Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has unveiled an ambitious federal policy to lift 20 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next two years.
Mr. Osibanjo flagged off the administration’s Economic Sustainability Plan’s (ESP) in Abuja on Tuesday, saying the cash transfer scheme will be facilitated through a wholly technology-based approach called the Rapid Response Register (RRR).
Mr. Osinbajo’s spokesman Laolu Akande said in a statement that the successful activation of RRR will enable the government to achieve a social security programme for at least 20 million Nigerians to be lifted out of poverty.
“The groundbreaking success of the RRR now emboldens us to achieve our aspiration of a social security programme for a minimum of twenty million Nigerians in the next two years. This is the largest of its kind on the continent,” the statement said.
The statement said the government has been seeking funding for the project, yet the country deserves a social security scheme that will not only alleviate poverty but create wealth for citizens.
“The constraints, of course, is the funding which we must look for because this country deserves a social security scheme that will not merely alleviate poverty but also create wealth for the millions of those who are waiting for this opportunity,” he said.
The government also plans to give N5,000 monthly to at least one million households in the country, through the cash transfer scheme for six months.
The administration also launched the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) in 2017 to provide a framework for institutionalizing the work that was started in 2016 by the government, in order to decrease the rate of extreme poverty in Nigeria.
“Our government launched the National Social Security Policy (NSSP) in 2017 to provide the framework for institutionalizing the work we started since 2016 on reducing extreme poverty in Nigeria, based on our administration’s vision to create a comprehensive social security programme for the poor and vulnerable and thereafter the pledge to lift 100 million Nigerian’s out of poverty in ten years,” the government said.
He added that the government has identified and registered 24.3 million poor individuals into the National Social Register, and N10 billion will be given equally to 2 million poor and vulnerable citizens monthly.
Humanitarian affairs minister Sadiya Farouq, during the flagging off of the ESP scheme, said the initiative would provide a gateway to other government programmes, adding that there is an impact tracking database for social interventions programmes in line with the government vision to support Nigerians financially.
“By design, this register links to other databases such as banking information of respondents and national identity numbers. It is also a process that is advanced in unifying national data banks towards the delivery of social development in Nigeria.
‘There is no doubt that in future, as has been demonstrated in the previous presentation, we would be reverting to the process used here and the register itself, to aid emergency assistance,” she said.