Cross River State has emerged the first state in Nigeria to successfully qualify and transit to National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) after the closure of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation ( YESSO) in the country.
The state under Governor Ben Ayade had met all the required criteria and completed the full documentation and assessment by NASSCO, hence the commencement of the programme.
Speaking during the take off of the program in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade said that Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO) in Cross River State through the State Operation Coordination Unit(SOCU) has been touching lives in the last Seven years.
“Cross River State intends to use the Social register to drive Human Capital Development and increase access to targeted transfers to poor and vulnerable households under an expanded state social safety net system
Earlier in his speech, Mr Apera Iorwa, the National Coordinator of NASSCO assured the state Government of his cooperation in increasing and building the state social register of poor and vulnerable households within the stupulated record time.
NASSCO is saddled with the responsibility of building the National Social Register and coordinating livelihood support to extremely poor & vulnerable households in Nigeria.
“We are developing a social safety nets framework that will help the state in implementing its social protection policies inline with the new NASSCO guidelines and protocols.
Also speaking, the Commissioner, Ministry of International DevelopmentCooperation, Deaconess (Dr) Inyang Asibong, opined that ” His Excellency Senator Prof Ben Ayade has prioritized social protection (SP) interventions as a key strategy towards reducing poverty and socio-economic vulnerabilities in cross river state” Asibong added.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr Felix Ita, said that “about fifty four thousand (54,000) households, and almost two hundred and ninety nine thousand (299,000) persons were captured in the intervention projects and programes in all the eighteen local Government Areas”.
The State Coordinator, State Operation Coordinating Office, Mr. Chris Anake, while commending the Governor, reassured him of SOCU commitment on achieving the state deliverables.
Highpoint of the event was the presentation of the Cross River YESSO seven- year programme exit report by the Commissioner, MIDC to the State Governor, Sen Prof Ben Ayade.