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Yahaya Bello, Kogi State governor

The government of Kogi State says it has started registering the poor and vulnerable impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic for them to be able to access the emergency social interventions’ support.

Asiru Idris, the commissioner for finance, budget, and economic planning, who disclosed this in Lokoja, advised Kogi indigenes to take advantage to get themselves registered.

The commissioner, according News Agency of Nigeria, added that the government would sensitise the people toward the success of the programne.

He advised the citizens to respond to messages on their phones and get registered.

Mr Idris emphasised that the programme known as Rapid Response Register was designed as a shock response framework by the National Social Safety Net Programme (NASSP) in collaboration with the World Bank to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added, “The RRR is, therefore, a subset of the National Social Register (NSR) and State Social Register (SSR) but only deployed for emergency circumstances and interventions.

“In Nigeria at large and Kogi in particular, the economic impact of the pandemic has been felt mostly by urban and semi-urban dwellers, many of whom lost jobs, businesses, and consequently incomes.

“Although Kogi remains the safest state so far. But the global economic downturn, due to the pandemic, has brought enormous hardship on our people.”

In response to the economic shocks, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in partnership with the World Bank, is building the RRR as an intervention to identify and document the urban and semi-urban poor, who have lost their income and consequently become poorer because of COVID-19.

He further explained that mobile phone numbers of applicants, validated and deemed eligible for assistance, would be linked to digitised bank accounts to receive a N5,000 monthly stipend.

“The RRR will also serve as a database to deliver social assistance and emergency response during future emergencies or disasters. The register targets a total of 20 million Nigerians,” Idris noted.


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