By David Royal
President Muhammadu Buhari while making a nationwide broadcast on Monday said he has directed that the current social register of the palliative measures be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks.
According to the president, no country can afford the full impact of a sustained restriction of movement on its economy.
Being fully aware of the great difficulties experienced especially by those who earn a daily wage such as traders, day-workers, artisans and manual workers, Buhari assured to support an additional one million homes with social investment programs.
He said: “For this group, their sustenance depends on their ability to go out. Their livelihoods depend on them mingling with others and about seeking work. But despite these realities, we must not change the restrictions.
“In the past two weeks, we announced palliative measures such as food distribution, cash transfers and loans repayment waivers to ease the pains of our restrictive policies during this difficult time. These palliatives will be sustained.
“I have also directed that the current social register be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks.
“This means we will support an additional one million homes with our social investment programs. A technical committee is working on this and will submit a report to me by the end of this week”.
The National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) had hinted that the Federal Government will be expanding the number of registered households from 2.6 million to 4 million by June 2020.
According to NASSCO, the National Social Register is “a gateway for registered poor and vulnerable households to access social interventions or welfare packages by the government, philanthropy, NGOs and/or businesses.
Going by the Register and based on NASSCO assertion, more than 11 million Nigerians may be benefitting from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 response measures (palliatives) targeting the poor & vulnerable.
More than 1 million people will be benefitting in Zamfara, above nine hundred thousand in Kebbi and more than eight hundred thousand in Katsina. See full list.