembly members to live up to their constitutional responsibilities by performing their oversight functions on all institutions of the state, “particularly the local government councils.”

It also called on Media Professionals to take more interest in OGP issues and partner more with the Civil Society Organisations in particular and other relevant institutions to drive the OGP Concept.

“The Civil Society Organizations needs to do more in raising awareness and sensitization of the general public on the OGP and with the Government to get the OGP.

“There is need for the development partners to continue to work with the Civil Society Organizations in the state to promote the OGP process”, the Communiqué added. (NAN)

FDJ/

Continue Reading

Top News

Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

Continue Reading

Trending