The Federal Government has begun a Cash Transfer scheme targeted one million urban poor Nigerians whose livelihoods have been affected by the Coronavirus Disease.
The scheme tagged Rapid Response Register, RRR, is in line with the Federal Governments directive to expand the social register and Conditional Cash Transfer to capture more vulnerable poor vulnerable Nigerians.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development with the National Social Safety Coordinating Office in partnership with the World Bank adopted the RRR through a scientific technology means to identify low-income earners in urban cities to achieve the feat.
The vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the virtual inauguration said the initiative would help improve the lives of the beneficiaries affected by the pandemic that considering past beneficiaries of the social safety programmes were those in rural areas, especially during the lockdown.
‘”As of 31st December 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households –Through this project, we are currently injecting about Ten Billion Naira (N10 Billion) directly into the hands of about Two Million (2 million) poor and vulnerable households every month.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in Nigeria in February 2020, those in the National Social Register (an aggregate of all state social registers) of the poor, and the beneficiaries of the national cash transfer programme were largely rural people. Nonetheless, it quickly became obvious that while the COVID-19 containment action was effective in slowing down the spread of the infections, it also impacted the urban informal workers and dwellers, especially those daily wage earners that could not work due to loss of jobs, business closure or restrictions on movement. So, from this situation emerged a new set of vulnerable groups of people at risk of falling into poverty,” the Vice President explained.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq reiterated the Ministry’s mandate to work with MDAs in humanitarian interventions and social inclusion for the well being of Nigerians.
Hajiya Sadiya announced that the Ministry now has a database that could provide evidence for impact tracing for most social development projects in the country.
“We recognize the centrality of our role as an institution of Government and the responsibility of our mandate as a Ministry to continue to strengthen, coordination with various other Ministries, Departments and Agencies with whom our mandates intersect. We also recognize that most of the points of intersection around social security and social protection with other MDAs have the common focus on poverty reduction, human capital development, social equity and social inclusion which are all geared towards bringing development closer to the people.”
The National Coordinator, National Social Safety Coordinating Office Mr Iorwa Apera who gave a technical overview of the selection preprocess said the pilot’s states was Abuja and Lagos selected with Three thousand one hundred and fifteen beneficiaries who will earn five thousand monthly for six months
In a goodwill message the country Director of World bank, Shubham Chaudhuri Commended the Federal Government for the initiative and renewed the bank’s commitment to helping the government achieve its objective.