The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to commence COVID-19 conditional cash transfer to 200,000 of the most vulnerable citizens in urban areas of the country before the end of August 2021.
The National Coordinator, National Social Safety-Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Lorwa Akpere, announced this in Abuja Monday during the maiden dialogue of the senior citizen’s forum.
He said: “200,000 senior citizens in urban areas have been targeted to receive the COVID-19 cash transfer. When the data is ready, the payment starts this month. This social register of 35 million individuals has over three per cent of senior citizens, which is about 2 million.”
According to him, “Those who identify the poor and vulnerable are community members themselves that say, ‘In this group, here are the vulnerable’. We are not targeting all senior citizens.”
He said the move was in line with the directive of the Federal Government that senior citizens must be captured under the COVID-19 conditional cash transfer programme, which targets one million people across the country.
According to Akpere, the register is made up of 35 million individuals from 96,000 communities across the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He explained that the Office would disaggregate the location of senior citizens by their age, gender, educational level, vocation and status in terms of disability and illness so that help could reach them.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Social Disaster and Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq in her keynote address lamented the effects of poverty, hunger and the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that any responsible government must fashion policies and legal frameworks to ensure the inclusion of its vulnerable population.
According to her, the efforts of the Nigerian Government are tailored towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals with the mantra: ‘Leave No One Behind’.