No fewer than 11 million Nigerians will benefit from the Federal Government’s palliative measure to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Farouk stated this on Tuesday.
She spoke during the daily briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.
The palliative distribution has started with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast who have received two months rations of relief materials.
She said the government already had a social register with details of those considered as the vulnerable in society in 35, adding that these people belong to around 2.6 million households across the country.
The Minister said the federal government was working with state governments to reach about eight million pupils in about 50,000 schools across the country.
”The social register is still there. We have registered about 2.6 poor and vulnerable households and so far we have reached out to about one million people, which is about 436,000 households across the country.
”We are looking at areas of rapidly registering more poor and vulnerable households, but we are also mindful of the fact that this lockdown is also going to affect the urban poor and this is an area where we are working very seriously to see how we can take this intervention to these urban poor across the country
”We are expanding the social register. As it is today, we are capturing about 10.6 million people and we have already had discussions with the UN Social Protection Working Group this morning and they have agreed that we are going to register at least one million more households to benefit from the palliatives.
”National social register provides a pathway to reach at least 2.6 million vulnerable households nationwide, with information, sanitisation, essentials and relief supplies. We take these things to them to relieve the effects of the restrictive measures that have been put in place.
”Let me give you a brief statistics of this social register. The social register has captured 11,045,537 individuals, covering 2,644,995 poor and vulnerable households around the country, with 47,698 communities 4,946 wards and 453 local government areas, in 35 states of the country.
”This is the register that we already have, with all the information and we are going to use it to carry out the interventions that we are supposed to carry out in the affected states”, she said.
Also on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said more palliatives are to be developed by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Economic Sustainability Committee which he head, to cushion the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis on Nigeria.
Dropping the hint yesterday, the vice president reminded Nigerians that containing the spread of the pandemic and tackling its fallout requires the cooperation and effort of all.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement said that the vice president spoke while responding to questions at a Google Hangout in Abuja.
The event was organised by the HACK COVID-19 Call Centre, where young Nigerian technology innovators talked about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and wellbeing of Nigerians.
Osinbajo responded to questions on how the Buhari administration intended to handle the consequences of the restriction of movements in parts of the country and support vulnerable Nigerians.
The statement said: “We must see this as a joint effort, everyone is involved in this, it really is an all-Nigeria effort and I am happy that everyone is responding.’
“The Committee is to take care of the economic challenges and fallouts of the pandemic and the attendant movement restrictions in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states.
“The Committee will also develop further palliatives, and a sustainability plan to reposition the economy and grow the non-oil sector.
He said that one of the critical things about the Home Grown School Feeding Programme had been a large number of cooks.
“There are over 100,000 men and women scattered across the local government areas in this country who cook for these children, the vice president said, adding: “So, at the moment, they may well be out of work, so part of what we are also looking at is for them to continue to earn a living even with the current closing down of schools; they are also obviously endangered.
“The minister of Health is working on that and I will be working closely with her to see what can possibly be done to deliver on the president’s directive on that.
The vice president, however, assured that though the challenges were daunting and expectations high, government was ready and willing to address all of them.
He said efforts were also being made towards incorporating local manufacturers in the production of items needed to manage the pandemic.