By Albert Futukpor, GNA
Tamale, Dec. 20, GNA – Beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme have been assured of an efficient payment system to ensure that they receive their cash grants on time to support their various activities.
Mr Myles Ongoh, Acting Manager of LEAP Programme, said this would help bring more relief to the beneficiaries and help reduce poverty in the country.
He was speaking at a three-day workshop in Tamale organised by the LEAP Management Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund to review the electronic payment of cash grants to LEAP beneficiaries.
Participants during the workshop included officials of the Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems Limited, Financial Institutions and District Social Welfare Officers, who worked to ensure that LEAP beneficiaries received their cash grants.
The LEAP Programme began in 2008 where beneficiaries received their cash grants manually. In 2015, government started electronic payment of cash grants to LEAP beneficiaries across the country.
However, the electronic payment has come with some challenges such as faulty e-zwich equipment amongst others, which delayed 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 and the Department for International Development (DFID) currently provides financial and technical support for the implementation of the LEAP Programme, under which government pays various sums of cash grants to extremely poor households in the country.
Statistics shows that currently about 332,000 households are benefiting from the LEAP Programme across the country.
Mr Ongoh said the electronic payment system has promoted financial inclusion where beneficiaries go to the banks, access their grants at their own convenience and thereby promote savings and eliminate fraud.
He advised LEAP Programme beneficiaries to put their cash grants into good use to reduce poverty adding that they should put aside some of the money for productive ventures and encouraged them to go into agriculture as other beneficiaries had done.
Mr Colson Akanbasiam, Head of Communications, LEAP Programme, thanked the World Bank and DFID for their support for the programme, which has helped to address the needs of the extremely poor in the country.