Kwara State

 

YESSO has recorded huge success in Kwara state. The state is foremost in the conduct of Community Based Targeting /Single Rregister CBT/SR having completed 10th rounds covering 105,946 households comprising 486,444 individuals of which 234,716 are males and 251,728 are females.  Kwara YESSO has covered all the 16 local government areas in the State and is currently implementing three intervention components namely Public Workfare PWF, Skills for Job S4J and Special Grant Transfer SGT. 

 

Kwara is a state in North central Nigeria. Its capital is Ilorin and is located within the North Central geopolitical zone, commonly referred to as the middle belt. The primary ethnic group is Yoruba, with significant Nupe, Bariba, Bokobaru and Fulani minorities. The state has 16 Local Government Areas. It also has a number of industries but agriculture is the most important economic activity in the state. Kwara is rated 23.7% by the United Nation Poverty Index. 

 

Kwara state, as one of the pioneer eight States of YESSO embraced YESSO activities in the year 2013. The state keyed into YESSO programme because of the existing similar window already on (green and clean) programme which was operational in the state.  It commenced CBT/SR activities with just 6 local government areas which are Asa, Ifelodun, Ilorin West, Isin, Kaiama & Moro registering 3,600 households with 19,769 individuals. 9,716 males, 10,053 females in 180 communities. 

 

YESSO is supporting Kwara State Government through the Public Workfare (PWF) Component to provide immediate labour intensive work opportunities for unskilled youths from poor households in the State. This component is not only to enhance the capacity of participating unemployed young people but also create and improve basic social, environmental and economic infrastructure in the communities. Its target is unemployed youths (male and female) between the ages of 18 to 35 with less than JSS 3 education and later extended to ages 35 and 45 years with less than SSS 3 education. The sum of N7, 500.00 is paid to the beneficiaries as monthly stipend for the services they render to their communities. 

 

From the design of the programme, stipend payment to beneficiaries is to be co-funded by the Kwara State Government and the World Bank at a ratio of 10:90%. Following a No Objection (NOB) obtained from the World Bank by the Kwara PWF in 2018, the Unit commenced full implementation of its activities in six pilot LGAs of Ilorin West, Asa, Ifelodun, Isin, Moro and Kaiama in the State.

 

Consequent upon this, the PWF Unit conducted Orientation/Training programme for its Stakeholders and beneficiaries in the 6 LGAs on the 10-31 July, 2018 with Ilorin West being the first port of call and rounded off at Kaiama LGA. The programme was held at the respective LGA Secretariat and attended by the leadership of the Local Government Councils. The period of the orientation programme was also used to validate, enrol, open bank accounts and provide BVN for all the validated beneficiaries. The purpose of the validation is to ensure that those already in the register are varified physically no proxy based on the information that they gave during enumeration such as place of residence, educational status currently, age is within the eligibility range of PWF YESSO. Appropriate steps are taken based on the validation, such as removal of impersonators and fictitious names from the final register of beneficiaries.

 

It is important to mention that the beneficiaries were mined from the Single Register of poor and vulnerable people in the State which was populated by the State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU) which is domiciled in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Kwara State. The beneficiaries work within the immediate vicinity of their communities without having to incur any cost to transport themselves to their work sites. In the same vein, the stipend payment is being made directly to their individual bank accounts. The payment is however contingent upon the beneficiaries participating in the public work activities for at least 20 days in the month and ensure that he/she signs the attendance register. Monthly monitoring and evaluation cum quarterly supervision were carried out to ensure that the project’s development objectives are met.

 

Sequel to His Excellency, the State Governor’s approval, and deployment of the first batch of 1,210 beneficiaries in 153 Communities to their respective work sites commenced on Thursday, 1st February 2018 across the six LGAs. In July 2019. And on the heels of the success story by the Unit, additional 18,000 youths were deployed under the final PWF cycle and mined from the register of poor and vulnerable households/individuals, covering the entire 16 LGAs of the State were added to the first batch.

 

In the same vein, the Unit was further given approval by the World Bank to enrol a total of 25,000 beneficiaries under the newly introduced Special Grant Transfer (SGT) for aged 65 years and above and physically challenged persons (18 - 64) years. This category of poor and vulnerable individuals were enrolled and paid their first tranche of quarterly grants of N20, 000 in September, 2019. It may interest you to note that both beneficiaries of the PWF and SGT have been paid their stipends/grants up to date.

 

In conclusion, the Kwara PWF Unit has been on top of its job since the deployment of the first batch and final cycle of beneficiaries to their respective work sites as there has been vigorous monitoring of the beneficiaries and evaluation of their job contents across the 16 LGAs.  However, it is noteworthy to state that majority of the beneficiaries right from the onset have cultivated the habit of saving from their monthly stipend in form of cooperative groupings which they have used to invest and buy various items of trade to enhance their means of livelihood and ensure maximum comfort even after their exit from the programme. 

 

The implementation of the Skills for Job (S4J) component in the state is another success story. Youths from poor household and vulnerable groups, between the ages of 18 - 35 were selected to acquire necessary skills that will enable them gain employment or make them self-reliant and ultimately become employers of labour to contribute to the socio-economic activities of the state. The beneficiaries are mined from the Single Register of poor and vulnerable households  which is domiciled in SOCU with the following record of number mined 13,442, number verified 7,225 and the number documented is 4,573 who are those that actually participated in the first level skills training, deployment for internship and sat for the Modular trade examination. This approach since inception has impacted meaningfully on the good people of the state with the conduct of four Cycles in all, beginning from the 1st cycle orientation and flag-off training conducted on the 20th of March, 2017.

 

It is however necessary to inform that all the 16 LGA's in the state had benefitted from the skills for job training in the state within the last three years with the following statistical analysis of their achievement, during the 1st, 2nds, 3rd & 4th Cycles with the Male recording a total of 2,734 whilst the Female recorded a total of 1,839 beneficiaries in the state of Harmony. The training is a nine months duration training beginning with the orientation and flag-off ceremony inducting the beneficiaries, followed by the first level skills training on life skills, sector specific and entrepreneurship skills training, where beneficiaries are made to face the rudiments of acquiring skills that would be accomplished within the first three months, upon being accommodated, free feeding and also the payment of 7,500 naira stipend for the nine months period. After the three months, the trainees are deployed to their respective Private Sector Operators PSOs in their choice of place for the remaining six months for a comprehensive practical experience of the trainees by their Master trainers. Additionally, the state pioneered the state led process in S4J. From overall implementation activities, the state was adjudged as the Best performing State at the YESSO Quarterly Review meeting held in Calabar, Cross River State in 2019.