By Emmanuel Una
CALABAR—SOME monarchs, chiefs and politicians in Cross River State are jostling with the under-privileged persons in their communities for the Federal Government’s monthly N5,000 Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT.
Coordinator, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, YESSO, Cross River State, Mr. Bolinwo Ofegobi, who confirmed the development to NDV, said for peace to reign, officials sometimes registered them, but during screening, their names would be deleted.
“We start from the poorest to the poor in registering beneficiaries for the scheme based on indices formulated by the National Safety Net Coordinating Office, NASCO, Abuja. But in some communities, chiefs, politicians and prominent people insist on being registered first or no one would be captured,” Ofegobi stated.
He said people, who were supposed to initiate programmes to help the poor claim poverty just to get the N5,000 monthly payments and in the process deny the poor what would have helped them get out of their situation.
Ofegobi added: “N796,330,000 has been transferred to 213,000 households at N5, 000 per month in the state since 2017 when the programme started.”
He said the group selects 40 households in a community and 30 communities in each local government area and has a mechanism for selecting beneficiaries to avoid capturing those outside the required target group.
He added that the group has adopted more ad hoc staff to screen beneficiaries across the state to increase the number to one million before 2020.
His words: “Those of us seated in this room are privileged because we earn some income that cater for our basic needs. But there are some people in rural areas who find it difficult to earn N1,000 a month. To such people the N5,000 every month is a very large sum. Some have used it to trade, make more money and transformed their lives.”
He said the YESSO programme comprises of three components; Conditional Cash Transfer, Skills for Job and Environmental Beautification Project. The first engages and add value to the lives of people, who need government most.
He explained that “the skills for job trains unemployed youths to acquire skills and after the training empower them with starter packs.
“We have trained two sets and trying to get the needed items to empower them and the beautification scheme engages youths in communities to keep the environment clean and fix damaged portions of rural roads to allow vehicles to pass through them.”