By Marie-Therese Nanlong
220, 865 pupils in public primary schools across the 17 local government areas of Plateau State have so far benefited from the National Home Grown School Feeding programme, even as 11,000 youths have participated in the NPower scheme since its inception, Dr. Sumaye Hamza, the State Focal Person for the Social Investment Programme, SIP disclosed.
She spoke on Tuesday while giving a breakdown of the achievements of the programme in the State since its inception in 2016, also disclosing that over 11,000 poor and vulnerable households in six out of the 17 local government areas of the State are receiving N5,000 monthly under the Conditional Cash Transfer component of the programme.
Hamza who presented the programme’s scorecard to the Secretary to the State Governor, Professor Danladi Atu at the Government House, Jos further explained that a total sum of N306,000,000 has been disbursed under the market-moni in the State and appealed for assistance from the State Government for additional impactful activities.
Her words, “My role is to coordinate all the components of the Social Investment Programme, SIP to ensure maximum benefit and quality service to our people. The components are jib creation through Npower, National home grown school feeding, conditional cash transfer and government enterprise empowerment programme.
“The SIP seeks to boost productivity, especially among the marginalized and the vulnerable, including women, stimulate economic activities in unreached areas, help create sustainable jobs, improve livelihood, enhance financial inclusion and ultimately, poverty reduction.
“On job creation, Plateau State has over 11,000 Npower graduate beneficiaries in the components of NTeach, NHealth and NAgro in the first and second batches. From inception, over N8.941bn has so far been injected into the State circulating in the hands of these young graduates under Npower.
“Presently, we have 3,304 cooks providing meals for to 220,865 pupils in public primary schools, in a month, N215, 564, 240 is used to feed these pupils. Similarly, we have over 11,000 poor and vulnerable households in six local government areas of Jos East, Bassa, Bokkos, Kanke, Langtang North and Wase that are receiving N5,000 monthly under the conditional cash transfer. Over N2bn has so far been injected into the economy of the state through these.”
She added that the trader-moni and market-moni have also achieved success as “a total of 31, 929 people have received loan under trader-moni from the total amount of N319, 300, 000 disbursed and 6,126 people received loan under market-moni from the total of N306, 300, 000 disbursed”, maintaining that SIP has improved the economic status of citizens hence the need for the State to “domesticate the National Social Protection Policy.”
Responding, the SSG, Professor Atu noted that the SIP is related to the three pillar policy of the Governor Simon Lalong’s administration because for there to be peace, the gap between the rich and the poor music be bridged and called on the beneficiaries of the programme to leverage on it and build their capacity to build the society.
He said, “The welfare of citizens is paramount and for security, peace and good governance, there must be ways of closing the gap between the haves and haves not. To sustain developmental infrastructure, there must be stomach infrastructure. All stakeholders must cooperate with government to achieve success. Self employment and sustainability are key to building the society, beneficiaries of the programme must leverage on it to build themselves.”