By Ado Hassan
Sokoto state government through its Ministry for Religious Affairs has expended over N600 million on various empowerment and welfare programmes for the less privileged and the physically challenged across the state in the year 2017.
Speaking exclusively to our correspondent in Sokoto Thursday, the state Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Alhaji Mani Maishinku Katami said it’s operations which is tailored at alleviating poverty and promote self reliance among the beneficiaries across 86 Districts in the state were carried out with the active collaboration of the Sultanate Council.
” The Sultante Council has been helpful in reaching out to the real and eligible beneficiaries of our numerous programmes especially at the grassroots where we have been able to record successes”, he added.
According to Katami, the Ministry in synergy with the Zakkat Commission also disburse N50 million on monthly basis as allowances and assistance to the indigent to support their basic needs.
” There people in this categories from Kebbi and Zamfara states including neighbouring Niger Republic who also benefit from our gestures.
” We have also empowered especially women and youth who are engaged in petty trading and other economic activities by boosting their capital base”, he explained.
He also disclosed that a mechanism has been put in place to strengthen the Ministry’s activities through collaboration with related ministry and donor agencies to identify those eligible for skills acquisition trainings to be supported.
” We are liaising with the Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development and donor agencies to domisticate a life line programme for the sustenance of our operations”, he added.
On the delay over last year’s planned mass wedding for 200 couples by the state government, Katami said the ministry in collaboration with relevant organs had concluded arrangement on the event but for the medical screening process which was yet to be completed” that is the only thing delaying us. We have earmarked N30 million for the exercise which would have been conducted between September and October last year”, he stated.
Katami said his ministry had gone extra miles to synergise with Kano, Kebbi and Zamfara states on how to cross fertilise ideas by borrowing their approach in order to achieve the desired success of its planned mass wedding.
” The first one we conducted experienced some shortcomings which we want to avoid through concrete approach and process.
” And I also want to say that the planned mass wedding by Alhaji Umaru Kwabo A.A. is not a different event from that pof the state government. He is part of us and a strong APC pillar in the state. Therefore, he is promoting that course of the state and government as an individual. We want others to emulate him”, he called.
On it plans for the year 2018, the Commissioner said it has budgeted for its activities with emphasis on encouraging beneficiaries to be more productive to their lives, adding” we will redirect our strategies and aim towards bringing out the potentials in them by way of boosting their abilities through trainings on trades”,he said.