Cross River to capture 30,000 households on National Safety-Net Register
Eme Offiong, Calabar
Arrangements have been concluded to register thirty thousand urban poor households and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Safety-Net Programme in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
The Cross River Coordinator of the State Operations Coordinating Unit, SOCU, Chris Anake disclosed to newsmen in Calabar, the capital city that the registration exercise, which would last for two weeks to targeted at poor households in urban communities.
Anake, who noted that the intervention known as Rapid Response Register falls under the National Safety-Net programme, said “Cross River State is far behind others when it comes to the registration of poor households on the safety-net programme.”
“In the past seven years, we have produced a single register of poor households. We have a database of 300 thousand vulnerable households and individuals that many non-governmental organisations make use of for the implementation of poverty reduction programmes. We want to expand it to include more families especially in the northern district of the state,” he stated.
According to the State Coordinator, poor households and vulnerable individuals captured on the existing register have benefitted under different poverty reduction programmes such as the Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations, YESSO, National Directorate of Employment, Conditional Cash Transfer Programme amongst others.
He explained that to kick-start the registration of the thirty thousand household across the state, enumerators were engaged and trained on criteria for selection at the communities, while intensive sensitization were ongoing with traditional and community leaders.
Anake, who urged the media to support its effort aimed at establishing community ownership of the exercise said, “we are doing community sensitization, which is a process in Community Based Targeting, CBT. Different communities have different things that qualifies them as poor.
“How one community classifies a poor household in Cross River differs from the other. So, we do community profiling to know what constitute a poor household in a community. That was one of the reasons for the sensitization, which we have concluded and about to go again for engagements.
“One hundred and eight enumerators were trained by the Ministry of International Development Corporation to get the persons correctly registered.so now, we are meeting with traditional leaders, community leaders and organized self-help groups and associations,” Anake said.
Anake noted that the office was working closely with NGOs, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, operational in the targeted communities to achieve its goals.
He said, “we need the media to tell the people that we have commenced the Community Based targeting and when they see our people, they should give them all the support. We are depending on the communities to create a peaceful and enabling environment for us to do this work.”
“Our work is not political at all. No politician or political party is involved in fact, we partnered with the National Populations Commission on this. It is strictly a Nigerian government plan to provide for citizens especially those most affected by the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the State Coordinator said.
He added that the Cross River Governor, Professor Ben Ayade was providing maximum support to register more poor households on the National Single Register as part of the commitment to lift citizens out of poverty.