Zamfara Unit of the Federal Government Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, has said it will dismiss 10 Facilitators in two local government areas in the state for extorting money from beneficiaries.
The Head of State Cash Transfer Unit, Alhaji Sani Marafa stated this in Gusau on Saturday at a three-day-step-down training for Local Government Facilitators of the programme.
The training was organised by the State Cash Transfer Unit in collaboration with the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), Abuja.
Marafa said 10 facilitators of the programme from Kaura-Namoda and Tsafe LGAs were found extorting money from beneficiaries in areas assigned to them.
“They were caught conniving with the payment agents extorting money from beneficiaries. It is very disappointing, we are going to dismissed them from this work and any body found conniving with them will also be sanctioned”.
He also expressed dismay over alleged collection of N1000 and N2500 from beneficiaries by some officials, saying that his office will collaborate with security agents to investigate the issue.
He called on the beneficiaries not to give a kobo to anyone before accessing their monthly stipends of N5,000 from the federal government.
He cautioned that anybody found collecting money from beneficiaries of the programme will face the wrath of the law.
According to him, the federal government has so far disbursed over N5.6 billion to 131,000 beneficiaries across six LGAs in the state.
Earlier, the National Training Officer of the programme, Mr Kola Solomon said the training was aimed at equipping the beneficiaries on Savings and Group Mobilisation.
”It is expected for every beneficiary of the programme to be saving,” he said, adding that the programme is focused on cash transfer assistance and capacity building at the community level.
According to him, the cash assistance is usually followed by capacity building to ensure the beneficiaries utilise the funds given to them in line with the aims and objectives of the programme.
“We realised that giving the beneficiaries N5,000 monthly is not enough to pull them out of poverty except if we train them on behavioural change. The 163 participants of this training from six LGAs are expected to go back and cascade what they have learnt to the beneficiaries at the community level. We want our beneficiaries to imbibe the culture of saving so that they would be forming groups in form of either contributions or cooperatives”.
He urged the participants to be attentive, so they will learn and understand the concept of the programme.