Fred Itua, Abuja
Save the Poor Coalition, has faulted the position of the leadership of the National Assembly and some members who dubbed the implementation of the Social Investment Programme of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, non-inclusive.
National coordinator of the coalition, Emeka Enechi and its secretary, Adamu Maikasuwa, in a statement made available to newsmen, said the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk had already initiated steps to improve on the National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households.
Enechi said rather than fault the minister’s efforts, members of the National Assembly should support her in meeting the yearnings of Nigerians.
The statement read: “Whereas, we are in league with the plethora of criticisms emanating from various quarters, especially that of distinguished and eminent members of the National Assembly, as per the, and by extension the COVID 19 palliatives, however, after observing the comments and steps taken so far by the honourable minister, we take solace in the truism that she has noted all the salient points raised.
“We disagree with the opinion of distinguished Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume that ‘the distribution of cash transfer register in states was a fabrication and was full of fraud. The ministry lacks the capacity and structure to carry out the assignment.’
“The distribution of cash transfer register is neither a fabrication nor a fraud; albeit as stated earlier, Hajia Farouk did not mince words in talking of challenges in addressing and making comprehensive the National Social Register.
“Our understanding is that she has commissioned professionals to update the National Social Register she met on ground, and because of the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis, she cannot throw the current register away.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the authors of the National Social Register never said they covered the 774 local government areas of the country; rather they listed what they covered as 421 local government areas, 4,347 wards, 43, 258 communities, 2.25 million poor of poorest households and 9.54 million extreme poor.
“It is common knowledge that the World Poverty Clock as far back as 2018 had listed Nigeria, a World Poverty Capital with over 90 million extreme poor; therefore 9.5 million in the current National Social Register is a tip of the iceberg. The challenge of the SPC, and indeed every Nigerian today is how to assist President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in lifting millions out of poverty.