Saturday, April 17News That Matters

SA to Gov. Uzodimma on SDGs, Ude clears the air on cash transfer to vulnerable Imolites

Says all 27 LGAs in Imo must benefit

The Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Humanitarian Services, Hon. Princess Christina Ude on last Thursday clarified a lot of misconceptions on the ongoing conditional cash transfer program to the poor and vulnerable.

Hon Ude, who spoke during a Darling FM radio interview in Owerri, last week, made it clear that the current ongoing payment was a backlog from last year payment, July and August payment to be specific. Payment is made every two months but the payment was paused in order to settle things with the payment provider. All payments due to recipients will be paid in full she said. She also disclosed that only nine Local Governments in Imo State were initially captured since inception, but when her boss, Governor Uzodimma came into office, he was not happy that only few Local Government areas were receiving these funds instead of all of the 27 LGAs.

Speaking further she said, “There is good news now, so far we are still doing enumeration, the other Local Governments are going be captured and will receive funds.
“About 18,238 more beneficiaries are going to be added, because it has been only nine Local Governments since the inception of the program, but now that the Uzodinma administration is on board, we are increasing it to the remaining 18 local governments”. “We are working hard to ensure that the our poor and vulnerable group are not left behind”

Capturing of new beneficiary in Oru East as Imo SIP focal person , Hon Christina Ude monitors the ongoing enumeration
On her response to how the beneficiaries are located in order to be part of the cash transfer program, she said, “it is done by community based targeting, there was a pool of over 100,000 persons” and from that pool, the 18,000 beneficiaries were selected” According to her, “The community based targeting is still ongoing and the 18,000 will increase as time goes on”.

When asked on how to know who is poor among the beneficiaries? She gave an example of when she visited Okwuozuh Omuma and was able to meet one of the people slated for the program and she obviously noticed signs of poverty all over, in fact she even confirmed by taking pictures of the place.

On the reason why they share the money to them by hand, the SDGs SA replied “There are several reason, one, many of these people don’t have bank accounts and two, some villages don’t even have banks that are close by to most of the beneficiaries”
Speaking on where the uncollected funds are returned, she disclosed that all funds are returned to Abuja as her office doesn’t keep any cash,

“All we do is record who and who received funding, who and who showed up, we scan their beneficiary cards” she also mentioned that a substitute can receive money for someone in case the beneficiary couldn’t show up, for instance if the person is bedridden, hospitalized or handicapped.

Answering a question on if the conditional cash transfer program is for only women, Princess Ude said, “No it is not just for women, if you witnessed the last one we paid at the International Conference Center Owerri, that was for Nkwere, Ideato South and Ideato North, some men were paid. We did it there because of the crises in Orlu, we were kind of skeptical of going to Orlu, there were men at ICC who received cash transfer, the money is for the poor and vulnerable people not just women she reiterated.

Male beneficiary in Onuimo LGA

“We had the cash grant for rural women in December and it will still continue this year because we didn’t finish disbursing funds. Hon Sadiya Farouk was here to launch the program in December. It is separate from the conditional cash transfer” The Interview was very interactive and informative as she was able to clarify a lot misconceptions and misinterpretation about the Conditional Cash Transfer Program.

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