The Bayelsa State Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Unit implementing the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government has reassured beneficiaries that plans have been concluded to commence disbursement after initial setbacks.
A statement by the Unit Head of the Bayelsa State Cash Transfer Unit, Mrs Tonbara Kenigbolo made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday said that the funds released by the Federal Government for the scheme were safe.
Kenigbolo who dismissed media reports that the contractor absconded with the funds, attributed the delay for payment to beneficiaries to logistics challenges faced by the initial contractor which led to the termination of the contract.
She said that it was a mistake to say that Data Mining Firm absconded with funds meant for the most vulnerable and poor in Bayelsa and three other states as claimed, adding that the funds were being warehoused during the delay.
She explained that under the governance structure put in place by the Social Investment Programme, it was not possible to divert the funds due to inbuilt safety measures.
The unit head added that the contractor failed to deliver on its mandate due to setback in logistics but the funds were intact.
According to the her, as part of efforts to address the delay in payment, the Bayelsa office of the CCT wrote a protest letter to the National Social Investment Programme office which led to the termination of the contract of Data Mining.
“Subsequently, the contract was then re-awarded to a new firm, Softcom’’.
She, however, assured that the new contractor has received funds for the outstanding payments, adding that it would commence on Sept. 28.
She said that the shortlisted households would be receiving at least N50,000 as arrears cutting across 96 communities in Ekeremor, Southern Ijaw and Nembe LGAs. (NAN)