COVID-19: Over 700, 000 Abuja households are vulnerable – Report

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Hajiya Ramatu

Minister of State for Federal Territory Administration (FCTA), Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has disclosed that with the validation of the social register, the administration has identified over 700, 000 vulnerable households in the territory, just as civil society organisations (CSOs) have scored the administration high on palliatives distribution to vulnerable members. 

The minister, who made this revelation during the presentation of a scorecard of the palliatives distribution by a coalition of COVID-19 Civil Society Organisations Emergency Intervention Group, however, acknowledged that there were more than met the eyes during the palliatives distribution exercise. 

Aliyu also stressed that the scorecard would further guide the action of the administration especially during emergency situations, adding that the administration would not wait for any emergency before reaching out to the vulnerable.

While commending the civil society organisations, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders in joining hands to make the exercise a success, the minister also noted that the COVID-19 brought the real function of a mother to bear. 

“Many at times when you work and put in the best you can, you are not in the best position to score yourself. We are proud to say indeed some people out there did not only go out to distribute the palliative, but also make efforts to look into what we were doing without fear or favour and scored us as it is. This to you is a scorecard, but to me it is a validation of my dreams.

“This can serve as a guide to what we need to do further. With the pandemic in place, we were able to work harder, we found that the social register was validated. Today, we have over 700, 000 vulnerable households, because during the time of the pandemic, we used the definition of vulnerability to mean the very poor in the hinterland, those that are not earning anything from government revenue and without a source of income. 

“But later, it was clear to us that there is more that meets the eyes. Even the so-called salary earners become vulnerable due to COVID-19 and the pressure of the lockdown. And that brought about the new template. God willing, we can boast that the Federal Capital Territory is used as a standard to other states.” 

On his part, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, thanked the civil society groups for not abandoning the administration in times of need, stressing that the report would not only inspire the Minister of State, but also the entire administration. 

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