The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, has flagged off the verification of the National Social Register (NSR) in Makoko and other communities in Lagos State, South West Nigeria, with a promise to get Nigerians a social register with integrity.
A statement by Deputy Director Information, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, said the exercise, which commenced simultaneously across the country in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, will last for three weeks.
Speaking shortly after she carried out door to door verification of the register at the remote Lagos suburb, over the weekend, the Minister, who was ferried in a canoe to the riverine villages, said the federal government was ready to put money into the hands of Nigerians to assist them in their businesses, education of their children, livelihood, and job creation.
According to her, the exercise is an integrity test, noting that President Bola Tinubu wants sincerity in who gets the conditional cash transfers. He wants to truly touch the lives of the poor and change things for the better, she said.
She said those who were captured would be checked to know if they deserved to be on the register or not, while areas that was left out will be covered.
“Federal government is going to put money into the households in Nigeria to assist them in terms of their businesses, livelihood and education. This will enable the beneficiaries pay fees for their children, improve access to social services, subsidize their daily transportation cost, give them spending power to provide for basic health care needs, job creation etc.
“For us to do this, we need to verify the National Social Register. The President has approved that we go down to the grassroots and ensure that the National Social Register is a true reflection of truly poor people.
“We need to verify that people on the list live below one dollar ninety-five cents a day and are affected by multi dimensional poverty and sincerely are those who need help. Those who have no business being there should be removed and those who need to be on the register should be included”.
Speaking further, Edu said “We are doing both community targeting and geographical targeting, we have seen that certain areas of Oko Agbon, Adogbo, Migbewhe, Makoko, Sogunro and Apollo villages have been covered by NSR, while certain areas have not been captured, we will capture them.
“The activities we will flag off here are being carried out across the country, working with states and communities. Our State Governors, will chair the steering committee at state while the Local Government Areas, and Community Leaders will be involved to get NSR with Integrity.
“We want to ensure that those who will be getting the money are those who truly need it with zero political social or personal interference,” she said.
On his part, the new National Coordinator for the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Abdulaziz Danladi, who described Dr. Edu, as a field and community-oriented Minister, said her passion for the job will be supported by all the foot soldiers.
Danladi said that strengthening the social safety nets and social protection system in the country was a core strategy to help end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
He explained that the core mandate of NASSCO was to lay a strong foundation for rigorous and reliable evidence of poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria which the Minister is championing.
Highpoint of the visit by the Minister, accompanied by the Honourable Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees migrants and IDPs, Mr. Aliyu Tijani Ahmed and Director General NAPTIP, Professor Fatima Waziri-Azi as well as other top members of the Minister’s team, was the distribution of food items and expanded medical outreach to the vulnerable in Makoko community in Lagos state.