Ondo State Government has described as unfounded the rumours making the rounds in the state that funds allocated for vulnerable groups of people under the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus, code-named “ONDO-CARES,” were mismanaged.
According to the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Emmanuel Igbasan, no fewer than 80,734 people classified as vulnerable benefited from a $20 million grant through ONDO-CARES and recorded 100 per cent success.
Igbasan said that the fund was distributed to beneficiaries whose names appeared in the single social register, which contained the names of the most vulnerable inhabitants in the state.
He said that the register existed prior to the initiative, adding that no one could have improperly influenced or supervised the distribution of the ONDO-CARES project.
He said: “On the COVID-19, if your name has not been validated from that Single Social Register, which is also domiciled with the Federal Government of Nigeria and validated by the World Bank, no kobo can be paid into your account. And another safeguard is that it is not the state government that pays them directly.
“There is no element of fraud in the NGCARES project in Ondo State, and it was quite unfortunate and disheartening when I saw it on social media that one of the eminent personalities of Ondo State, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, was crying fowl, displaying crash ignorance of the programme at his level.
“The project has been delivered clinically to the target beneficiaries. We can give you the list and phone numbers of the beneficiaries to go and verify independently as journalists. The process has been very transparent and is being monitored by World Bank officials.
The beauty is that the state cannot get a dime unless the project has been adequately verified. The money does not come to the purse of the state government directly. This is the assurance we have on efficiency and transparency.”
Igbasan added that Ondo and Zamfara states had been rated the best in terms of quality and effective implementation of the NG-CARES project in the country.