By the Editorial Board of GbaramatuVoice
Dr. Betta Edu, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, plays a crucial role in addressing the urgent needs of the most vulnerable in our society. Today, we write this editorial as a passionate appeal to ensure that the Cash Transfer program effectively reaches those who need it the most – the riverine people of the Niger Delta, whose lives have been profoundly impacted by the oil industry.
In the midst of this, we cannot overlook the historical marginalization of women in the riverine regions of the Niger Delta. These resilient women, often the backbone of their communities, have endured prolonged neglect. Our appeal is not solely for these women but for all those whose lives are intricately connected to the rivers and creeks and have long been marginalized.
As a daughter of the Niger Delta, we implore you, Dr. Betta Edu, not to forget the men and women whose lives are inextricably linked to fishing and the natural resources disrupted by the crude oil industry. The Niger Delta, enriched by oil, has paid a heavy price in terms of environmental degradation and economic disparity. It is imperative that the benefits of the Conditional Cash Transfer program reach those who have been most affected.
The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, as emphasized by you, is a powerful global tool in the fight against poverty. It provides a lifeline to those suffering from the immediate effects of fuel subsidy removal. The program’s aim of empowering the poor and vulnerable is commendable, with the potential to uplift a significant number of beneficiaries.
The symbolic distribution of cheques to households during the CCT launch represents a pivotal step in this initiative. President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to providing N25,000 for three consecutive months to 15 million households as a poverty alleviation measure is a promising endeavor.
The conditional nature of transfers, linked to actions such as children’s education and regular health visits, along with the introduction of the Iyaloja Loan Scheme for small-scale traders, holds great promise for economic revitalization and empowerment.
However, as we commend these efforts, we urge that the funds designated for the Niger Delta’s riverine regions be directed to the very people who have been most affected. We call on the relevant authorities to ensure the program’s objectives are achieved.
Dr. Betta Edu, you hold the key to bringing smiles back to the faces of the fishermen and women who have endured hardship for far too long. As a daughter of the region and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, you bear a unique responsibility to ensure that these marginalized communities are not forgotten.
May the Conditional Cash Transfer program become a beacon of hope for those who have long existed on the fringes of development. The future of the Niger Delta relies on your unwavering commitment to their well-being. We eagerly anticipate the transformative impact that your leadership can bring to these resilient communities. It is our fervent hope that, under your guidance, the fishing communities of the Niger Delta will find hope and prosperity once more.
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