Kogi State Government via the Ministry of Youth Development and Sport has launched Labour Intensive Public Works On Kogi COVID 19 Economic Stimulus Programme (KgCARES) intervention.
The second round of the program was kick Started simultaneously in 3 Local Governments; Lokoja, Kogi and Aajaokuta on Friday 12th January 2024 with registration and data capturing and account opening of the beneficiaries.
Addressing the beneficiaries in Lokoja, the Head, Kogi CARES Labour Intensive Public Works Delivery Platform of Social Intervention Fund, Elder Oladipo Elkanah said the program is in collaboration with the World Bank and it will go round the State.
He added that the program is a Multi Sectoral approach on intervention to further tackle the effect of post Covid-19.
He noted the program is systematically processed and it’s involves levels Supervision and Monitoring from Community to the Local and State levels to ensure public Workfare is being delivered and it’s requires the beneficiaries to be useful and productive to their respective communities by offering 3 hours daily for 18 days in a month for public/social works.
Speaking to journalist, Elkanah said the beneficiaries were carefully taken from the State’s Social Register within the age of 18 and 45, because of the social/community/public work obligation expected of them.
He also noted that the program is one of the Multisectoral approach adopted to deliver on Kg CARES intervention to further tackle the leaving conditions of the poor and vulnerable, with women to be at least 60% of the beneficiaries.
He also added there are Focal Persons who are not parts of the program beneficiaries but serving as part of the chain of Supervision to ensure that the beneficiaries work on public infrastructure within their Communities, such as Cleaning of drainage, Cleaning of public buildings environments and its includes Town Hall, Health Centres, Water Source etc.
He said that participants have their own personal means of livelihoods like, Okada riders , artisans farmers, fishermen, petty traders, etc; mostly Unbanked rural dwellers that they are expected to support their means of livelihood with the stipends that will be paid to them.
He said the stipends of N10,000 monthly, is being considered for upwards review by the Ministry and other components of the government to make it up to N15,000 because of the prevailing economic reality. The program will run for not less than a year.
He said there will be monthly monitoring, life skill training, and this is also not a table payment program, it is a funds transfer program and bank accounts will be seamlessly opened for the beneficiaries at no cost, he added that this will offer rural dwellers and poor people the opportunity to own a bank account.
He said the life skill training and mentorship will teach the beneficiaries the importance of saving Culture. Beneficiaries will be provided with basic kits like hand gloves, nose pads and jacket along with modest Working tools in line with Best practices on public Works. A total number of 2100 beneficiaries are going to be enrolled across the 21 Local Government Areas of the State.
Elder Elkana Commended the present administration in the state led by Governor Yahaya Bello for the Massive Support on Human Capital development and in particular on prosecution of Kogi CARES Program in the past four years.
A beneficiary, Mr. Ali Abdul a motorcyclist (okada rider), when interviewed, said it is a welcomed development, that whatever amount the stipend is, it as addition to support their livelihood.
Ms. Esther Komolafe said she is happy because very soon she would have saved up enough money to expand her petty trading.