The federal government has revealed that only states that demonstrate readiness, commitment and willingness to contribute 10 per cent counterpart fund are qualified to access the $400 million World Bank Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) programme.
The seven-year-long programme, which commenced in 2013, was designed to increase access of the poor and vulnerable, using improved safety net systems to youth employment opportunities in all participating states and to provide targeted grant transfers to the poor, vulnerable and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-east.
YESSO’s Acting National Coordinator, Hajara Umar Sammi, who spoke in an interview, on the sidelines of the second quarter progress review meeting of YESSO in Abuja, stated that states desirous of partaking must not only show interest and commitment, but be ready to contribute 10 per cent counterpart fund.
She said: ”For states to benefit from this programme, it must show interest, commitment and be ready to pay a counterpart fund of 10 per cent of the total costs, presently, only 15 states are benefiting across the country.”
Sammi expressed gratitude that the holistic data already collated by YESSO on the very poor in the society as well as for the IDPs is now being used by the federal and state governments in selecting and getting beneficiaries for conditional cash transfers because of its credibility.
”The YESSO objective is basically to increase access to poor people from their households , poor individuals to employment strengthening social safety nets system and also the other part is to provide targeted grant transfer to the IDPs, so the intention are in three categories.
”There is component one, two and three manned at the federal level and also at the state level where we have a coordinating unit that is in charge of strengthening the social safety net system; ensuring that there is a community development or target-based mechanism is used to identify where these communities are mobilised.
“In these various components, we ensure that different categories of participants, ranging from skill acquisition to doing menial jobs among others are paid stipends not less than N7,500 monthly through their various bank accounts,” she stated.