Kwara State government last week commenced the engagement of the first batch of 1,210 beneficiaries of the World Bank assisted Public Work Fare (PWF) Component of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO). According to the Head, Kwara State Public Workfare Unit, Mr. S.O Aregbe, the commencement of the programme followed the approval by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. Aregbe said the PWF component of the YESSO programme is targeted at providing immediate labour intensive work opportunities for unskilled youths from poor households, and improve their living standard, as beneficiaries will be paid monthly stipend. He said the participating youths are between the ages of 18 and 35 and with less than JSS 3 education. Aregbe added that the beneficiaries would be deployed to their respective worksite, which he said, will be within their immediate communities. This, he said, is to ensure that the beneficiaries who will work on part-time basis will not have to expend their monthly stipend. According to him, the 1,210 first batch beneficiaries were selected from the single register of poor and vulnerable households in 153 communities across the six pilot local government areas, which include Asa, Ilorin West, Kaiama, Moro, Ifelodun and Isin.
He disclosed that the beneficiaries will receive a monthly stipend of N7,500 and that the payment will be made directly into their individual bank accounts, which have been opened for them during the orientation programme. Aregbe added that both the state and local governments would be responsible for procurement of tools for the beneficiaries. He further explained that based on the design of the programme, payment of stipend to beneficiaries will be co-funded by the state government and the World Bank, with the government advancing the initial 100% payment and that the World Bank will make a quarterly reimbursement of 90% to the government. The Public Workfare Unit Head also revealed that another 4,704 beneficiaries have been selected for the second and third round from the register of poor and vulnerable households in the state and would be deployed to their various worksite in the second quarter of the year. He stressed that the selection of beneficiaries was done using the procedures and guidelines of the World Bank.