Stakeholders engaged in the implementation of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme have been urged to be diligent in undertaking their roles to ensure efficiency.
Hajia Lariba Zuweira Abudu, Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, who made the call, said this would encourage development partners to continue to support the programme for the benefit of the poor in society.
She was speaking at a two-day workshop organised in Tamale by the LEAP Management Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to review payment delivery activities over the last year as well as discuss payment-related challenges bedevilling the LEAP programme to ensure efficiency, especially in the disbursement of cash grants to beneficiaries.
The workshop was attended by District Social Welfare Officers and financial institutions engaged in the disbursement of cash grants to the beneficiaries amongst other relevant stakeholders.
They were drawn from the Upper West, Upper East, North East, Northern, Savannah and Bono East Regions.
The LEAP Programme began in 2008 where beneficiaries received their cash grants manually. In 2015, the government started electronic payment of cash grants to LEAP beneficiaries across the country.
However, electronic payment has come with some challenges delaying payments to beneficiaries, hence the review workshop to address them to ensure prompt payment for beneficiaries to receive their cash grants on time.
The World Bank, United Nations Children’s Fund, and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office currently provide financial and technical support for the implementation of the LEAP Programme, under, which the government pays various sums of cash grants to extremely poor households in the country.
Statistics from the LEAP Management Secretariat showed that currently about 332,000 households are benefiting from the LEAP Programme across the country.
Hajia Abudu emphasised that “LEAP does not know political colours. We do not make payments based on politics” hence need for all stakeholders to be dedicated to their work for success.
Dr Myles Ongoh, Head of LEAP Programme assured LEAP beneficiaries of efficient payment system to ensure that they received their cash grants on time to support their various activities for improved living conditions.
He hinted that the LEAP Management Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection was in talks with the Ministry of Finance towards an upward review of the cash grants given to beneficiaries.
He said, “As inflation and other things come to play, there is the need to review the cash grants given to the beneficiaries. We are in talks with the Ministry of Finance to ensure the review is done to meet the consumption level of households.”