Cross River State Government has embarked on the project monitoring and evaluation exercise to assess the Community Based Target (CBT) projects of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operations (YESSO).

Dr Inyang Asibong, Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, who monitored the exercise in Ikot Ene-Obong and Ikot Effanga Mkpa communities both in Calabar Municipality, said the exercise was to assess the beneficiaries level of progress.

Asibong said that the YESSO programme, which is supported by the World Bank, is targeted at improving the financial status of the vulnerable in the society.

According to her, the exercise marks the end of the CBT batch, which will usher in a new batch of the programme for more beneficiaries to be captured.

“If you recall, President Muhammadu Buhari had months ago given a directive that at least one million people should be captured under the vulnerable register across the country.

“The Cross River Government did not rest on its oars; we have actually started the process because Gov. Ben Ayade is desirous to see that the vulnerable are captured in the new register.

“The evaluation exercise is to help us know how the last batch of beneficiaries have fared so far with the stipends they received monthly.

“We get the data from the communities and capture them into the register and this exercise is going on smoothly across the state,” she said.

Asibong disclosed that over 10,000 beneficiaries were currently benefiting from the YESSO programme across the state and 12,000 beneficiaries for the Conditional Cash Transfer.

She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the effort was to reduce the poverty index of the state.

One of the beneficiaries, Ms. Grace Sunday, thanked the World Bank and the Cross River Government for improving her banana business with the stipend.

Another beneficiary, Mr Sunday Akpan, appealed to the Cross River Government to make the payment regular, adding that the stipend had gone a long way in improving his tailoring business.

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