May 24, 2024

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Bauchi Gov Launches Poverty Eradication Program, Calls On Beneficiaries To Be Judicious In Implementation Of Grants

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By Abdullahi Idris, Bauchi
In continuation of his administration’s commitment to eradicate poverty among people at the grassroots, Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir on Saturday launched the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme (KEEP) in Ningi and Warji LGAs.

With the launching of the two LGAs, the program has so far been launched in 16 Local Government Areas, the last two of which were Shira and Giade Local Government Areas earlier in the year.

Speaking at the launching in Ningi, the Governor said that, “We have come a long way in our journey towards empowering the good people of Bauchi State through KEEP. We are gathered here today to formally bring Ningi and Warji Local Government Areas to the mainstream of the empowerment initiative.”

He said that “With today’s launching of the programme, it could be said that about 80% of the State has been covered by the economic intervention.”

According to the Governor, “As I have said during the launching of the Kaura Economic Empowerment in the fourteen Local Governments, the programme, as the name suggests, is all about making the good people of Bauchi State self-reliant by providing them the wherewithal and conducive environment to be economically productive”.

He added that “The programme has therefore been designed to boost economic activities in order to address the problem of unemployment and alleviate poverty among our people, especially the vibrant youth and women.”

The Governor explained that the programme initially took off with the distribution of 1,000 tricycles (Keke NAPEP) to the erstwhile Commercial motorcycle riders, popularly referred to as ‘yan achaba.

“As you all know, the tricycles were given out as revolving loans so that upon repayment other people would also benefit from the programme. In addition to the 1000 tricycles, a total of 154 buses have also been procured and distributed to members of the public also as revolving loans”, he said.

Bala Mohammed further said that “Since the commencement of the formal launching of the Kaura Economic empowerment Programme in the Local Government Areas, an average N75,000,000:00 in both cash and kind, has been distributed to some selected beneficiaries in each of the Local Governments where the programme has so far been launched”.

The Governor assured that the same gesture would be replicated in Ningi and Warji Local Governments saying that Selected beneficiaries of the programme in Ningi and Warji Local Government Areas would therefore be given Provision of starter packs and N50,000 cash for 500 persons per Local Government.

They also got the provision of three motorcycles in each of the wards of the 20 Local Governments where the beneficiaries are Ward PDP Chairmen, Ward Coordinators and Ward Youth leaders; Provision of N100,000.00 cash to women leaders and youth leaders in each of the 20 Local Governments and Provision of five buses to each of the 20 Local Governments.

The Governor stressed that “Our Administration palaces a high premium on empowerment through job creation. As a testimony of our commitment towards poverty alleviation, we have put in place the Bauchi State Microfinance Institution Building Programme (MIFIN) to complement the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme”.

According to him, “The aim of this programme is to develop and strengthen Microfinance Institutions and establish linkages among the institutions and other financial institutions in order to create a viable and sustainable microfinance system.”

“The ultimate goal is to enhance access of the poor to financial services so as to boost the productivity of micro and small scale enterprises, thereby reducing poverty”, he stressed.

He however said that besides the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme which has as its main objective, encouragement and support to the people to engage in various entrepreneurship, his Administration has since its inception a little over three years ago been engaged in human capital development through the construction of roads and other infrastructural facilities which provide conducive and enabling environment for business activities to thrive.

“These infrastructures cover both urban and rural areas that have hitherto remained inaccessible due to lack of roads. As the economic mainstay of the State, agriculture has also been given the attention it deserves through the provision of agricultural inputs like fertilizer, herbicides, improved seeds and machinery. We are also collaborating with foreign partners to develop agricultural lands and encourage mechanization for the production of both food and cash crops on large scale”, he added.

He further said that “Our Administration has also made a giant stride towards the provision of water for both human and animal consumption. The Bauchi township water supply scheme which was a joint venture between the World Bank and the State Government has been completed and commissioned by Mr President.”

Bala Mohammed added that “In our effort to extend the provision of water to all other parts of the State, the following water projects are being executed:-
Construction of a dedicated power line from Azare to the waterworks that serve both Azare and Jama’are towns;
Design and construction for the supply of water in Ningi and Dass towns and
Design and provision of water in all headquarters of Local Governments of the State. We have started with Alkaleri Local Government as a pilot’.

“Other human capital developmental projects embarked upon by our Administration are the construction and renovation of Primary and Secondary Schools, General Hospitals and Primary Health Centres across the State. The health facilities have been provided with equipment and furniture for their effective operation. Medical doctors, nurses, midwives and other health personnel have also been engaged for them.”

The Governor then reiterate his appeal to beneficiaries of the Kaura Economic Empowerment Programme to make good use of the opportunity by properly managing the cash and items given to them to boost their economic status and assist others who may not have access to the largesse.

He assured us that “On our part as a Government, we will continue to explore more ways and means of poverty alleviation. This would include a partnership with private organizations and well-to-do public-spirited individuals.”

“We have in this regard already partnered with the Aliko Dangote Foundation who has through its Dangote Micro Grant empowered 1,000 women with N10,000:00 each in all the 20 Local Governments in the State. While appreciating the effort of the Foundation, I would like to call on other business organizations to emulate this gesture”.

Bala Mohammed then reassured the good people of Bauchi State that his Administration would not relent in its effort to see to the upliftment of their socio-economic wellbeing, in spite of the paucity of resources.

He assured that “We will continue to deploy our managerial competence in the management of the scarce resources to ensure that the majority of the people of the State benefit from our various poverty alleviation intervention initiatives. I, therefore, call on you all to continue to support and cooperate with the Government towards the realization of this noble objective”.

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