Office of the Special Adviser on Social Investment, through the leadership of Ekiti State Cash Transfer Unit recently organised a one-day Mid-Year Review Meeting with Local Government Chairmen, Coordinating Directors and relevant stakeholders to address the position and challenges of the Programme in various parts of the state.
In his welcome address, Special Adviser on Social Investment Programme, Barr. Victor Kolade said the present administration; headed by Governor Kayode Fayemi is fully committed to alleviating poverty through various Social Investment Programmes of which National Cash Transfer Programme is included.
“Our dynamic Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and his team are also in support of this programme at all level. This has been demonstrated through the establishment of five pillars of his administration ; namely Governance, Knowledge Economy, Infrastructure development, Agriculture & Rural development and Social Investments.
“Consequently, all initiatives of government are geared towards ameliorating the sufferings of our people through the aforementioned pillars.
This review meeting is therefore organised to; Review 2019 work plan and activities implemented thus far, address State level challenges and emerging issues, appraisal of facilitation of community level activities, to strengthen implementation capacities of all officers anchoring National Cash Transfer Programme in Ekiti State at State and Local Government levels and re-strategize on the way forward in achieving programme objectives.
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 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. Other four LGAs are in the process of enrolment, shortly we will cover all.
Speaking on institutional arrangements of the project, Lawal said the National Social Safety Net is the office coordinating all Social Investment Programmes in the country followed by the National Cash Transfer Office (Abuja), State Cash Transfer Unit and the Local Government Cash Transfer Desk Office. The office holders at each level include; National Coordinator, State Coordinators and Local Government Desk Officers and Facilitators who work directly with the beneficiaries. These officers at all levels consist of Civil Servants from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies,” he said.
According to Lawal, these officers are empowered with components to ensure reduced poverty, increased human capital consumption and reduced human capital development through the House Uplifting Programme.
Agenda discussed in the meeting include; Update on Ekiti State Government’s contribution to the Cash Transfer Unit, Presentation of State GRM Report and commonly received grievance, Management issues such as Monitoring, Supervision and review of State work plan for the second half of 2019 among others.
Dignitaries present at the meeting are; Honourable Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Olufemi Ajayi represented by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Folorunso Babalola; National Programme Coordinator of Household Uplifting Programme, Mrs. Babaranti Olumuyiwa; Statistician General Mrs. Oguntimehin; Mrs. Toyin Olowo Gender and Safe Guard Officer (SCTU); Hon. Dada Abiodun Chairman Ijero-Ekiti Local Government accompanied by Vice Chairman Hon. Modupe Olufadejo; Hon. Femi Ayeni Chairman, Moba LGA; Hon. Femi Bamisile Chairman Ado-Ekiti LGA; State Coordinating Directors include; Mr Awopetu Lawrence (Efon), Engr. Bayo Akinola (Emure), Mr. Ogunsakin L.R. (Ise/Orun), Mrs. Toba Ojo (Ikere). Others include government functionaries and executive officers of Ekiti Cash Transfer Unit.