The Executive Chairman of Aniocha South Local Government Area, Hon Pastor Jude Chukwunwike, has called for even distribution of governmental benefits across communities in the country.
Chukwunwike noted that poverty alleviation programmes will only make sense if the people at the grassroots have direct experience of what the government is doing.
He spoke on Monday when State officials of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) visited his Ogwashi-Uku office for the presentation of equipment meant to empower the Local Government Desk Office of the State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU).
The SCTU from the stable of the NSIP was launched by the Federal Government as a Conditional Cash Transfer to states. The aim of the programme also known as the Household Uplifting Programme (HUP) is to fight poverty by giving monetary benefits of N10,000 each to poor and vulnerable households to enable them to meet some of their basic needs.
Chukwunwike lauded the gesture but advised that efforts should be put in place to ensure that beneficiaries are truly the poor and vulnerable persons in the society, stressing that Local Government Areas ought to be in the vanguard of sourcing for benefactors since it is the tier of government that is closest to the people.
According to him, most government initiatives failed because they succeeded in rewarding the wrong set of people.
“When I was head of a committee responsible for widows’ welfare, I realised that some of the beneficiaries were civil servants who wanted to have a share of what government provided for widows in need. Despite earning regular salaries, they fought hard to have what was for the vulnerable”,
Speaking with newsmen shortly after presenting ICT materials to Aniocha South SCTU staff, Mrs Patience Osharode, Head of SCTU Delta State revealed that the move was meant to enable them to write reports, document visitations to beneficiaries, and monitor the success of the programme.
Her words: “the essence of the presentation is to empower The Local Government Desk Office of the Household Uplifting Programme.
“The ICT materials presented to the Desk Office are to enable them to do their work effectively; to help them write reports, make visitations to beneficiaries. Our Desk Officer in Aniocha South has a duty to monitor and ensure that beneficiaries are making good use of the money. Beneficiaries asides taking care of their basic needs are expected to save”,
Mrs Osharode said.
The HUP is a collaborative partnership between World Bank, Federal Government and States to provide grants for consumption smoothening for poor and vulnerable households. The programme is to provide by monthly N10,000 for poor and vulnerable households in the Local Government Area Council of Aniocha South.