Okowa spends 24m on widows monthly

The Delta State Commissioner for Special Duties, Governor’s Office, Henry Sakpra, says the state government spends over N24 million on widows’ welfare monthly.

The commissioner made the disclosure on Thursday at the ongoing 2018 Ministerial news briefing organised by the state Ministry of Information in Asaba, the state capital.

He said the state government floated a Widows Welfare Scheme as part of its empowerment programme for dejected widows across the 274 wards in the state.

He said the programme engaged about 5, 500 widows with at least 20 widows per ward, adding that government paid each widow a monthly allowance of N5, 000.

He said that the state government also enrolled the widows in its health insurance scheme to ameliorate their health challenges.

“Under this scheme, 5,521 widows are given monthly stipends with total healthcare cover under the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme to take care of their challenges.

“The state government spends over N24 million on the widows welfare monthly,’’ he said.

Mr Sakpra also disclosed that modalities were being worked out to engage more widows in the scheme, particularly to enable them access the healthcare services in the state.

The commissioner said the supervision of the ongoing N13 billion new State Central Secretariat was directly under his purview.

He said at completion, it would accommodate 28 ministries, departments and agencies currently on rent.

According to Mr Sakpra, the project has a completion date of 24 months.

“And at completion it will be fitted with the state of the art facilities including banking hall, restaurant, and clinic among others.

“This secretariat when completed will serve as one-stop shop for all the businesses of government and so far, we have engaged no fewer than 1, 600 direct jobs for the state youth beside the indirect jobs created,” he said.

The commissioner said the state government through his department had interfaced by engaging 1,250 Ward Liaison Officers and Youth Liaison Officers across the state.

“These group disseminates information on government programmes in their various communities, encourage the people to participate in government economic programmes and renders periodic reports on conditions of public facilities in their areas,” he said.