Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has solicited an increase in her budgetary allocation to enable her execute most of the projects under her purview particularly the 5 National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs).
Farouq, who spoke yesterday at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Abuja, to mark one year anniversary as minister, revealed that during the lockdown, occasioned by COVID-19, President Mohammadu Buhari ordered that names of one million poor people be added to the national register for poor and vulnerable citizens for empowerment.
She further appealed to Nigerians especially those complaining of being sidelined in the distribution of palliatives, to be patient, noting that with time, things would fall into place.
Represented by the Director, Disaster Management, Dorothy Nwodo, she said: “The challenges we have now is that we are yet to have an office. Although we have been given a place but we have been working on it assiduously to get it ready. We need funds.
“There are great work to be done. Fund is a challenge. We are looking forward that the Federal Government will increase budgetary allocation for us to be able to do what we have been asked to do.
“Nigerians are complaining because they do not have the information. We are trying our best to give out information. The national social register for those who need assistance especially those people who have been captured and gone through the process before being selected, receive the fund.
“During the lockdown, the President asked us what we can do to help the downtrodden. And he said we should increase the national social register to one million. It does not mean that you are a beneficiary. Because those beneficiary under the already existing register are those sponsored by the World Bank. So, we decided to find a way to capture the President’s directive in registering about 1 million people that are downtrodden. The artisans and we have an office doing it which is the National Safety Network Office.”
She further explained that, “most of the social programmes which we had prior to the establishment of the ministry, has been under the presidency.
“It was too much for Mr President to do the job as well as look after the social investment programmes, alleviating poverty that is very high in this country. You are aware that only 82 million people are living below the poverty line.”
Meanwhile, the Officiating Priest, Reverend Father Joseph Obada, urged government officials to be selfless and sincerely in discharging their duties, to attract God’s blessings.