COVID-19: Lagos ready for cash transfer to poor, vulnerable

The National Coordinator of the National Cash Transfer Office (NACTO) of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) Dr Mrs Temitope Sinkaiye has said that the poor and vulnerable segment of the people in Lagos State will soon begin to enjoy cash transfer of the Federal Government.

Dr Sinkaiye spoke on Wednesday at the one-day assessment and preparedness workshop, organised by the NACTO office for Lagos State Government officials at the Elomax Hotels, Maryland, Lagos.

According to her, the National Cash Transfer Office had to be in Lagos in order to ensure that all those in the register of the vulnerable and the poorest of the poor in the state are enrolled in the national cash transfer.

She said, the urgency of the COVID-19 restrictions which has made life more unbearable for many households, especially the poorest of the poor, informed the need to come to Lagos, despite the lockdown to ensure that those whose names are already in the social register have their names in the national cash transfer in order to ensure that the benefit from the programme.

“We are in Lagos, despite the lockdown as a result of the pandemic in order to ensure that we fast track the processes to enroll the poor and vulnerable on our register, so that we can begin to transfer their cash to them and they would be able to use such funds to meet their immediate needs.”

She said all stakeholders, including the Commissioner of Economic Planning and Budget (EPB) and that of Wealth Creation as well as their Permanent Secretaries and other officials, are being rallied to ensure that the poor get the intervention as soon as possible.

According to her, the National Cash Transfer is strictly for the poorest of the poor, the set of people, who according to her, have not been able to meet their nutritional requirements long before the lockdown and have continued to suffer under the current lock down occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have different interventions for different segments, but cash transfer is just addressing the bottom poor. There are other interventions for other segments of the poor in the society,” Dr Sinkaiye said.

The State Coordinator of the Lagos State Operations Coordinating Unit (Lagos SOCU) of the National Social Safety-Nets Programme (NASSP) Mrs Oluwakemi Adedeji said the SOCU Office is still updating the Social Register to capture other vulnerable and poor households in the state.

She said SOCU is covering 30 of the 57 local governments and local council development areas of the state adding that very soon the poor and vulnerable would begin to enjoy the cash transfer and other interventions of the federal and state governments.

Among those at the event are the Commissioners for Economic Planning and Budget Mr Sam Egube, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment Mrs Yetunde Arobieke, and other top officials of the Lagos State government.

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