Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Dr Kayode Fayemi has restated the commitment of his administration to fighting poverty and the economic empowerment of the people of Ekiti.
This, he said, necessitated the implementation of policies aimed at boosting the standard of living of Ekiti people and addressing the worrying trend of poverty.
The Governor spoke at the flag-off of the engagement of the Third Batch of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO)/Public Workfare (PWF) Scheme in Ifaki Ekiti.
Fayemi, represented by Deputy Governor Bisi Egbeyemi, described the World Bank assisted scheme as laudable and a measure to combat poverty “which does not respect partisan politics.”
A statement on Sunday by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, explained that a total number of 6,437 beneficiaries are participating in the programme holding at Ifaki Campus of the Ekiti State University (EKSU).
Fayemi stressed that his administration has adopted a zero tolerance approach to poverty, hence its desire to always engage the people of the state in meaningful activities that will keep the young people out of trouble.
He further revealed that his administration will soon recommence the payment of stipends to the indigent aged and physically challenged people, with the beneficiaries to be drawn from the Single Register for the Poor and Vulnerable Households.
The Single Register, the Governor added, contains the list of all identified households living below globally accepted poverty line and from where the beneficiaries of YESSO/PWF are drawn.
Fayemi, who advised the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the stipends to be paid them and make themselves reliant, also commended the World Bank for the project and other interventions in the state.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the Bureau of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr Lanre Ogunjobi, disclosed that the state government will be committing N50 million monthly to the payment of stipends to beneficiaries.
Ogunjobi, who said the gesture was aimed at checkmating poverty at the grassroots, also hailed the Fayemi administration for paying its counterpart funds to the World Bank despite the financial challenges facing the state.
He pointed out that the programme, which started in 2013 during Fayemi’s first tenure, has helped reduce unemployment and boosted the economy at the grassroots.
The Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr Sesan Alabi, said the welfare of the poor is a priority of the Fayemi administration.
Alabi added that the social intervention programmes started by the governor during his first tenure are now being replicated at the federal level.