Saturday, 2 June 2018

Asu Okang clears doubt over grey areas of YESSO engagement of 10,000 C/River youths... Read details, see pictures

Asu Okang (R) during the signing of the MoU on Thursday 
Efio-Ita Nyok|2 June 2018 

The Honourable Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Cross River state, Comr Asu Okang, Friday, offered explanations to resolve grey areas springing up from news of N750, 000, 000 (seven hundred and fifty million Naira) counterpart funding being disbursed by Cross River Governor, Mr Ben Ayade for the engagement of 10, 000 youths under the Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) World Bank supported programme through its Public Workfare (PWF) Unit NegroidHaven can report. 

This reaction by the Honourable Commissioner came on the heels of the queries raised by a social media user, Mr Daniel Riwo, who asked pertinent questions bordering four areas, to wit, selection of youths, number of engaged local government areas, venue of biometric capturing of recipients, and logistics for the biometric capturing. 

Riwo expressed himself thus: '1- have the youths been selected already because one of your aides said so? 2- How come only 6 LGAs are going to be captured in this program? 3- Why will the youths that will be captured or have been captured as the case maybe have to come to Calabar for a head count in a supposed "digital era"? 4- While the 5,000 youths come to Calabar for the head count what happens to their feeding and accommodation? For example, if your name is shortlisted from Obudu or Boki you will spend approximately 3, 500 to Calabar and another back which is 7k, and then what happens to your accommodation and feeding?

Asu Okang and FCMB ranking official on Thursday 

In respect of the selection of the youths, Okang explained that it's not his ministry that did the selection, but, SUCO since 2014; on the number of LGAs engaged, he further noted that the engagement is in phases with the first phase engaging 6 LGAs, as the second phase will capture 11 LGAs; Okang who said image capturing will be in LGA headquarters by First City Monument Bank (FCMB) contrary to rumours, submitted that the event scheduled to hold in Calabar on 12th August is the official launch of the programme. 

Okang's words, 'the first set of the youth have been selected, not by our Ministry, but by the World Bank technical team under the State Coordinating unit (SOCU) domesticated under Ministry of International Donor Cooperationn since 2014 .That brought about a 'single register' containing over 25,000 names of people considered to be poor and without educational certificate.

So, PWF unit (under Ministry of Youth) only mind those who fall under the ages 18 to 35 as prescribed by the world Bank i.e the youth component of the register.
Others  may fall under two other components of the YESSO programme, like Skills 4 jobs (which is under NDE) and conditional cash transfer (under SDGs) but from the same 'single register'.

Continuing here added, '11 LGAs not 6, it must have been a mistake. 11 because the programme is in phases, the remaining 7 LGAs will be captured by September once we commence payment of the first set. It's not a problem at all.

'Image capturing/biometrics is not in Calabar, the bank (FCMB) is expected to meet beneficiaries at every LG headquarters. The event holding in Calabar is the official launch of the programme on the 12th of August being Int'l youth day, for this, transportation and feeding will be completely taken care of by the state in collaboration with the world bank'. 

The Honourable Commissioner while responding to the location of social support to be offered cited an instance where he said 'if you live in Ukpe Alege for instance, you are expected to offer service right there where you live, not even the next community, take note, it's not a job per-se, but a social support operation. It's meant to SUPPORT beneficiaries.' 

Cross River State is the third state in Nigeria to implement this, right behind Kwara and Niger.

Efio-Ita Nyok
Is the Blogger-in-Chief, Editor-in-Chief & Publisher of NegroidHaven 

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