A non-governmental group, Save the Poor Coalition (SPC) has kicked against proposal to engage a task force to coordinate the distribution of Federal Government palliatives for Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic lockdown.
President Muhammadu Buhari.
This is coming on the heels of a series of allegations that the handling of distribution of the palliatives by the Ministry Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the office of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) has been lopsided and not reaching the targeted audience.
Chairman Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume also on Tuesday in Borno State while calling for the disbandment of the presidential committee responsible for the distribution alleged that most of those benefiting from the palliatives do not deserve them.
But in a swift reaction, the group in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator and National Secretary, Emeka Enechi and Adamu Maikasuwa respectively in Abuja on Thursday faulted the claims of Senator Ndume and others on the palliatives.
The group insisted that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and the office of the National Social Investment Program (N-SIP) should be left to continue the exercise.
"It is our considered view that we need a ministry like that of Humanitarian Affairs and other relevant ministries, state and local governments and private sector to mobilize all hands in order to lift our people, not Task Force."
Faulting allegations against the modality of distribution, the group said, "Whereas, we are in league with the plethora of criticisms emanating from various quarters, especially that of distinguished and eminent members of the National Assembly, as per the National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households and by extension the COVID 19 palliatives; however, after observing the comments and steps taking so far by the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouk, we take solace on the truism that she has noted all the salient points raised.
"We of the SPC disagrees with the canvas of Distinguished Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume that the distribution of cash transfer register in states was a fabrication and was full of fraud and that the ministry lacks the capacity and structure to carry out the assignment.
"The distribution of cash transfer register is neither a fabrication nor a fraud; albeit as stated earlier Hajia Farouk did not mince words in talking of challenges in addressing and making comprehensive the National Social Register.
"Our understanding is that she has commissioned professionals to update the National Social Register she met on ground, and because of the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis she cannot throw the current register away.
"For the avoidance of doubt, the authors of the National Social Register never said they covered the 774 local government areas of the country; rather they listed what they covered as 421 local government areas, 4,347 wards, 43, 258 communities, 2.25 million poor of poorest households and 9.54 million extreme poor".
The group then called for the support of well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
- Jimi Anjolaoluwa.