…highlighting the challenges facing the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme in the state
The Ekiti State Household Uplifting Programme (HUP) team, led by the State Cash Transfer Unit Head, Mr. Tayo Adeokin, have visited the Special Adviser on Social Investment Programme, Barrister Victor Olumuyiwa Kolade, to discuss on possible ways to fast-track activities that supports the wellbeing of vulnerable persons and the poorest of the poor in Ekiti State.
While addressing the HUP Team, Barrister Kolade said that Governor Kayode Fayemi-led administration is working to ensure that the basic needs of the people are met through various empowerment, job creation, and social investment programmes.
He also mentioned that the government is currently ensuring the swift payment of salaries of public servants, gratuities to retires, amongst other developmental activities.
“Governor Kayode Fayemi is duly addressing issues bothering on social investment, infrastructural development, empowerment and job creation,” he said.
He, however, urged the HUP (State Cash Transfer Officers) Team to remain steadfast in service as the government is billed to provide the necessary support for the implementation of the programme.
Mentioning some challenges faced by the HUP team in discharging their duties, Mr. Tayo Adeokin solicited the support of the State Government through the office of the Special Adviser.
“Ekiti State was one of the pioneering states for the implementation of the Household Uplifting Programme but, unfortunately, we are seriously lagging behind in the scheme of progression as we do not have enough support to thrive and effectively carry out the objectives of the programme,” he said.
“We need some institutional support from the governor through the office of the Special Adviser. We also need some office equipment namely; working tools (laptops and other gadgets), project vehicles to aid transportation to reach the beneficiaries across the 16 Local Government Areas of the state, and release of funds to pay all L.G.A. Cash Transfer Facilitators (6 months arrears),” he said.
He also said that the HUP Team is yet to access the funds provided for the implementation of the programme to cater to the 4,543 registered beneficiaries adding that the state needs to support the team to access more potential beneficiaries for the programme.
Head of Operations, Ekiti State Cash Transfer Unit Mr. Wale Lawal said that the Cash Transfer Programme is one of the Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government which consist of five components namely; N-Power, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP), Trader Moni, Home Grown School Feeding Programme and the Cash Transfer Programme.
He explained further that the Cash Transfer Programme, which started in 2014, addresses the poorest of the poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria. This programme was born out of the discovery that over 50 million people of the entire population live below the poverty line.
“Cash Transfer Unit gives out a sum of Five Thousand Naira but the programme actually pays N10, 000.00 bi-monthly.
“In 2016, nine states of the federation including Ekiti state started the Cash transfer programme and three thousand, four hundred and four beneficiaries were enlisted for the programme by State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU).
“The National Social Register coordinated the list and distributed it to the pioneer states. Immediately after that, beneficiaries of the programme were enrolled to feature in the State Cash Transfer Unit.
“We started the programme in six pioneering Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ekiti in 2016 but we covered six more LGAs in 2017 and presently we have scaled up to 16 LGAs. The other four LGAs are in the process of enrolment, shortly we will cover all.