Old and vulnerable people across Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State have described the ongoing disbursement of conditional cash transfer (Owo Arugbo) to them as a first in the history of the state.
Receiving the November/December cycle of the social safety, the recipients said no administration has mapped out a deliberate strategy to reach out to the poor and vulnerable directly like the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration’s Kwara State Social Investment Programme.
‘Owo Arugbo’ is one of the four components of the KWASSIP, which has been designed to support poor and vulnerable families, petty traders and young people at various levels.
At least 10,000 indigent 60-year-olds and above have been captured for the first phase of the anti-poverty measure.
The government flagged off the disbursement of the non-refundable once-in-two-months stipends of N6,000 in Patigi on Monday with beneficiaries in other local governments slated to receive theirs as scheduled by the KWASSIP team.
The KWASSIP team also disbursed N10,000 Owo Isowo’, another people-oriented scheme designed for petty traders.
Some of the beneficiaries, who spoke with newsmen in Patigi Local Government, commended the state government for taking the bold step in alleviating their suffering and pleaded for its sustainability.
Mayaki Gudugi of Patigi Ward Four expressed delight over the gesture and promised the money would be used judiciously.
“I am very grateful for this money given to me. I thank the government for this gesture,” he said.
Aishatu Madu of Patigi Ward Three said that the stipend would help to improve the standard of living of her family.
Madu commended Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the initiative, saying that the gesture would be the first from the state government in history.
She noted that the beneficiaries would remain grateful to the governor for providing succour for the aged and vulnerable.
Another beneficiary, Alhaji Saadu Gomina from Lade Ward two, urged the government to sustain the allowance to reduce poverty among the people of the state.
“I am here to collect N6,000 from the state. The government is helping us with this money. I want the governor to continue to give us this money till he leaves office. God will bless him,” he told reporters.
Gomina, who was excited with the programme, promised to continue to support the administration in the state.
Also speaking, Mr Shehu Naibi, a beneficiary of trader money component ‘Owo Isowo’, said he would inject the money into his petty business.
Naibi, who received N10,000, hailed AbdulRazaq for the people-oriented programme.
“I am a Chemist from Patigi Ward Two. I have collected N10,000 and this will help my business to grow. I appreciate the government. The government is doing well,” he said.
The AbdulRazaq administration had in May released N300 million to fund the state’s social investment programmes targeted at the poorest of the poor, including the aged, the widow, and others at the lowest wrung of the economy.