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 clarified several misconceptions on the ongoing conditional cash transfer program to the poor and vulnerable.
Princess Ude who spoke during a Darling FM radio programme in Owerri, on Thursday, made it clear that the current ongoing payment was a backlog of last year, July and August payment to be specific. She disclosed that only nine Local Governments in Imo State were initially captured since inception, 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 of the 27 LGAs.
Speaking further she said, “There is good news now, so far we are still doing enumeration, the other Local Governments are going be captured.
“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 the remaining 18 local governments”
Capturing of new beneficiary in Oru East as Imo SIP focal person , Hon Christina Ude monitors the ongoing enumeration
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 18000 beneficiaries were selected” According to her, “The community based targeting is still ongoing and the 18,000 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 Okwuozuh 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 by taking pictures of the place.
Hon. Christina Ude talking to a new beneficiary being enumerated in Okwuozuh Omuma in Oru East LGA.
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 funding, who and who showed up,” she also mentioned that a substitute can receive money for someone in case the beneficiary couldn’t show up, for instance if the person is bedridden, blind or handicapped.
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 of going to Orlu, there were men also at ICC who received cash transfer, the money is for the poor and vulnerable people not just women she reiterated.
“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 the conditional cash transfer” The Interview was very informative as she was able to clarify a lot misconceptions and misinterpretation about the Household Uplifting Program.