How we’ll identify additional 1million beneficiaries for COVID-19 palliatives – Minister

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouq, has explained how the additional 1million beneficiaries added to the Social Register will be identified.

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President Muhammadu Buhari had in a national broadcast earlier in the week ordered the addition of 1million Nigerians to the social register which had 2.6million households at the time.

The beneficiaries will receive palliatives meant to cushion the economic effects of lockdown placed as a result of the Coronavirus disease which is on the rise in the country.

“You are aware that the President in his broadcast of Monday 13th April, directed that we expand the beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer by one million and in this regard, we are going to focus more now on the urban poor,” Mrs Farouq told State House Correspondents on Wednesday after meeting behind closed doors with the president.

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“These are people who depend on the informal sector to earn their livelihood; they are daily wage earners and these are the people that we are really going to focus more on as well as people living with disabilities.

“Well, we have three options; one, we are going to use the national social register that we already have, two, we are also going to focus on the urban poor as I mentioned, by using their verified BVN accounts to get them, that is, people that have an account balance of N5,000 and below.

“We are also using the mobile networks, to know people that top up the credit units for their phones with may be N100 or less. Those are also people that we consider to be poor and vulnerable. So, these are the three options that we are exploring and I am sure that by the time we get this data we will be able to give this intervention,” she added.

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The minister also noted that palliatives in form of food relief will be handed over to state governments to distribute for security reasons.

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