At least one million Nigerians are expected to benefit from the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Cash Transfer Project which aims to lift the urban poor affected by the pandemic out of poverty.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja while inaugurating the COVID-19 Rapid Response Registration (RRR) Cash Transfer Project.
The project, according to him, is a national initiative to build a shock responsive framework for capturing and registering the urban poor and vulnerable populations across Nigeria.
Osinbajo said that the new register complements the already existing platforms under the World Bank supported National Social Safety nets Project (NASSP).
“As of Dec. 31, 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households.
“Through this project, we are currently injecting about N10billion directly into the hands of about two million poor and vulnerable households every month.”
According to him, the initiative is about the largest evidence-based effort by any administration on poverty reduction and its impact on the lives of the poor is huge.
“This is by way of improving the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through enhanced household purchasing power, smoothening consumption, increasing savings and acquisition of household assets and improving the local economy.
Osinbajo said that the RRR was designed to focus mainly on the urban poor wards selected using scientifically validated methods of satellite remote sensing technology, machine learning algorithm and big data analysis.
“This social protection method of targeting is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and Nigeria will be the first country for its implementation.
“With the RRR, which uses a wholly technology-based approach, we are primed to achieve an end-to-end digital foot-print in cash transfers for the urban poor.
“Which also helps us achieve our financial inclusion policy under the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access programme (EFInA).”
It is worthwhile to note that the first set of 3,115 beneficiaries have already received N5,000 each cash transfer and the programme will continue until it reaches the one million target.
The cash transfers will be received by the beneficiaries for six months.