Journalism of Courage

COVID-19 Palliatives: Beneficiaries now 2.6m people, says Minister




More than 2.6 million people have benefitted from cash transfer under the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP), the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, has disclosed.


“The Social Investment Programme (SIP) has been on since 2016 and the social national register that we have as at March 31, 2020 is made up of 11,450,537 poor and vulnerable people in 35 states and 453 Local Government Areas across the country.


“Now, currently the beneficiaries that we give this cash transfer to are 2.6 million people,’’ she said at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).


According to her, in FCT, there are 5,982 households, in Nasarawa 8,271 households, Katsina 6,732 households and Anambra 1,367 households.


Farouq said: “By general standard, a household’s composition is 6 persons.


“We are thinking of expanding the register, we are in touch with the UN social protection donor group to see how the register can be rapidly expanded to cover additional one million households.


“But we have 11.4 million households in the register that are ready for this intervention.


“The way the people are captured is by community engagement. We go in and reach the community, opinion leaders, religious leaders who are the ones that decide which families fall within that category of poor and vulnerable households.’’


On accountability and transparency, the minister assured that necessary measures had been put in place to ensure transparency and accountability in the disbursement of the money and dismissed the “malicious rumours’’ making the around.


Farouq promised that no section of the country would be marginalized in the implementation of the Social Investment Programme irrespective of religious or political affiliation.


On the rowdiness that characterized today’s distribution of palliatives for the vulnerable in the Federal Capital Territory, she said the rowdiness was inevitable.


“Some of these things are inevitable; we tried as much as possible to see that we take into consideration the social distancing policy.


“If you were there you would have seen that the people that were brought in to disburse were spaced, but people outside that might not have even been the beneficiaries were the one causing the crowing, but henceforth we will put in measures to avert that.’’

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