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In Edo, orphanage protests against govt’s abandonment

By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu and Michael Egbejule, Benin City   |   16 May 2016   |   2:43 am  
A cross section of children at Project Charilove

A cross section of children at Project Charilove

Hundreds of physically- challenged, orphans and vulnerable children catered for by Project Charilove at the weekend protested over non-payment of alleged five months arrears of their monthly subventions amounting to N1.250 million by officials of the Edo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

The home lamented that it spends nothing less than N1.65 million monthly on its free food project that serves 318 persons daily except on Sundays, yet its N250,000 subvention from the state government, which has been that amount for over 10 years, is being denied them.

The protesting vulnerable children were led by the founder and co-ordinator-General, Project Charilove, Chris Omusi, who alleged that there was a ploy by officials of the ministry to deprive them of the subvention of N250,000 monthly from the state government.

Omusi, who led the pupils to the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, brandished various placards with inscriptions, “Civil servants, do not starve the poor to death” and “Do not kill our free food for the needy project,” accused the ministry of discriminating against the home.

However, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Aanena Jemitola, quickly brokered peace when the protesters got to the state secretariat, promising that all the issues raised by the home would be addressed.

In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Alfred Omo-Olaye, the allegations of deprivation, starvation, and non-payment of five months subvention made by the Charilove Home were unfounded.

“The Ministry has continued to ensure that all funds accruable to Project Charilove Orphanage Home for the months of February, March and April 2016 is ready but the founder is yet to come forward and collect it.”

He added that the management of the home’s failure to “meet up with due process regarding the submission of comprehensive documentary report on how funds are utilized as well as report of activities of the home and his deliberate refusal to submit his Bank Account Number to enable the Ministry effect E-Payment have further compounded the issue of non-payment to the home, as the Ministry cannot disburse funds without compliance with the rules regulating financial issues.”

The Guardian gathered that the cheques allegedly denied the home have been prepared and some even already delivered. It wondered why the cheques where prepared and released when the operator hasn’t complied with the ministry’s due process.



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