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Shady Deals Clouds Disbursement of FG’s 20,000 Grants To 3,000 Tarabans

 As the payment of N20,000 grants to vulnerable groups in Taraba State continues, a cross section from the 3,110  prospective beneficiaries have decried shoddy deals by officials assigned to make the payment.


The beneficiaries also accused the officials of deliberately hoarding the lists of beneficiaries local government by local government, thereby converting the money to their personal pockets. 


It will be recalled that the Federal government through the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajia Sadiya Farouk, earlier flagged off the disbursement of the grant to vulnerable persons in the state.


Farouk said that the grant was one of the components of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration.


She also said that Taraba state was one of the highest states to be  allocated slots in the country, which she attributed to the impact of Insurgency and high number of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the state.


 " President Muhammadu Buhari, through his deliberate social inclusion agenda has directed that 70% of these beneficiaries must be women, while the remaining 30% is for the youths. 


"He also directed that, at least 15% of the total number of beneficiaries must be allocated to citizens with special needs, including Persons With Disability (PWDs) and Senior Citizens in the State."



The beneficiaries, who spoke to newsmen under the condition of anonymity due to fear of being victimized alleged that some of the officials were designated outside the premises of the state ministry for Women Affairs, the venue for the payment to collect N2,000 from some of them the beneficiaries.



They claimed that the officials told them that the money collected would be used as gratification so as to re-enroll them for another grant.



The beneficiaries further lamented that the officials from the Humanitarian Ministry were paying the N20,000 to whose names were not on the lists.

"We smell a lot of foul play because the real beneficiaries are scattered across the 16 local government areas but the officials were busy disburssing the money to government officials and their agents in Jalingo." Said one of the beneficiaries. 

When contracted, Mr Gidado Abubakar, the Team Leader for the exercise as well as the supervisor from the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said that the payment was contracted to a private firm who was to pay the money to the direct beneficiaries.

Abubakar said that the security personel attached to the office had made several arrests of persons who were involved in one sharp practice to another.

He admitted that there were a lot challenges associated with the payment of the grant in Taraba State, adding that the officials are working hard to overcome the challenges. 

Abubakar commended the security personnel for doing a wonderful job, stating  that the ministry officials were not directly involved  in  the payment of the grant.


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