The Government of Ondo State under the leadership of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, CON, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to scale up the National Social Safety Net Programme( NASSP) , with the aim of putting an end to poverty among the aged and vulnerable people in the State.
Signing the MoU, the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Catherine Oladunni Odu, lauded the Ondo State Operations Coordinating Unit (SOCU) for giving hope to the hopeless and changing the narratives of poor and vulnerable people in the State. She observed that the programme has mitigated the sufferings of the aged, poor and vulnerable people, while charging SOCU not to relent at putting the name of the State on the world map of States with least poor and vulnerable people.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Intergovernmental Relations and Multilateral Affairs, Mrs Bunmi Ademosun said most of those assisted by the Unit are now out of poverty, adding that the Coordinating Unit has put in place both institutional and operational frameworks to manage the affairs and welfare of aged, poor and vulnerable people in the State, as such, the State is optimistic that very soon the downtrodden will be lifted out of poverty.
In his address, the Coordinator, Social Operations Coordinating Unit (SOCU), Bar Bankole Olaoluwa stated that Governor Akeredolu upon assumption office in 2017 established an Agency known as State Coordinating Unit with the mandate of creating a Single Register of those who are vulnerable in the State.
He further said that in line with that directive, there is a single systematic arrangement that serves as database of poor and vulnerable across the 18 LGAs, the Unit can readily produce it.
“Recently the State was adjudged as the State with least poverty rate in Nigeria. This is something to rejoice with and thanks to the Governor of the State for all the leadership roles and support he has been giving to the Coordinating Unit” He said.
Bankole who stated that a society is developed when people are able to cater for the poor, the weak and vulnerable among them added that SOCU will continue to do it best to make poverty a thing of the past in Ondo State.
According to him, the Unit has through YESSO assisted some people under Labour Intensive work across the various community in the State; Special grant transfer upon which N20, 000 we’re made available to the aged 65 years and above and Skill For Job through which over 500 youths were camp at Federal College of Agriculture, Akure for 3 months where they were taught different crafts and later put up with master traders for another 6months before being assisted with trade packs at the end of the whole exercise.