FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PLANS TO IDENTIFY POOR HOUSEHOLDS IN ENUGU STATE

trade2A three day training on community based targeting for identification of poor and vulnerable persons in Enugu State has commenced.

The training, which is being orgaised by the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office, NASSCO, is part of the present administration’s determination to provide succor to the poor and unemployed.

It will be recalled that during its electioneering President Mohammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC promised to address issue of poverty and unemployment.

This is perhaps why the present administration introduced the Conditional Cash Transfer, Home Grown School Feeding, N-Power, and Government Enterprise and Empowerment programmes.

However, one of the challenges that affected similar programmes introduced by past administrations was poor targeting and coordination as they were often hijacked by politicians. Examples of such programmes were the NAPEP, SURE-P, NDE, among others.

It was to ensure that the real poor and vulnerable persons benefited from the intervention programmes and more programmes that would be introduced later that the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office, NASSCO was mandated to train team members in each state that would identify such poor persons and produce a single register containing their names and locations.

In Enugu State, trainees from six Local government Areas of Awgu, Aniri, Igboetiti, Igboeze South, Isiuzo and Nkanu East, were selected for the pilot phase of the training.

According to the selection process, two local governments were chosen to represent each of the three senatorial zones in the state, in line with the World Bank Poverty mapping of the state.

The trainees are to be civil servants and not politicians.

The National Coordinator of NASSCO, Mr. Peter Papka, was represented at the training by the Head Services of the agency, Mr. Ademola Alli who explained that producing a single register that would contain comprehensive identities of the poor and vulnerable persons was the main trust of the training.

“Developing the single register for the poor and vulnerable is the main thing we are working on now. The State can use it, the Federal Government can use it, even the Local Government and Philanthropists can use it to see the real poor people to help.

“You can use it for other planning to help the real vulnerable people.”

Declaring the training open, Enugu State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo who represented the Governor, pledged the support of the state towards actualizing Federal Government job creation and poverty intervention programmes.

Mrs. Ezeilo who doubles as the Coordinator of all Federal Government social investment programmes in the state, promised that the intervention would be carried out in line with the stipulated guidelines.

“I make bold to say that Enugu State appreciates this partnership with the Federal Government and promises to ensure its successful implementation.”

Two participants, Mr. Kingsley Ene and Mrs. Anayo Odo described the programme as genuine for the poor.

“The programme will make me to be sincere to my community and the government.”

“This is just the time government has come to do something meaningful looking at the poorest of the poor.”

Enugu State Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Poverty Reduction, Deacon Obinna Mbaeke and the State Focal person for the training, Mr. Nnayelugo Dan Onyisi urged the participants to take the training seriously as the data they would generate would be invaluable in any kind of assistance to be rendered to poor and vulnerable households in the state.

Meanwhile, organizers of the training, NASSCO informed Radio Nigeria that the second phase of the programme would be scaled up to accommodate 50% percent of the local government areas in Enugu state as this first phase was targeted at 30% only.

CHUKWUBUIKE MADU

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