Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has said the method used by the Federal Government in identifying the poorest households which benefited from its N20,000 relief during the coronavirus lockdown is dissatisfying.
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Makinde said this in an interview on Fresh FM 105.9 on Monday.
Sadiya Farouk, 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 pandemic.
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“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’ve identified the poorest of the poor and the impact,” Makinde said.
“So, I see this as an opportunity for us to ensure that we get to the real people that require those palliatives; that’s one. Secondly, once we are able to get this right, that 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,” he said.
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Makinde added that the package planned by his state will be better than Lagos, where “we show a pile of foodstuff in some warehouse somewhere and in the end, this won’t get to the people who really need it”.
“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 actually 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 actually gets to some form of individuals is too little and too meagre to have the desired impact. That is my own finding.
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“Well, it is a federal government initiative. We will keep engaging them and more than likely, change the coordinator. Because, I do have control over the coordinator of that programme. I will change the coordinator and also when we are able to get our own data right, we will tweak it to ensure that the actual people, the real people that require this assistance, are the ones getting it,” he added.
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Makinde also said the state is working hard to ensure 10,000 people who may have come in contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases or have travel history to high-risk countries are tested.