FG COVID-19 Palliative For Poor Nigerians Fraught With Faults – Oyo State Governor

*Engineer Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde has condemned the conditional cash transfer initiative of the Federal Government. He said the scheme is fraught with faults.

Mrs. Sadiya Farouk, Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, had said that the ministry had commenced cash transfer to the poorest households in the country to cushion the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But in an interview with Fresh FM 105.9, Makinde, who was one of the earliest Nigerian elite to have tested positive to the dreaded virus but has also recovered, said he is not impressed with how the poor are identified. He said: “About, I think two days ago, in our meeting, the task force meeting, the Head of Service, Mrs. Ololade Agboola, informed me that the conditional cash transfer from the federal government is going to give N20,000 to people in ten local government areas of Oyo State.

“I said ‘okay, fine. I mean it’s good that you are informing me.’ But this is a programme that predates this administration and I have never been impressed for one day by how they have identified the poorest of the poor and the impact. So, I see this as an opportunity for us to ensure that we get to the people that require those palliatives. Secondly, once we can get this right, it will become the pillar upon which we can build for future efforts.

“And once we have been able to do it right once, we won’t have to go back to the foundation again. The data is already being collated by our people in the field. They started yesterday. And, I can promise the people of Oyo state that it’s not going to be business as usual, where we show a pile of foodstuffs in some warehouse somewhere and in the end, this won’t get to the people who need it. That will not happen in Oyo State.

“Well, I am not policing it. All I am saying is I am not satisfied. I have done a little bit of work on it in terms of gathering intelligence, finding out if this money is getting to the people that require it, and part of my findings are that no, close to 80 per cent of that money is wasted and 20 per cent that gets to some form of individuals is too little and too meagre to have the desired impact. That is my finding. Well, it is a Federal Government initiative. We will keep engaging them and more than likely, change the coordinator.”

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