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YESSO aims at strengthening social safety nets – Coordinator



YESSO aims at strengthening social safety nets – Coordinator

The Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) is aimed at strengthening social safety net system, to reduce vulnerability of poor youths and women in the states, an official said.

Mrs Haijara Sani, Acting National Coordinator, YESSO, said this at a progress review meeting on Saturday in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

Sani said YESSO at the national level, had always been committed to reducing worsening poverty and high level of youth unemployment.

She daid the programme in the states, had been hampered by poor coordination and lack of social safety net platforms.

“That is the reason YESSO is currently only active in 15 states: Bauchi, Cross River, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Osun, Oyo, Adamawa,Taraba, Gombe, Borno, Sokoto,Yobe, Ondo States,” the coordinator said.

According to her, lack of effective targeting of potential beneficiaries resulted in errors of inclusion and exclusion.

Sani explained that YESSO’s development objectives were to increase access of the poor and vulnerable, using improved social safety net system, to create youth employment opportunities in all participating states.

She said that the programme was also established to provide Targeted Cash Transfers to the poor, vulnerable and internally displaced people (IDPS) in the North East States.

The coordinator said further that YESSO would track the reasons for poor performance in reducing poverty and high unemployment and proffer solutions to cushion the effects of destruction caused by insurgency in the North East.

The National Coordinator, National Social Safety Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Mr Apera lorwa, appealed to states that had adopted the YESSO programme to provide the counterpart funding to accelerate implementation of the programme in their states.

He added that YESSO’s existing structure and systems were meant to help strengthen their capacities for poverty alleviation. (NNN)

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C’River govt. begins payment of YESSO allowance to 10,000 beneficiaries 



The Cross River Government has started payment of Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) allowance of N30,000 to about 10,000 beneficiaries in the state.

Dr Inyang Asibong, the state’s Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, flagged off the payment at Akamkpa Local Government Area on Wednesday.

YESSO is a World Bank-assisted programme where the vulnerable in the society are engaged in community services which include sanitation, erosion control, desilting of drains, among others and are paid a monthly allowance of N30,000 each.

Asibong said that government approved the payment to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria that the YESSO programme was one of the social investment programmes of the Presidency, supported by Cross River Government and assisted by the World Bank.

The commissioner said that the payment was for youths who were working at the community level under the supervision of YESSO officials.

According to her, the payment had been scheduled to go round the 18 local government areas of the state to ensure that all the beneficiaries received their payments.

“The YESSO programme which is targeted at engaging youths in meaningful activities is assisted by the World Bank and it is one of the social investment programmes of the Presidency.

“The YESSO programme employs youths with semi-skills who are on a monthly stipend of N30,000 each.

“We are here to supervise that this payment gets to the beneficiaries, especially at this point of COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the entire world.

“We have to make sure that these people still have their source of livelihood and it is not cut off from them. In Cross River, we have about 10,000 of these beneficiaries in our register.

“President Muhammadu Buhari in his address on Monday mentioned that the social register had 2.6 million households across the nation and he wants it increased to 3.6 million,’’ she said.

Asibong said that Gov. Ben Ayade is currently working on the register with a view to accommodating more vulnerable people in the state to benefit from the programme.

Mr Francis Otu, Head of Operations of YESSO in Cross River, said the payment was for beneficiaries of the programme between 18 and 45 years of age.

“The Government of Cross River has approved that we pay the beneficiaries of the programme at this moment to help them get essential items they need to stay at home,’’ Out said.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Kenneth Nkoyo, said that the payment was timely, saying that it would go a long to provide food for his family.

Another beneficiary, Mrs Ekanem Okon said that the allowance would help her to get drugs for her sick three-month old baby.

They both thanked the state government for remembering them at this time.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)


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Abia-CSDP executes 240 YESSO projects in 12yrs — GM



The General Manager, Abia State Community and Social Development Project (CSDP), Dr. Chinatu Njoku, said the agency had executed 240 projects so far in 10 local government areas of the state in 12 years.

Njoku stated this in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Umuahia on Monday.

He further stated that the projects fall under the Youth Employment and Social Support Opetation (YESSO), funded by the World Bank since 2007.

He expressed joy that World Bank Implementation Support Mission “was highly impressed with our performance.

“The team, which came to monitor what the agency is doing in Abia was impressed with what they saw.

“They were equally happy with the implementation of YESSO projects,” the Abia-CSDP boss stated.

He further stated that the Abia-CSDP and YESSO projects in the state received strong financial support from the World Bank “to provide support for vulnerable groups in the state.”

Njoku also attributed the success recorded by the agency on the two projects to the huge support from the state government.

He spoke further on the essence of the visit by the World Bank team to Abia, saying that “they came primarily to assess our performance in line with our agreement with them.”

“They sought to find out if we were funding communities and groups and also keeping laid down rules of engagement.”

Njoku described the visit as “fundamentally beneficial to the agency.”

According to him, “The group raised issues aimed at strengthening our capacity and deepening our success.

“The World Bank team was impressed that the Abia-CSDP and YESSO projects are doing well.”

He said that the team was grateful to the state government for its support to them which, he said, contributed to the success story in Abia.

“They also commended the unity of purpose and cohesiveness of the staff of the agencies,” Njoku said.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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Gov. Ayade suspends C/River YESSO Coordinator



Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has suspended the state Coordinator of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Mr Balinwo Ofegobi.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Christian Ita, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity on Monday in Calabar.

He said that the suspension was with immediate effect.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that no reason was given for the suspension of Ofegobi.

Edited by Remi Koleoso/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Support YESSO programme in your state, National Coordinator urges states govts




Mrs Hajara Sami, Acting National Coordinator, Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), has called on states governments to support YESSO programmes in their states.

Sami made the call while speaking with newsmen at the opening of a four-day YESSO annual review meeting on Thursday in Calabar.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that YESSO is a World Bank supported project in Nigeria aimed at increasing access of the poor and vulnerable using improved social safety nets systems to youth employment opportunities in all participating states.

It also aims to provide targeted cash transfers to the poor.

Sami expressed the hope that state governments would support the programme and replicate it in their own way to suit their states.

According to Sami, the World Bank resources will not always be there because at some point it will have to leave Nigeria to fend for itself.

She said YESSO had a comprehensive register of the poor and vulnerable people in each of the participating states.

According to her, it has touched the lives of about 280,000 people through the Public Work fare Initiative, as they are paid N7,500 monthly.

She also said for the Skills for Job Initiative which is only carried out in the urban areas, 8,000 people had benefitted, while for the target cash transfers, about 60,000 households from the North East had benefitted from the initial base payment of N30,000.

“I wish to use this opportunity to call on the government of Cross River and other states governments to ensure that they provide the necessary support for the state offices to be able to support the beneficiaries.

“The programme has in place a system for payment to beneficiaries so that they would not have any reason to complain that their stipends were delayed or not paid.

“We are in 16 states with developed registers of the poor and vulnerable in these states, beneficiaries are selected from these registers to implement the YESSO interventions.

“For YESSO, the story has been remarkable, the registers have been appreciated by a lot of agencies, including the Federal Government and has decided to increase coverage of the establishment of these registers in other states that are not yet YESSO states.

“Previous poverty alleviation programmes had been implemented without knowing a defined target group that would be supported.

“We ended up supporting people that were not even poor by the definition of poverty, but now, we have a social register upon which subsequent programmes want to leverage on,’’ she said.

The Cross River Coordinator of YESSO, Mr Balinwo Ofegobi said the state was quite unique in the YESSO family in Nigeria because it was the only state that was represented in the whole of the South South and South East region of the country.

Ofegobi said in the public workforce cadre, 9,782 had benefitted in the state while 3,215 had benefitted in the Skills For Job Programme aimed at curbing rural urban migration.

He added that there was another programme in the pipeline in which they would look at the register in the state and pick out those who were 65 years and above and those who were physically challenged to start paying them N20,000 quarterly.

“This programme may not have touched every household, but it has touched most households in Cross River.

“We urge politicians to come to us whenever they want to reach out to the poor and vulnerable in their Local Government Areas and constituencies because we have a detailed register.

“It is better to use the register to reach the people you wish to help instead of just giving money without properly checking and knowing the status of those you are giving the monies to,’’ he said

The state coordinator, however, lamented that some parts of the state had very difficult terrain, making it difficult for YESSO officials to access these communities and thereby limiting the ability of officials from accessing and registering these communities.

According to Ofegobi, the idea of the state government in trying to build a Super Highway is laudable but people are hungry and should be fed.

“So, we urge the government to be sensitive to projects like YESSO which is a social security programme, otherwise there would be crisis when the poor no longer has what to eat.’’

Gombe and Bauchi Cordinators, North East, Mr Michael Habila and Mr Yahuza Adamu said the impact of the programme was high in the region as people who were poor in the rural areas and had never felt government impact in their lives were benefitting.

They said the programme was devoid of any political, religious or tribal inclinations, adding that governors in the region were buying into it to touch the lives of the poor and vulnerable in their respective states.

NAN reports that YESSO has four components which includes development of a single register, the public workforce for the lowly educated, Skills For Job for the educated and the targeted grant transfers.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama



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Job creation: Abia keys into World Bank-assisted YESSO-PWF



Abia government has formally keyed into the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) Public Work Fare (PWF), a World Bank-assisted programme, designed to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.

Mrs Rita Okengwu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education in the state, said this on Monday during the launch of the first phase of the orientation training for the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the programme.

Speaking at the event, which took place at Amapu Ntigha in Isiala-Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state, Okengwu said that 3,863 beneficiaries would participate in the training.

She said that the number was drawn from the World Bank approved Single Social Register of six pilot LGAs, representing the three senatorial districts.

She listed the LGAs to include Isialangwa north and Isialangwa south (Abia central), Ohafia and Umunneochi (Abia north) as well as Ugwunagbo and Ukwa East (Abia south).

She commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for mustering the political will to provide the multi-million naira counterpart fund to qualify Abia for the programme.

Okengwu said that Abia was one the 16 participating states in the country and the only South-East state to key into the programme.

She said that the programme would help to provide steady source of  income to unskilled unemployed youths in the state.

“Research reveals that unemployment and poverty have direct relationship with insecurity,” she said.

Okengwu, therefore, expressed the hope that the initiative would help to check social vices and restiveness among the youths in Abia.

She charged the stakeholders to live up to government’s expectations in the implementation of the PWF projects.

She also encouraged the beneficiaries to take the training seriously in order to become better and economically self-reliant citizens.

In a speech, the YESSO Focal Person, Mr Ndubuisi Ezengwa, said that arrangements were being worked out to ensure the successful implementation of the programme.

Ezengwa said that government would work with the leaderships of town unions and traditional institutions to monitor the implementation process.

He said that the second phase, which would accommodate the remaining 11 LGAs in the state, would begin at the end of the first phase slated for 12 months.

He said that the programme had three major categories, including the Single Social Register, being developed by the Abia State Planning Commission and Public Work Fare for Senior Secondary School leavers and below.

The other category, he said, is the Skill for Job (S4J), where beneficiaries would be trained in different skills by the National Directorate of Employment and given starter park to take off.

Dignitaries at the launch included the Traditional Rulers of Amapu Ntigha and Ohambele Autonomous Communities, Eze Nelson Asonye, and Eze Anthony Wabara, as well as Chief Ginger Onwusibe, representing Isialangwa North Constituency in the Abia House of Assembly.

In their separate goodwill messages, they commended the World Bank and Abia government for the programme meant to alleviate the plight of the poor and vulnerable in society through job creation.

They expressed the hope that it would be successfully implemented to achieve the desired poverty reduction in Abia rural communities.

(Edited by Sam Oditah)

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C/River gov’t engages 5,000 youths for YESSO programme



The Cross River Government has engaged another 5,000 Cross River indigenes under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO) programme for a monthly payment of N7,500 to each beneficiary.

Displaying the beneficiaries register on Friday in Calabar, Mr Asu Okang, Commissioner for Sport and Youth Development, said the programme was designed to engage the youths in meaningful activities.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that YESSO is a state-led programme funded by credit from the World Bank to provide social safety services to the youth.

He said that the programme which was in line with the state’s policy on eradicating poverty had engage young people from 18 years to 35 years in various jobs like office cleaning, grass cutting, traffic control among others.

According to him, with the engagement of the second 5,000 young people into the register, the state now has 10,000 beneficiaries in the YESSO programme.

He explained that the first batch of the beneficiaries was engaged in 2018 from young people selected across the 18 local government area of the state.

“As a state, we adopted this programme because of the benefits it will have on our young people.

“The administration of Gov. Ben Ayade is so desirous of engaging young people in meaningful activities.

“With this fresh 5,000 beneficiaries added into the programme we are sure that this very effort will keep our young ones out of restiveness,’’ he said.

Speaking, State Coordinator of YESSO, Mr Ofegobi Balinwo, said the programme had four components which included the Coordination of people into the register, the Conditional Cash Transfer, the Public Welfare Component and the Educational Level for beneficiaries.

Balinwo explained that the programme also trained young people with skills that would aid them to be self employed.

According to him, the beneficiaries were selected from vulnerable homes with a view to helping  them benefit from the stipend.

“The gains we have made through the programme are remarkable and we need to do more than that.

“Cross River is the only state in the South-South zone that is benefiting from this programme,’’ he said.


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ALGON pledges support for YESSO towards poverty reduction in Oyo






Ibadan, April 25, 2019 The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State Chapter, has pledged support for the Youths Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) towards poverty reduction in the state.

Mr Bosun Ajuwon, the State ALGON Chairman, made the pledge in Ibadan during a One-day Advocacy Meeting with the management of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that YESSO, which was founded in May 2013, is a support operation financed by the World Bank in conjunction with the state government.

The support operation which was targeted at poverty reduction through the creation of opportunities for the poor, vulnerable as well as unemployed youths was implemented by the Oyo State Operations Coordinating Unit (OYOSOCU).

Ajuwon, also Chairman, Ibadan North-West Local Government,  said that ALGON would continue to support the programme which, he said, was targeted at the grassroots under their jurisdictions.

“We know that there are people in our councils who are poor of poorest and this programme is an avenue to reach them.

“We will continue to support the programme because it is one of our primary objectives. We have to ensure that our people have access to good quality life,’’ he said.

Mr Bimbo Kolade, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, said that the effort of government was to reduce poverty and empower youths.

Kolade, who was represented by Mr Alade Bello, Director of Local Government Affairs in the ministry, said that the programme targeted the lower ranks in the community.

Earlier, Mrs Laide Lasisi, OYOSOCU State Coordinator, said 14,406 poorest households captured from 19 local government areas of the state,  benefited in the first phase.

She said that YESSO was targeted at the poor of the poorest, saying another 14, 594 households from the remaining 14 local government areas have been captured in the second phase.

Lasisi said that the households captured in the second phase were presently undergoing cleaning, adding that it would later be added to the existing data under SOCU.

“We have just finished the remaining 14 local government areas and the data is under- going cleaning, once we are done, we will add that to the existing data under SOCU.

“Another 14,594 households undergoing cleaning on Public Workfare, are youths of age 18 to 35 years that are poor, and get paid N7,500,’’ she said.

She said that they had already operated in 30 communities of the 33 local governments in the state, saying they would  soon take the 33 local governments areas at once.

Lasisi said that the effort was to accelerate disbursement to the councils before the programme ended in 2020.

“We did geographical targeting to identify the poorest local government. We looked at documents to identify the poorest communities and this enables us to identify the poorest of the poor.

“Our first target is 40 households per community, but if they are more than that,  we will take them as long as they are identified by the community,’’ she said.

NNN reports that the event was also attended by Heads of Local Government Administration, Directors of Education and Services as well as other relevant stakeholders.

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C’ River govt. begins engagement to update Single Social Register



The Cross River Ministry of International Development Cooperation has begun the house-to-house engagement of residents in the villages to update the Single Social Register.

The engagement, a directive of Gov. Ben Ayade to ease the distribution of relief materials to the poor and vulnerable people in the state was in line with the Federal Government’s policy.

The event started in Mekenge village in Calabar Municipality Area Council, and was led by the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Dr Inyang Asibong who monitored the exercise.

Asibong also used the opportunity to examine the verification exercise of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) programme in the community.

According to her, the exercise serves a dual purpose of updating the current register with details of households under the poverty threshold and also follow-up on those previously registered to ensure that previous interventions have been judiciously utised.

“Today we are here in Mekenge Community of Calabar Municipal Council to carry out verification to update the Single Register for the Poor and Vulnerable Households (SRPVH).

“We also seize this opportunity to further sensitise the community on the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and the need for them to be very proactive in following preventive measures of the state government,” she said.

Similarly, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Eric Anderson who was part of the team urged the community to support the state government as it was working to ensure that the virus does not spread into the state.

Some of the potential beneficiaries who were identified based on the index verifications, expressed delight for being chosen by their community for inclusion in the register as they have been living in extreme poverty before the intervention.

It would be recalled that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) put the Poverty index in the country at 40 per cent with more than 82 million Nigerians living below the poverty line, 36 per cent in Cross River.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)




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COVID-19: NDE pays stipends to over 1,700 interns in Bauchi



The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), in collaboration with the World Bank, has paid three month stipends to 1,709 interns under the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) programme of the agency.


Mr Lawan Yaya, NDE Bauchi State Coordinator, who told News Agency of Nigeria in Bauchi on Wednesday, that the gesture was done in order to lessen the hardship encountered by the beneficiaries as a result of the dreaded Coronavirus in the state.


Yaya said that the Director-General of NDE, Mr Nasiru Argungu, despite the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has been working to ensure that all the beneficiaries received their stipends.


He said that each of the beneficiaries was given N7,500 per month for the period of three months.


“Despite the lockdown in the FCT, the Director-General of NDE, Dr Nasir Argungu is working from home round the clock to ensure that the interns and apprentices of YESSO received their stipends.


“Not fewer than one thousand, seven hundred and nine (1,709) interns received their stipends in Bauchi state.


“Each of the interns were given seven thousand five hundred naira per month and they were paid for the period of three months.


“This gesture by the D-G was done in order to reduce the hardship encountered by the interns following dreaded Coronavirus in the country, that is why we called it COVID-19 stipends,” Yaya said.


Yaya said the interns were greatly complying with social distancing, making use of face masks, frequent hand washing with the use of hand sanitizers as well as other precautionary measures as advised by medical experts in the course of their internship programme.


Edited By: Benson Iziama/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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