Monday, December 6, 2021

Kaduna govt’s N500m food distribution not reaching the poor, Coalition cries out

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The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition, KADSPAC, has expressed concern that the poor and vulnerable households might not benefit from the N500 million worth of foodstuffs being distributed by the Kaduna State Government.

The Assistant Secretary of the group, Yufu Goje raised the alarm in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday.

He noted that the committee mandated to distribute the foodstuffs had no clear criteria or list of expected beneficiaries.

Mr Goje noted that the though the intention of government was commendable, it should take steps to address the lapses.

He made the observation on the sideline of the distribution exercise at Unguwan Pama, Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna.

According to him, larger percentage of the vulnerable, which comprised of the aged, people living with disabilities and other poorest of the poor would not get the food items.

NAN reports that the distribution committee comprised APC Ward Chairmen as head, village heads, religious leaders, community members and other relevant stakeholders.

It was intended to cushion the effect of the lockdown which was imposed by government to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Mr Goje observed that the committee had no comprehensive list of expected beneficiaries that would ensure that the palliative gets to the targeted groups.

He however noted that coordination of the distribution exercise at the local government level being supervised by the Commissioner for Planning and Budget Commission, Thomas Gyang was excellent.

“But from what we have seen in some of the distribution points, particularly Unguwan Pama and Unguwan Boro, where the distribution have started, there was no list of beneficiaries.

“The lists are being generated at the point of distribution and there is no way there would be proper screening of who should benefit.

“This is largely because there were no clear criteria of who the vulnerable groups that should benefit are. This is a serious challenge in reaching the targeted group,” he said.

Mr Goje particularly said: “We were expecting to see the unemployed, the aged, pregnant women, people with disabilities and other poorest of the poor.

“But few of the beneficiaries we have seen, even though some are widows, they have businesses as source of livelihood. This is very disturbing.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Committee, Istifanus Danbo, the APC Chairman, Sabon Tasha Ward, acknowledged that there was no comprehensive list of beneficiaries.

Mr Danbo, nonetheless told NAN that about 5,000 poor and vulnerable in the cluster would benefit, adding that each beneficiary would get one of the items being distributed.

He identified the items as 700 bags of about three measures of rice, 72 bags of beans, 165 cartons of spaghetti, 1,200 cartons of Indomie, and 800 gallons of vegetable oil.

He said that gari and semovita were being awaited.

According to him, the criteria for the selection of the beneficiaries were simply widows and other less privileged people.

The District Head of Kujama, Steven Ibrahim, thanked Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i for the gesture and urged the private sector to support the state in alleviating the sufferings of the poor.

NAN reports that some of the beneficiaries at Unguwan Pama were widows, with one form of business or the other, including the Women Leader of the community, Priscilla Ishaku.


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