…Also to provide free food for pupils and ‘trader moni’.
By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government has resumed giving helping hands to the aged (Arugbo) under its Kwara State Social Investment Programne (KWSSIP).
For now, the programme tagged ‘Owo Arugbo’ is targeting 10,000 beneficiaries (conditional cash transfer) who have been receiving N6,000 lifeline each while another 30,000 under ‘Owo Isowo’ (Trader Moni) are receiving N10,000 each.
Also, ‘Ounje Ofe’ (School Feeding Programne) and K-Power fashioned after N-Power are about to take off, focusing on a digital training programme for the participants.
Commissioning the automated Command Centre of KWASIP in Ilorin, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said thousands of lives were being touched with the social investment programme which targets the vulnerable and the poor, describing it as social safety net of his administration.
According to him, the programme had proven to be impactful for petty traders and vulnerable groups. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the safety net programme which Kwara State is borrowing a leaf from.
He disclosed that every beneficiary of the programme which he said is the largest social safety net by any state government in the country having a unique identity which he described as quite verifiable.
Beating his chest, the Governor said: “We are making real impact with the programme. You can imagine a woman with a net worth of N2000 and you are giving her N10,000 to scale up her business.
“Most of our people in the hinterlands could not get credit facilities. So, they are happy getting the money to support themselves.”
“In cities, you can think that N10,000 is too small but when you go to the hinterlands, you will see how it changes lives. N10,000 means a lot of money in our villages and among the poor.
“So, I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing social investment programmes. It is a safety net. A lot of people are benefitting from the safety net we are replicating in Kwara.
“We are here again to launch the KWASSIP command centre. Before the election when I heard about the federal government’s social investment programmes, I followed the Vice President to launch the programme in Kwara and we went to the market and I could see the real impact.
“The World Bank has also adopted the programme under its CARES programme. This is being replicated in other countries. We all saw the impact of the programme during Covid-19 lockdown. Imagine there is no such programme.”
He promised that the programme was not open to abuses pointing out that it was well documented. “You can talk to any of the beneficiary and track them,” he said.
Fielding questions from journalists, the Chief Operating Officer of the Bank of Industry (BOI)’s Growth Platform, Mr. Uzoma Nwagba, commended the Kwara State Government for its commitment to transparency which he said differentiates it from others doing the same.
He said: “Kwara’s approach is one built on transparency. It is not lack of people who need this intervention and it is not lack of ideas and how it can be done; what is unique is the political will, honesty and sincerity that you want the money to get to the hands of the people fully. It is also good that the state embraces technology to drive the process instead of filling papers.
“We have seen tens of thousands of people who have benefitted from KWASSIP. These are people who ordinarily wouldn’t have such opportunities. Money is one thing but more importantly they now have things like identity such BVN by virtue of being captured. So, they can now get a wallet to transact with.”
Also, the Acting General Manager of KWASSIP Mohammed Brimah, highlighted that KWASSIP had four programmes namely ‘Owo Isowo’ (TraderMoni), Owo Arugbo (Conditional Cash Transfer), Ounje Ofe (School Feeding Programme) and K-Power modeled after N-Power and focusing on digital training for beneficiaries.
“For Owo Arugbo, the target is 10,000 beneficiaries across the state. In all wards across the state there are beneficiaries. Each gets N6000 over two months because we disbursed in a cycle. That is six times in a year,” he said.