By Balkis Tijani.
The Brain Builders International (BBI), a youth based non-governmental organization has presented its recommendations before the Kwara State House of Assembly Adhoc Committee on Social Investment, at the ongoing public hearing on Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP) Bill 2019, taking place at the Hallowed Chamber, Kwara State House of Assembly, Ilorin.
The BBI Executive Director, Abideen Opeyemi Olasupo, who expressed hope that the group’s recommendations would be critically looked into and effected on the bill, extolled the resolve of the State Assembly to tackling poverty and ensuring equitable distribution of resources and economic growth through appropriate legislation for the people of Kwara.
Olasupo also commended the State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his efforts towards the Executive Bill and his commitment to ameliorating the economic fortunes of the electorate.
He, however, frowned at the delay in release of the KWASSIP bill to the public, which he lamented was issued only 48 hours to the public hearing.
The BBI boss prayed the Assembly to ensure release of subsequent bills in good time, while advocating for activation of the state legislature’s website through which people can get access to different information.
See below, some key recommendations highlighted by the group:
1. DATE OF COMMENCEMENT
BBI pointed to the fact that the proposed commencement date for the bill if passed into law ought to have been stated.
Hinging on the premise that the commencement of a Law is not the same as the passing of the Law, it recommended that the commencement date be inserted in order to show outstanding legislative work.
“A Law is passed when it is assented to by the Governor. Commencement of a Law technically becomes part of the state’s body of laws-KOTOYE V. SARAKI(1994) 7-8 SCNJ (Pt. III) 524, OBMIAMI BRICK AND STONES(NIG) LTD V. A.C.B.(1992) 3 SCNJ 1 at 53.”
2. SUBSIDIARIES OF THE PROGRAMME
It recommended that the Kwara State Poverty Reduction Programme (KWSPRP) which was proposed in the bill to assist young Kwarans between the ages of 18years – 35 years to acquire and develop life – long skills be divided into the Graduate and Non Graduate scheme.
“The Non Graduate could be senior secondary school leavers/drop out and teaching of creative skills like Graphics, Basic Computer Appreciation Course, Animation, Coding (scratch), Tiling, Aluminums, Weldering, Metal Fabrication, Plumbing, Brick Layer, Tailoring, Hair Dressing while that of Graduate should be Business Development, Web Development, UI/UX, Android Development, Software Development, Data Analysis, Digital Marketing, Project Management, Content Marketing.
“This will help in developing the skills of the youth of Kwara State to go in tandem with 21st century work place dynamics.”
On the proposed Kwara State Government Entrepreneur and Empowerment Programme (KWSGEEP) which shall be a micro–lending intervention programme to target traders, artisans, enterprising youths, farmers and women in particular; provide loans between N10,000 and N100,000 or such other amount at zero interest rate; include Marketmoni, Farmermoni and Tradermoni, the group recommended Administrative charges of 5% before the disbursement of the fund.
It also recommended upward review to 250,000 tied to performance in previous loan.
“The recommendation of the administrative charges is only to show some level of commitment from the beneficiaries.
“The second leg of the recommendation is to encourage the beneficiaries in utilizing the money judiciously and for those who may want to expand their businesses.”
3. DATA GATHERING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The Brain Builders International also proposed a genuine database with demographics of the beneficiaries, which it noted could be useful for research, alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), achievement and Philanthropic intervention from donor agency.
The group advocated proper synergy and coordination amongst ministries, departments and agencies as well as between the state and the local government.
It also recommended a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit that will look into Poverty Mapping, Community Based Targeting and Proxy Means Test.