* Urge Youths to intensify pressure on Gov. Bello to vie for presidency.
Ufedo Elija Lokoja
The kogi State Focal Person of National Social Investment Programme NSIP, Abdukareem Onyekehi has advocated for upward review of monthly stipends for the beneficiaries of different segments of the programme to catch up with the present economic realities.
Onyekehi who noted that the present low value of the naira against major world currencies has made the stipends paid to beneficiaries to loose the laudable intentions and should be reviewed upward to regain relevance.
The kogi state focal person gave the advise from the sidelines at the Stewardship Magazine award ceremony held over the weekend in Lokoja.
He said, much as the programme was targeted at the poorest of the poor, the five thousand naira for conditional cash transfer has lost its potency due to dwindling value of the Naira.
He added that unless the amount meant for School feeding programme is stepped up from #70 naira per child per day, the managers would continue to employ rationing to feed the children as the amount can no longer buy a loaf of bread.
Onyekehi disclosed that by 2019, the total enrollees of the programme in the state stood at 11,000 but with strategic planning and lobbying, he was able to increase the beneficiaries to 74,411 who are now being lifted out of extreme poverty.
He added that the last batch have been captured and are waiting to receive their monthly stipends , stressing that the president has given approval for clearance of Conditional Cash Transfer backlog of arrears from January to June , assuring that the gesture will be extended to other segments of the programme.
On the award of excellence presented to Governor Yahaya Bello by the Stewardship Magazine, said , his choice was a testimony to his excellent performance on Education, health Security , infrastructures and all aspects of state economy that has stood him out among his peers.
Onyekehi explained that, apart from his prodigy in Security, he has demonstrated capacity in uniting the ethnic, tribal, and cultural diversity of the state and has give a voice to the youth and women who are now contributing their quota to the development of the state.
According to him” Governor Bello has ensured that the people are first of all united before meaningful development can take place. He has done this through his projects that are scattered across the Senatorial districts. His employment and empowerment programme are crafted to satisfy all and sundry .
” He has given the youths who were hitherto regarded as hoodlums and only good to be used as thugs are now placed in leadership positions that has launched the state into lasting and sustainable peace and security.
” The Governor has done well on infrastructures , roads are being constructed all over the state. He didn’t concentrate development on the state capital unlike his counterparts who does so for propaganda and political consideration.
“Rural roads are being constructed and rehabilitated. Upgrading of schools and even the stablishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology was sited in a rural area to hasten Development. He has surpassed the 35% affirmative action as not less than four women are elected Councillors in each LGC and the 21 Vice chairmen LG are women. It is this quality of equity and inclusiveness that endeared
him to youths across the country that are clamouring for him to contest presidency in 2023.
” The Governor has the strength and stamina as his advantage. He is youthful with alot of energy and intellectual capacity that can be deployed for the progress of the country. The youths having ex rayed his performance in the state want him to replicate same at the centre.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, once lamented that inasmuch as he want do some things, he is weighed down by old age and agreed that the young ones have more advantage in making things done with speed.” He stated.
While calling on the people to continue to support Governor Yahaya Bello and his administration to deliver dividend of democracy to the people urge the youths across the country not to relent in mounting pressures on him untill he accepts to run for the presidency.