By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Ondo state artisans have opposed the federal government’s decision to unilaterally reduce the number of its listed members to benefit from the state’s COVID-19 Survival Fund fund.
They expressed concern that the federal government reduced the number to 2,500 from the 4,500 listed and were assured that they would benefit from the fund.
Addressing journalists in Akure, the president of the craftsmen, Akomolafe Daisi and his secretary general Bamidele Omode accused the federal government of insincerity in the disbursement of the fund in the state.
However, the leaders clarified to the state government official who is the state focal person for the Survival Fund, Ms. Stella Kosemani Kolawole, of the accusation of diverting funds to members of their church as alleged by some of its members. .
Daisi pointed out that “even the 2,500 that have been reduced without notifying us or receiving the fund’s alert.
“We are not happy that the federal government has reduced the number of beneficiaries of the fund from the 4,500 affiliates who were listed to just 2,500 without even informing the state.
“To our surprise, not all 2,500 have not even received an alert from the fund. So far less than two percent of those listed have been paid.
”The artisans of the state of Ondo are made up of 97 associations and we have more than 360,000 members. Now they are only considering 2500 to benefit from the fund.
“The last protest by our members was due to the information that we have that the fund had been diverted to people who are not members of the group.
“After the protest, the state government met with us and explained the details. It was then that we learned that no one was kidnapping the fund from members of any church.
Also speaking, the lead enumerator, Alaba Akinlaja, said his team listed 4,500 from both the association and the public.
Akinlaja said: “Our thing is to list and the payment is made by the BOI of the Bank of Industry.
“We never listed church members, only artisans and others from the public from the entire 18 state council area were listed.
Akinlaja, who appealed to members to be patient, said those listed would benefit from the fund. End