Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has said it plans to expand the social register for palliative distribution by employing digital models including the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN).
This is as it said there was no plans to reopen the school as the lockdown meant to flatten the curve of COVID-19 enters week four.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouq, while responding to questions at Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 on how to identify the poor and the most vulnerable for the government’s palliatives, said deploying digital means will be faster and make the distribution more effective.
“We are using other models including BVN to identify bank accounts. We are also using mobile phone networks to identify poor and vulnerable people in the society.
“This is going to be faster, transparent and give room for more accountability.”
On the conditional cash transfer to poor households which is ongoing in some parts of the country, she said it is being done in a transparent and well organised manner.
She also said contrary to claims on social media, there were no duplication of households that benefit from the palliatives because of the measures in place.
She said the involvement of civil groups, traditional and religious leaders, among others who are performing the role of identifying the poor in their communities makes it impossible for households to be duplicated.
Minister of State (Education), Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has said there were no plans to reopen schools just yet.
It goes without saying that nobody can reopen schools for now except we coordinate all of our efforts. We are also appealing to parents to help us, the point where we are now, we are asking that students can learn online. We have made a lot of provisions for that and the directorate of ICT has opened a portal and in conjunction with UBEC as the coordinating agency, in alliance with all the SUBEBS in all the states to buy into a programming module.
Right now, what has happened is that about 14 or 15 states have commenced learning via different channels that are available in their state, mostly radio and local TV.”