By Festus Ahon
UGHELLIâ€”THE Na tional Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has commenced the disbursement of N72 million to eradicate poverty in 500 households in Delta State, as it flagged offÂ the implementation of its COPEÂ programme at Orerokpe, Okpe local government area of the state.
The State Coordinator and Chairman, Joint Implementation Committee of NAPEP, Mr. Austin Igbine, while empowering 100 households drawn from Okpe and Ethiope East local government area in Orerokpe with N5,000 each, said the programme would run for a period of one year.
He said the state was being used as a pilot state in the country, adding that 10 local government areas have been selected to test run the implementation of the programme.
Igbine said the programme was aimed at breaking the inter-generational transfer of poverty through investment in human capital development of children and wards of the extremely poor in the country.
According to him, the programme is designed to alleviate the sufferings and difficulties of the less privileged individuals in the society.
He added that another 400 households, drawn from eight local government areas, would be reached in a couple of weeks.
â€œThe programme provides for a monthly cash grant of N5,000 to each selected household for a period of one year.Â Â It is not just grant but it is targeted to keep the children and wards of poor households who are of basic school age in school.
It also seek to cater for the medical up keep of children and wards of beneficiaries.
â€œAlso as part of the scheme, an adult from each benefitting household will be trained on a skill of their own choice by an agency of the federal government called Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
â€œAt the end of the training which comes up in the sixth month of the programme, a total sum of N84,000 shall be given to each household to enable such benefitting household start-up its own business for the upkeep of the familyâ€.
He pointed out that all participating households were expected to keep their children / wards of basic school age in school and said it would ensure the economic development of the children, so they could live better lives than their parents and contribute positively to the development of the society.
Igbine warned that any participating household that violates the laid down conditions of the programme would forfeit the lump sum of N84,000 that would be given at the second stage of the scheme.