N-POWER TO RELIEVE 2000 AKWA IBOMITES

N-POWER TO RELIEVE 2000 AKWA IBOMITES

Enwono-Abasi Elisha

About 2000 beneficiaries from Akwa Ibom State origin in Stream-A of N-Power are to leave the program at the end of this month in Akwa Ibom State with hope for an exiting plan by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The State Focal Person of Social Investment Program (SIP), Dr. Godwin Akpan dropped the hint in his office yesterday.

According to him, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment informed the forum of Focal Persons during a Review Meeting of the Program last week at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort.

“The recruitment was supposed to be for two years after which you exit the program. I believe the Federal Government has worked out an exist plan for them.

“The Special Adviser to President on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais said this to the forum of Focal Persons at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort that 2000 beneficiaries will be withdrawn from the program in Akwa Ibom State.”

He however called on N-Power beneficiaries to exercise patience as their arrears of two months allowance will be paid with that of December due to the internal arrangement in the office of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs which now oversees the program. The program was formally a desk in the office of the Vice President.

The Review Meeting was attended by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Madam Sadiya Umar Farouq and other key government officials from Akwa Ibom State Government for an intensive review of the program.

On National Home Grown School Feeding Program, the State Focal Person of SIP, Dr. Akpan said the State was firm about its report on the rejection of National Bureau of Statics figure of Public Schools in the State which was grossly below the number.

The outcome of the Bureau’s validation exercise reduced the figure of cooks from 2,682 to 1,436 which also affected the cash inflow to the State.

He called on FG to come back to the State for a revalidation exercise of pupils of Public Schools from Primary 1-3 whom the program is currently feeding. The State Office of SIP also pleaded that the FG should upgrade the N70.00 per Child per day formula so that a child can be fed properly comparing it with the cost of food items in the market.

The Focal Person also frowned at the activities of some persons who go about extorting money from the cooks in the name of monitoring.

“Touting do exist in the program. People go about in the name of monitors and fraudulently get money from the women. Meanwhile, I appealed to the women not to be desperate about anything. Whatever you don’t understand ask questions. This office does not ask the women to pay any amount of money.”

The office has help lines which are always opened for enquiry on issues concerning the program.

On Conditional Cash Transfer, the Focal Person said the money is for the very poor women in the local communities which is to boost their lives. He added that the process has been concluded and ID cards issued to the beneficiaries and the first batch will begin to get their package of N5,000.00 each from Dec, 4th 2019 through 6th December.

Concerning the Trader Money, the SIP office said the program has not folded up but the Federal Government is looking for a better way to make the money reach the market women. It is to encourage women in business and to form cooperative.

Meanwhile, the office has made known the FG readiness to make the program sustainable through governments as the Senate is making enabling laws to empower the program. It has also been made clear that programs annexed to SIP has no political party affiliation as it is meant for every Nigerian.

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