Disturbed by the high level of poverty and increasing number of poor and vulnerable households in the northeast sub-region state, Bauchi state has conducted a community-based research to have a scientific data base that eases the process of providing palliative measures directly to the actual vulnerable and poor families that would pull them out of poverty and illiteracy.
Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar stated this at the launching of the Federal government stakeholders’ workshop on Home Grown School Feeding, the Social Investment Programme, Bauchi state component.
The governor said Bauchi is one of the eight states that have a well established and credible social register of poor and vulnerable household’s data with nearly eleven thousand poor and vulnerable households captured in the register from 12 local governments.
He explained that construction of classrooms and supply of qualitative furniture and books in primary and secondary schools in all the twenty local government areas of the state are being pursued with a view improving enrolment, retention and completion of children in schools, especially the girl child.
According to the governor, he ordered the payment of eighty one million naira as counterpart contribution in respect of the World Bank assisted Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operation conditional cash transfer and public works programme in demonstration of the commitment of his administration in improving the welfare of the poor.
Governor Abubakar said under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEEP, six hundred registered women cooperative societies have been identified as potential beneficiaries, while government has constituted a technical committee to drive the process of home grown school feeding, a key pillar of the social investment programme which ensures its successful implementation.
“The state government is working to assist farmers to access the Anchor Borrowers Fund by pledging to pay the 10% counterpart fund to each of the benefitting farmer which supports the school feeding programme and ensures food security”, he noted, saying the event demonstrates commitment to fulfilling campaign promises of the APC.
The governor stressed that launch of the programme also shows “commitment of the present administration to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable families in the country despite the precarious financial position inherited by the present government on its assumption of office”.
He said the programme complements the efforts of his administration in improving people’s lives, saying “we have embarked on the construction of eleven roads in the state, totaling 360 kilometres which were hitherto nonexistent or in a state of complete dilapidation”.
In an effort to address the high rate of maternal and infant mortality that are closely related to poverty and illiteracy in the state, Governor Mohammed Abubakar said his administration has embarked on the construction of 19 primary health care clinics and staff quarters and provided them with the state of art equipment.
“we have embarked on the renovation and construction of solar-powered and hand pump fitted boreholes across the state to improve access to safe drinking water to the people”, Governor Abubakar said.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yomi Osinbajo, under whose office the programme is being implemented, the governor applauded them for their “initiative, resilience and commitment towards addressing the plight of the common man”.