The Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Humanitarian Services, Hon. Princess Christina Ude on Thursday made a lot of clarifications on the ongoing conditional cash transfer program to the needy.
Princess Ude who spoke during a Darling FM radio programme in Owerri, which was monitored by AmbrosyMediaInfo, made it clear that the current payment was a backlog of last year.
She disclosed that only nine Local Governments in Imo State were initially captured, but when her boss, Governor Uzodimma came into office, he was not happy that only few Local Government areas were receiving these funds instead of all the 27 LGAs.
Speaking further she said, “There is a good news now, so far we are still doing enumeration, the other Local Governments are going be accommodated.
“About 18,238 more beneficiaries are going to be added, because it has been only nine Local Governments since the inception of the program, but now we have come on board, we are increasing it to many local governments”
On her response to how the beneficiaries are located in order to be part of the program, she said, “it is done by community based targeting, there was a pool of 100,000 people” and from the pool the over 18000 beneficiaries are got.
According to her, “The community based targeting is still ongoing and this 18000 is going to increase as time goes on”.
When asked on how to know who is poor among the beneficiaries? She gave example of when she visited Omuma and was able to meet one of the people slated for the program and she obviously noticed signs of poverty all over, in fact she even confirmed taken pictures of the place.
On the reason why they share the money to them by hand, the SDGs SA replied “There are several reason, one, many of these people don’t have bank accounts”
Speaking on where the un expended funds are returned, she disclosed that all funds are returned to Abuja as her office do not keep cash, “All we do is record who and who received, who and who showed up,” she also mentioned that a substitute can receive money for someone in case the person could not show up, for instance if the person is bedridden.
Answering a question on if the program is for women only, Princess Ude said, “No it is not just for women, if you witnessed the last one we paid at the International Conference Center, that was Nkwere, Ideato South and Ideato North, we did it there because of the crises in Orlu, we were kind of skeptical going to Orlu, there were men also.
“We had that of women in December and will still continue this year, that one is just a special grant for rural women, it is separate from this”
The Interview was an interesting one as she was able to clarify a lot of things many people have been misinterpreting about the program.