The Federal Government said will inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), an emergency intervention database, for the urban poor made poorer by the pandemic, an official of government has said.
Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Joe Abuku, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday, in Abuja, said the register would identify Nigerians who had sunk deeper into poverty as a result of the economic shocks caused by the pandemic.
“This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small businesses owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and service providers.
“Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based labourers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic,” he further said.
According to him, the register, being put together by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, through NASSCO, and in partnership with the World Bank, will be inaugurated by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
“The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs.
“The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months,” he said.
On the economic impact of the pandemic, Mr Abuku said around the world, it had disrupted livelihoods and hurt businesses with many small business owners, petty traders and daily wage workers unable to return to business or get back to work.
He said Nigeria social protection systems had come under intense pressure and prompted the government to invest more resources to assist those dealing with the economic shocks and threats posed by the pandemic.