From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Victims of COVID-19 pandemic in Kogi state especially the poor and the vulnerable group will be given special consideration to benefit from the Federal Government Social Intervention programme to cushion the effect of the devastation.
Following this development, the state government has commenced registration of the poor and Vulnerable affected by COVIDv-19 pandemic to benefit from the scheme.
Government has also advised other citizens of the state to take advantage of the programme and get registered.
Asiwaju Idris, Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, disclosed this at a press conference in Lokoja yesterday.
The commissioner said that government would sensitize the people towards the success of the programme.
He called on those concerned to respond to messages on their phones and get registered in view of the advantages derivable from it.
Idris stressed that the enormous benefits of the programme cannot be over emphasized and called on the people of the state to avail themselves of the opportunity.
The commissioner said that the National Social Safety Net Programme in collaboration with the World Bank is put in place to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
Idris said”:The “Rapid Response Register” (RRR) is a shock response framework designed by the National Social Safety-Net Programme (NASSP) in collaboration with the World Bank to provide emergency social interventions to poor and vulnerable households in challenging circumstances (Natural disaster, epidemic, pandemic, economic downturn, etc).
“The RRR is therefore a Subset of the National Social Register (NSR) and State Social Register (SSR) but only deployed for emergency circumstances and interventions
“The Kogi State Government under the leadership of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in collaboration with Federal Government efforts, has designed to target and capture the urban and semi-urban areas in Kogi State that are economically impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. This is because the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people deeper into poverty and
“In Nigeria at large and Kogi State in particular, the economic impact of the pandemic has been felt mostly by urban and semi-urban dwellers, many of whom lost jobs, businesses and consequently incomes.
“Although Kogi State remains the safest state so far, but the global economic down turn, due the pandemic, has brought enormous hardship on our people.
“In response to these economic shocks, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in partnership with the World Bank is building the Rapid Response Register as an intervention to identify and document the urban and semi-urban poor who have lost their income and consequently become poorer because of COVID-19.
“The Register is being built in Kogi State to target those in the category of non-traditional poor people in urban and high-density locations or slums where the pandemic has affected economic life.
“Individuals/households in the Rapid Response Register will be paid a monthly stipend for at least six months under an expanded Cash _ Transfer Programme of the Federal Government. This will boost their consumption and help to build resilience.
“To identify those made poorer in Urban and semi-urban areas for registration, geographical satellite remote sensing technology to locate urban poor wards and high-density settlements is deployed to Kogi State.
“Targeting and enrollment of affected individuals will be done, using cellphone short messaging service (SMS) technology that allows residents of identified communities register to be assisted by following simple steps via USSD codes.
“‘This technological approach is integrated with the National Living Standard Survey assessments and will be complemented by existing databases of NGOs, local self-help-support groups and neighborhood structures in the communities.