Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Caretaker Minister, Gender, Children and Social Protection, has advised beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme to utilise the grants for intended purposes.
She said some beneficiaries were likely to use the money for different reasons, including buying clothes for the funeral and spending it “unwisely” and cautioned against that.
Madam Dapaah gave the advice during a monitoring tour by the Gender Ministry through the LEAP Secretariat, to see to the payment of 90 beneficiary households at Obuoadaka, Eastern Region.
The payment is for the 77th and 78th cycles.
Madam Dapaah said the grant was not “free” because the Government had to strive to get it hence, must be used judiciously.
The Caretaker Minister urged caregivers who received monies on behalf of beneficiaries, to be honest, and present the exact amount given to the owners.
“This money is a blessing for the aged and vulnerable, so give them the full amount and take care of them well,” the Caretaker Minister added.
Madam Dapaah cautioned caregivers against maltreating the aged, children, disabled, sick and vulnerable.
Mr Colson Akambasiam, Head of Communications, LEAP Programme, said payment of the grants was not political as alleged by some people.
He said research had shown that the Programme had promoted the reintegration of beneficiaries into society.
Mr Akanbasiam said there were focal persons who reported issues of beneficiaries not receiving their grants from caregivers to LEAP officers who in turn, investigated and replaced the caregivers.
The Head of Communications said they undertook post-payment monitoring where households were sampled, their grievances heard and addressed for a successful implementation of the Programme.
“ We hold community fora where we gather the beneficiaries and listen to their issues and pick up those signals and involve community members, including the Assembly members,” he said.
Mr Kwadjo Agyei, an 86-year-old retired farmer, receiving GHC 64 every two months, called on Government to increase the grants.
LEAP is a social cash transfer Programme under the Gender Ministry, for the poorest households in Ghana with the goal of reducing poverty by smoothening consumption and promoting human capital development with about 1.7 million beneficiaries.
The category of persons who made a household eligible are orphaned and vulnerable children, the elderly, 65 years and above without support, persons with severe disabilities, very poor pregnant women and mothers with infants under one year.