By Usman Aliyu
Ilorin – Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Thursday expressed the commitment of his administration to give necessary attention to the Cash Transfer Programme in the state so as to increase the number of the beneficiaries.
AbdulRazaq made the commitment in Ilorin at a one-day stakeholders meeting on Co-Responsibility organised by the National Cash Transfer office in collaboration with the State Government.
The governor, represented by the State Commissioner for Energy, Alhaji Aliyu Kora-Sabi, expressed displeasure over the low number of beneficiaries in the state over the last four years.
He called for adequate and proper data collation of beneficiaries under the implementation of Co-Responsibility component of the Cash Transfer Programme in the state to record more beneficiaries.
He, however, acknowledged that about 40,000 Kwarans had benefited from the N5,000 stipends since 2016 the programme started in the state.
Dr Temitope Sinkaiye, the National Coordinator of National Cash Transfer Programme, said the meeting was to bring stakeholders together as the implementation of the second component of the programme was set to begin.
Mrs Zainab Usman, the Programme Manager, Co-Responsibility, said the meeting had to do with addressing the challenges in human capital.
She explained that Co-Responsibility programme had to do with a payment of additional N5,000 for the beneficiaries to address an identified challenge in human capital development.
“For us to break the cycle of poverty, we need to ensure that we have healthy citizens, we need to ensure we increase among the citizens the level of literacy so that we break the cycle of poverty.
“For Kwara, they have selected the area of health as a challenge to them and it went to address particularly the matter of maternal mortality and issue of immunisation in the state.
“If you have healthy citizens, you will be focusing on other developmental issues and not more on the health.
“Because they have chosen health as an area of concern, the Cash Transfer programme is sensitising beneficiaries in the state to demand for services in the health sector.
“So that our women that are at the grassroots can go the hospital to give birth when they are pregnant so that they can take the babies for immunisation,” she said.
Earlier, Hajia Aminah Yahaya, Head of Unit, Kwara Cash Transfer Office, said the Federal Government had paid over N2 billion to the beneficiaries in the state since the programme started in 2016.
Hajia Bashirah Abdulrasaq, the State Focal Person of National Social Investment Programme, said the state currently chose health as its co-responsibility with over 6,000 top-up beneficiaries.
She added that the state enjoy additional support by World Bank in order to encourage children immunisation, ante-natal and others in benefiting house-holds.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the State Cash Transfer also decorated some stakeholders as champions of the programme for their immense contributions to its successes recorded so far.
One of the champions, Alhaji Abdulkareem Ayinde commended the programme with an appeal to the state government, among other stakeholders, to provide enabling environment for the officials and operations of the programme in the state.