The Special Adviser to the Imo State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Humanitarian Services, Princess Christina Ude, has commended the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria for initiating the Household Uplifting Programme (HUP), which is being implemented by the Conditional Cash Transfer Office in the nine pilot Local Government Areas of the State for the great assistance and life – changing relief the programme has impacted on her citizens.
Princess Ude gave the commendation when the officer of the National cash Transfer Office (NCTO), Abuja under the federal ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster management and social Development, who were in the State to carry out a Documentary of Success story on the impact of the Household uplifting programme on the beneficiaries in imo State paid her a courtesy visit.
Mrs. Ude who is the focal person (FP) for the programme in the State said that the programme is a good one as it has helped many households, particularly the helpless in the society, to have food on their tables.
She noted that many people never believed in the viability of the programme ab-initio but when they saw that the programme is real and has began to yield the needed dividend, the demand to be involved kept on increasing day after day.
She, therefore, appealed that the Federal Government should create the opportunity for more poor and vulnerable households to be enrolled in to the programme in the State.
She noted that for this purpose, the Imo State Governor, His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodinma has given the necessary directives to the State operating coordinating Unit (SOCU) to scale-up its activities in the remaining 18 (eighteen) Local Government Areas of the State.
The Special Adviser assured the federal Government that Imo State would continue to play her assigned role under the programme whenever the need arises. She appreciated in a special way, the Honourable minister and the officers of the National Cash Transfer Officer (NCTO), Abuja, for their hardwork and transparency in carrying out the programme.
Adding his voice the Head of unit, Mr Joseph Odoemenam, noted that the state currently has enrolled a total of 11,736 (eleven thousand seven hundred and thirty-six) beneficiaries across the 9 (nine) implementing local Government Areas of the State in to the Household uplifting programme.
He continued that, the Documentary Assessment Tour which took the National Officers to three Local Government Areas namely Okigwe Local Government Area in Okigwe zone, Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area in Owerri zone and Nkwerre Local Government Area in Orlu zone revealed a strong zeal and commitment on the side of the HUP Beneficiaries in making judicious use of the N50,000.00 (Fifty thousand Naira) each received in arrears (i.e. N5,000.00 Per month for 10 months) to better the lives of their households.
Mr Joseph narrated the success stories from some beneficiaries in Mpam Ward in Ahiazu Mbaise, one of whom is Mrs. Jane Udeh, whose husband had an accident and could no longer do anything which made life miserable for the family.
He said that she thanked God that she was among those who got this favour, adding that when she got her money, she started raising birds and gradually added the sales of firewood and breadfruit to grow the cash.
The multiple micro businesses started growing, brought more income to the family and subsequently her family living standard has substantially improved.
Mrs. Grace Izuogu from urban Ward in Nkwerre Local Government Areas narrated how she used her first payment to start a firewood business.
According to he, she sold the first set of firewood, bought two more sets from which she made a lot of profit and now used the money to buy a cassava grinding and processing machine.
The investment generated more money and she added maize and beans grinding machines.
These machines, disclosed, have been generating income that has helped her improve the standard of living of her household compared with the period before she was involved in the HUP programme.
Also in Ihube in Okigwe Local Government Areas, 21 (twenty-one) women formed an Oil Palm Co-operative Society and when they got their first payment of N50, 000.00 (fifty thousand Naira) each (that is, N50,000.00 arrears of 10 months) in November, 2019, they contributed money & bought some heaps of palm fruits which they processed at an Oil Mill.
They sold the oil, re-invested the proceeds in buying food stuff which they shared among themselves.
With the subsequent payment they received, they made small contributions in order to support their individual small scale business.
Responding, the leader of the visiting team, Mr. Henry Terna Ayede, commended the focal person and the staff of the State Conditional Cash Transfer Office for the good job they are doing in the state, adding that, in the meantime, Imo State has been lucky to be chosen from the South East Zone in the ongoing Documentary Assessment Tour of the six geo-political zones in the country.
While urging the management and staff of the Conditional Cash Transfer Unit in Imo State not to relent in their efforts to carry out their assigned duties, he equally commended the beneficiaries of Household Uplifting Programme.
He assured the Special Adviser that the Team would carry out its assigned duties with every sense of responsibility in the State putting the money to good use.
Among those present at the visit were the Head Of Unit (HOU), Conditional Cash Transfer Unit, Mr. Joseph Odoemenam, the Operations Officer, Ebere-Ohameje Thelma and the Training Officer, Mrs. Amaka Obielu.