Governor Sule flags off N7000 conditional cash transfer to widows, elderly in Nasarawa
…How we intend to shut off opposition
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has flagged off the second phase of the conditional cash transfer of seven thousand naira monthly to widows, orphans and elderly persons, as part of the state’s social investment programme, geared towards meeting the needs of the poor and vulnerable.
Governor Sule flagged of the disbursements of Kudin A. A Sule at an elaborate ceremony that took place at the Government House on Tuesday.
According to the Governor, his administration was motivated to launch the second phase of the programme following positive results from the first exercise, where it was discovered that some of the beneficiaries utilized the amounts given to them to raise working capital for each member of the community contributory scheme they started.
He recalled that the programme, earlier started by the Federal Government under its Social Investment Programme (SIP) was domesticated in Nasarawa State, aimed at the equitable distribution of resources, particularly to the vulnerable and indigent members of the society.
Governor Sule pointed out that his administration domesticated the initiative in the state, in line with its policy direction as encapsulated in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy (NEDS), that has continued to drive the implementation of various policies and programmes recorded so far.
Though the programme was initially greeted with criticism by the opposition, the Governor expressed satisfaction that the Kudin A. A Sule is not only succeeding in transforming the lives of the downtrodden at the grassroots but that Nasarawa State remains the only state in the country running the conditional cash transfer.
“When we started this programme, there was a lot of criticism that we were only giving five thousand naira to the people. But from the information we received both from the agency as well as the Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and now also confirmed by the Speaker, we are bring hope to the people.
“Through what is known as Adashi, where a lot of them have done so much by creating huge working capital for some of their own people and a lot of people have benefitted and enriched themselves. Some of these women would gather the five thousand naira and give one hundred to two hundred thousand naira to one person every month. Today, a lot of these women are independent. For us, that was the idea, the idea to have this vision,” he stated.
Governor Sule explained that, his administration reviewed the amount upwards from five thousand naira to seven thousand naira and also expanded the number of beneficiaries from 3,800 to 6000, as a result of the prevailing economic realities following the removal of oil subsidy, as well as increase in the price of commodities.
The second phase of the Kudin A A Sule will also run for another 24 months.
This is just as the Governor took a swipe at the opposition, stressing that his administration intends to shut the mouth of the opposition in the state by delivering on its campaign promises.
He disclosed that, already, the state government has ordered for rice to be distributed across the state as palliative, with CNG vehicles also purchased in order to cushion the cost of transportation.
“We are going to work hard. We are going to continue ensuring that all the various interventions in form of employment, industrialization come to fruition very soon.
“I am going to Nasarawa Local Government, Nasarawa town to commission our very first landmark lithium processing plant. Once we do that, I can actually be so happy and beat my chest that our dream for industrialization has fully taken off, where employment has come.
“Those are the kind of things that I use to shut down opposition’s criticism and I love it any time we shut them up and they are not able to say a word. These are the kinds of things we do in order to bring development to our state,” he said.
Governor Sule equally expressed satisfaction with the process of selecting the beneficiaries, which cut across political, ethnic or religious lines.
“I need to reecho that the beneficiaries of the programme were selected and screened from the polling units across the 13 local government areas of the state. We were not paying attention to their political affiliation. We didn’t know who they voted for, we don’t really care. We are only interested in the vulnerable even if they did not vote for us. Because the idea is to get the right people into the programme. I am happy we have the right people,” he added.
In a good will message, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Danladi Jatau, appreciated Governor Sule for impacting on the lives of the citizens of the state particularly at the grassroots.
The speaker reiterated the readiness of the assembly to always support the Governor in his efforts to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and NGOs, Hon. Magret Elayo, described the Kudin A. A Sule as a beacon and compassion.
“We thank you for what you are doing on a daily basis, through various offices, in impacting the lives of every citizen of Nasarawa State. I have had the privilege of witnessing first hand, the impact of His Excellency’s programmes and initiative in our communities. From humanitarian to the distribution of various items. And now we are talking about cash to support our women,” Hon. Elayo said.
On his part, Hon Aminu Muazu Maifata, Chairman ALGON/Lafia Local Government Area, commended the openness and transparency of the programme, assuring the Governor of continued support from the councils towards ensuring the success of the scheme.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Hon Imran Usman Jibrin, Director General, Nasarawa State Social Investment Agency (NSSIA), disclosed that 6000 citizens cutting across polling units in the state are benefiting from the second phase of the programme.
The DG said that the beneficiaries are widows, aged, orphans among other less privileged and will be receiving N7000 as monthly stipend for 24 months.
The exercise saw each beneficiary receive two months stipends amounting to fourteen thousand naira.