In a bid to ensure the effective implementation of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) scheme, the Kwara State Commissioner for Environment, Mallam Shehu Ndanusa Usman, has issued a strong warning to Community Development Officers (CDOs) operating within the state’s sixteen Local Government Areas.
The stern message emphasized the imperative for these officers to carry out their duties diligently or face severe sanctions in accordance with civil service regulations.
The Commissioner addressed the issue during a crucial meeting held at the Ministry’s conference hall in Ilorin, which brought together key stakeholders from the Labour Intensive Public Workfare (LIPW) Delivery Platform and Community Development Officers representing various localities.
Expressing disappointment at the mismanagement of the NG-CARES scheme by some CDOs, Mallam Shehu Ndanusa Usman underscored the primary objective of the initiative. The NG-CARES scheme aims to alleviate the suffering of the poor and vulnerable in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic while simultaneously enhancing the overall standard of living to foster economic growth.
A statement released by the Ministry’s Press Secretary, Yakub Aliagan, quoted the Commissioner as lamenting the failure of some CDOs to oversee the scheme effectively.
He pointed out issues such as undocumented beneficiaries and instances where individuals continued to receive stipends despite not fulfilling their work obligations.
In his call for a paradigm shift in the approach of the Community Development Officers, the Commissioner urged them to take responsibility in their respective local councils. Emphasizing the critical role of monitoring beneficiaries, he stressed the need for transparency and accountability in the implementation of the NG-CARES scheme.
The Technical Head, Labour Intensive Public Workfare, Alhaji Shamsideen Aregbe had lauded the state government for engaging in various schemes and programmes, which have contributed immensely to the upliftment of the standard of living of the poor.
He said NG-CARES has changed the story of more than five thousand households across the 16 Local Governments, pointing out that some of the beneficiaries were vulnerable who could not afford three square meals a day before now, but today, the scheme has taken them out of poverty and now living better in their various localities.
On the issue of proper monitoring of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Aregbe implored the CDOs to redouble their efforts to achieve optimum results.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Hajia Afusat Ibrahim in her closing remarks, appreciated the Community Development Officers for attending the meeting and assured them that the Commissioner will address all the challenges mentioned in due course.