Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State has directed express payment of stipends due to 25,907 vulnerable citizens in the state as part of palliative measures to mitigate the effects of the lockdown occasioned by coronavirus pandemic.
The governor also ordered immediate distribution of debit cards linked to the accounts of the beneficiaries in a bid to ensure transparency, accountability and seamless process.
Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Lawal Olayemi, disclosed this, yesterday while fielding questions from journalists in Ile-Ife, during the distribution of the debit cards to the beneficiaries.
Opeyemi, who described the scheme as one of the best social intervention programmes in the country, disclosed that the governor had approved payment of N20,000 each to 15,289 elderly citizens and people living with disabilities captured under the Special Grant Transfer (SGT) scheme.
He added that approval had also been given for the immediate payment of N7,500 to 10,618 beneficiaries who are vulnerable youths captured under Public Work Fare (PWF) programme.
The commissioner, who maintained that the administration of Governor Oyetola was committed to the people’s welfare, noted that the gesture would go a long way in transforming the lives of the beneficiaries.
He said the funds disbursement under the SGT and PWF was different from the Federal Government conditional cash transfer recently launched by the governor.
Olayemi added that the governor had also mandated the immediate release of the monthly and quarterly stipends to the beneficiaries as part of efforts to alleviate the effects of hardship that the people are going through due to the lockdown.
According to him, the gesture would go a long way to promote the general well-being of the beneficiaries and by extension, make life pleasurable for them.
He said the scheme which started in July 2019 was a partnership between the Osun State Government and World Bank.
“This is a collaboration between the state government and World Bank designed to alleviate poverty, hunger and unemployment among the people in the state.
“We commenced the exercise in line with the governor’s directive to ensure every beneficiary under the scheme get paid.
“There are two categories of beneficiaries. The first are people living with disabilities and the aged. They are 15,289 and captured under SGT. Also, there is PWF which is designed for the youths and beneficiaries under this are 10,618.
“The elderly ones and those living with disabilities are given N20,000 each quarterly while the beneficiaries under the PWF each takes home N7,500 monthly.
“We started the distribution of debit cards last Friday where we captured Irewole, Isokan, Iwo, Ede-North and Ede-South local governments respectively. We have also captured Atakumosa- East, Ilesa-East, Oriade and Boluwaduro, Ife-East, Ife-Central, Atakumosa-West, Ila and Ife-North local governments.
“We are moving next to Orolu, Boripe, Ifelodun, Olorunda, Odo-Otin, Osogbo, Ife-South, Ifedayo, Irepodun and Ejigbo local governments.
“Though this programme has been on since last year’s July but to ensure high level of transparency and accountability, the governor had approved the production and distribution of debit cards to the beneficiaries.
“Before now, the beneficiaries used to receive their stipends by hands, but with this new technology, the process will be easier.
“The debit cards which is linked with the beneficiary’s account is aimed at ensuring easy access to funds. This social intervention programme is different from the Federal Government conditional cash transfer recently launched by the governor,” Olayemi said.