The federal government has said over 30 million Nigerians from 6 million households have so far registered for its COVID-19 support facility tagged: ‘Rapid Response Register,’ through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO).
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed made the disclosure Tuesday in Abuja, during the national dialogue on covid-19 economic impact and assessment of national and states recovery plan and policy options.
The register which was formally launched late in the month of July is expected to enable the government scale-up the support for the vulnerable in the society who will potentially benefit from cash transfers to cushion the socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
The Minister said, “These are people that can get cash transfers through the banking system to cushion the social economic impact of the pandemic in their lives and livelihoods,” .
The federal government had earlier promised to expand its cash transfer programmes, especially the school feeding programme enhance support for vulnerable as well as to the women and youth.
Zainab said government will continue to make critical investments in women and girls to improve economic resilience.
“We are scaling interventions aed at improving the economic Empowerment of women and girls- a key driver of economic growth, improved development outcomes, and improve economic resilience. This includes enhanced access to financing and capacity building for women-owned businesses, particularly MSMEs”, she said.
Earlier, the representative head of programme at GIZ SEDIN, a Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of employment in nigeria, Ana Vinambres who said COVID-19 is still today the most consequential health, social and economic threat in the world, stated that collaboration is not a choice in the current context but a must and looking at what other states and countries are doing as a response to the pandemic is fundamental.
Vinambres said “While COVID-19 is still here with us, it is important to look at additional ways to support MSMEs resilience, create new jobs and fast track economic recovery”.
She further said “SEDIN programme has also widely contributed to the immediate, medium and long-term response to COVID19, including the facilitation of funds for MSMEs and farmers to cover their immediate liquidity issues from government’s targeted facilities, commercial banks and impact investors, the access to raw Inputs and compost production at a time when trade was impacted, facilitating linkages to open markets and identifying collection centers closed to producers to avoid profiteering”.