…We ‘ve given social protection a pride of place – Oyetola
The Osun State Government has launched a N20million monthly social support scheme to tackle social vices, poverty and protect vulnerable citizens of the State.
The initiative which targets 4,000 beneficiaries is another demonstration of the commitment of the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration to widen its social inclusion net, empower the less privileged and raise their standard of living.
Beneficiaries of the scheme are widows and elderly people who have been carefully selected from the State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU) document that was sponsored by the World Bank on poor and vulnerable households.
This is even as some of the beneficiaries who could not hide their joy, having received the credit alerts while the programme was still ongoing, lauded the state government on the initiative and described it as unprecedented.
Recall that the State under the leadership of Governor Oyetola had engaged in several collaborative efforts with the Federal Government to cater for the needs of the poor including disbursement of cash grant to poor and vulnerable households.
It would also be recalled that recently, the State Government distributed N20, 000 cash per head to over 5,000 beneficiaries across the 30 Local Government Areas, including Ife-East Area Office, Modakeke.
Flagging off the scheme at the Staff Development Centre, Abere, Osogbo, on Friday, Governor Oyetola said his administration had injected huge capital inflow into various social protection initiatives while also collaborating with the Federal Government and the private sector to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of people of the State.
He said: “As part of our objective to give better life to the poor and the indigent, we have given social protection a pride of place, with over 14 social investment programmes targeted at elderly people, the youth, the poor, and school children.
“These expansive programmes and the attendant impact we have recorded have earned us awards from the eras of MDGs to that of SDGs and even prompted the Federal Government to send a delegation to understudy our State.
“All these initiatives are intended to bring all the strata of the society into the welfare net, banish hunger, terminate mystery, spread prosperity and stabilize the economy of the State.
“We shall continue to help marginalised groups such as women, people living with disabilities and the aged to develop income-generation activities to make them contribute to the economic potential of the State.
“We shall continue to pursue programmes that will put the people first, strengthen the weak in our economic chain and achieve sustainable economic development. Let me assure you that as long as I remain the governor by the grace of Almighty God, we will sustain this initiative.”
The governor urged the beneficiaries to engage in productive ventures that will turn their situation around saying, “as a government, we stand with you in your efforts to bring courage and meaning into your lives and be the good mothers and senior citizens that you desire to be.”
Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Engr Olalekan Badmus, said the Scheme was one of the several social intervention programmes being run by the state government aimed at bringing relief to the less privileged in the society.
“Since he got into office, our Governor has never left anyone in doubt about his unflinching commitment to the social wellbeing of the citizens. The achievement recorded in all our ongoing intervention programmes would not have been possible without his resolve and drive to bring happiness to the citizens particularly the vulnerable in the State.
“In this special Scheme, 4000 indigent people of Osun origin, comprising widows and the elderly are being supported on a monthly basis with a sum of twenty million naira on five thousand naira per beneficiary.
“It is our belief that with this initiative, and others before it, the government’s projection to create a meaningful world for our peace-loving people to live in would be possible in no distant time,” he added.