Clement Adeyi, Osogbo, Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure and Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
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.
Ondo imposes curfew as state records 3rd case
Ondo Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, yesterday announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew with immediate effect as the state records third coronavirus disease case.
The governor, who confirmed the third COVID-19 case in a state-wide broadcast, said the curfew will be between 7pm and 7am while all the boundaries to the state will remain closed.
He said the latest victim of COVID-19 is a medical practitioner resident with the Nigerian Army Clinic at the Owena Cantonment in Akure.
According to him, the victim came in contact with the index case, who is an army officer, at the army base.
He said the index case came back from a national assignment in India and his first point of examination and treatment was the Army Barracks from where the rest of the protocols were observed until he was confirmed and isolated.
Akeredolu said: “As a government, we took the conscious effort to monitor all the health workers in the army clinic in order to track any possibility of primary or secondary infection. We also expanded this to all the possible and known contacts of the index case in the barracks.
“This effort helped us to identify the current case, who developed symptoms after the index case was confirmed. We took his samples for testing. The sample was confirmed positive. He has since been transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital for proper care.
“However, for the avoidance of doubt, the current case is not a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps as earlier announced. He is an employee of the Nigerian Army Barracks who served as a medical practitioner in the same facility in 2017 and was retained,” he said.
Makinde flags off drive-through/walk-through testing
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, yesterday, flagged off Drive-Through/Walk-Through testing for COVID-19 for mass testing in order to determine whether stiffer measures will be introduced to upgrade the partial lockdown to a total lockdown.
The state had imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew, banned religious gatherings and interstates transportation, closed all schools, night clubs and markets for a period of time, except fruit and food markets, among other measures.
The flag off ceremony took place at Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan. The Drive-Through/Walk-Through testing centre will be at the open space in the complex when the stadium is accessed from the gate opposite Ibadan Recreation Club.
Makinde said: “Before the index case was recorded on March 21, we had started putting things in place to ensure we will be able to prevent, contain, and control the spread of COVID-19 in Oyo State.”