Saturday, 2 June 2018

Gov Ayade releases N45 million YESSO counterpart funding... PWF signs MoU with PSP

Esther Okoi|2 June 2018 

Following the release of 45 million Naira by the Cross River State Governor, Sen. (Prof.) Ben Ayade as counterpart funding for the engagement of 5, 000 youths under the Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) World Bank supported programme through its Public Workfare (PWF) Unit, domiciled in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been formally signed to engage Payment Service Providers (PSP) for the stipend payment to beneficiaries across the State.

The MoU which was signed in the office of the Commissioner, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development between the PWF Unit and First City Monument Bank who were selected as the Payment Service Provider after a rigorous selection process, serves as an actual contract agreement and terms of reference for both parties in the payment of the beneficiaries of PWF in Cross River State.

Speaking during the signing, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development in the State, Comrade Asu Okang explained that the signing was epochal as it marks the beginning of the process for the engagement of the first phase of 5, 000 youths in the State to be paid stipends of 7, 500 Naira monthly, noting that the State had in more than two years planned and put the required modalities in place to meet with the World Bank requirement in obtaining a No Objection for the engagement of Payment Service Provider for the engagement of 5, 000 youths in Public Workfare across the State to provide Social Support Services, describing the process as another milestone in the Governor Ben Ayade-led administration.

He appreciated the digital and youth Governor of the State, Ayade, for his genuine interest in changing the lives of youths in the State through active involvement in the polity of the State and other areas. He explained that the engaged PSP will advance to the field, take biometrics of the selected persons and disbursement would be made to individual bank accounts with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), adding that beneficiaries would also be trained in different life skills at intervals during the period of their engagements.

He emphasized that the beneficiaries would not be taken away from their locality and would be required to give in about 2 hours daily in the different areas they would be engaged, reiterating that their job engagement is not a conventional one but a Social Support Service, hence the minimal number of hours required from them. He also informed that the Governor, Ayade is poised to ensure that before the end of the year, 10, 000 (Ten Thousand) youths would be engaged in the YESSO World Bank supported programme. 

Also speaking, the Cross River State YESSO Coordinator, Mr. Ofegobi Balinwo informed that beneficiaries were drawn from the poor and vulnerable and not unemployed youths in the State and expressed excitement that the long awaited engagement of youths and disbursement of funds will be carried out shortly, assuring that beneficiaries will be not be swindled of their entitlements.

Responding on behalf of the Management of FCMB, the IRH, Mr. Ime Ette stated that he was thrilled to witness the signing of the MoU, adding that the gesture is worth commending considering the impact it would have on the lives of the beneficiaries and the society. Mr. Ette inferred that Youth restiveness will reduce drastically if the same is replicated in other states of the Federation and called for the sustainability and possible expansion of the programme.

Also present during the signing of the MoU were: State Solicitor General, Peter A. Bassey, representing the State Attorney General; Head, Public Finance Management Unit -YESSO, Mr. Robert Arah; Director Youth, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Emmanuel B. Effiong; Branch Manager, FCMB, Charles Emefiele; Relations Manager, FCMB, Ekomaru Norman; among others.

Esther Okoi
Reports from Calabar 

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