Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has approved increase in number of beneficiaries of the Nigeria-Covid 19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Labour Intensive Public Workfare project at the local government level from 1,025 to 5,348 beneficiaries.
Speaking at the stakeholders’ refresher training workshop programme in Ilorin on Tuesday, the permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance and acting chairman NG-CARES steering committee, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Folorunsho, said that the governor had also approved increment in monthly stipend of the beneficiaries from N10,000 to N15,000 aimed at cushioning the effects of fuel subsidy by the federal government.
Folorunsho said that the programme, designed by the Nigeria Governors Forum in conjunction with the federal government and the World Bank, was for poverty alleviation, “especially among the teeming youth who constitute greatest percentage of state population and made more vulnerable by the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Also speaking, the technical head LIPW delivery platform, Alhaji Shamsideen Aregbe, said that selected beneficiaries shall be enrolled into the public workfare programme in social services and infrastructure sectors after being validated.
“Examples of the proposed LIPW activities include improvement of public spaces including the cleaning of public areas, garbage and refuse collection and waste disposal, traffic control, rehabilitation of classroom blocks and public toilets, and repairing of clinics or primary health centers, among others”, he said.
Aregbe also said that the LIPW programme, as designed, was to provide immediate employment opportunity in social sectors, to
address the emergency constraints of loss of labour income among poor and vulnerable households as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The targets of the intervention are unemployed and unskilled youth and women from poor and vulnerable households, ages between 18 and 45 years. They are to possess educational qualification of Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or below.
The first batch of 1,025 beneficiaries from about 500 communities from the 16 LGAs across the state earlier enrolled and deployed in April, 2022 have been successfully exited from the intervention in March, 2023. This was done after they had completed the mandatory 12 calendar months’ participation in the Nigeria CARES LIPW programme. Their exit paves way for the engagement of another batch of 5,348 beneficiaries from over 700 communities across the 16 LGAs of the state to work for a period of another 12 months.
“These prospective beneficiaries were derived from the World Bank database (Single Register) of poor and vulnerable households and individuals. The register is housed in the State Operation Coordination Unit (SOCU). Thus, the list of beneficiaries was generated through a transparent, objective and fraud-free process with the active participation of the LGAs.”
The one-day refresher training programme for the staff of Labour Intensive Public Workfare Delivery Platform and the Community Development Officers from the 16 Local Government Areas of the State, was designed to refresh the minds of the critical stakeholders in the implementation of the Labour Intensive Public Workfare Delivery Platform of the Nigeria-CARES programme.