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).

YESSO, which was founded in May 2013, is a support operation financed by the World Bank in conjunction with the state government, NAN reports.

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.

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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