One million Nigerians impacted by Covid-19 pandemic will receive N5,000 cash each for six months, the federal government announced this Tuesday.

The minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Mrs. Sadiya Farouq, who spoke during a briefing to give an update on the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) of the government in Abuja, explained that a pilot scheme commenced earlier this year with 3,115 beneficiaries in Lagos and Abuja. The intervention will be up-scaled nationwide and beneficiaries will start receiving their stipends soon, she said.

The minister added that a Rapid Response Register (RRR) has been put in place as a shock responsive intervention register specifically targeted at the urban informal workers impacted by Covid-19. Plans to on-board the second batch of beneficiaries under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) are nearing completion and will be made public soon, Farouq said. “The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development remains committed to the continued implementation of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) in line with Mr. President’s policy to unfailingly lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, especially through innovative youth empowerment and gainful employment.”

The ministry has restarted the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme, she stated, adding that 9,196,823 pupils in classes 1 to 3 in public primary schools will receive one nutritious meal daily in all 54,619 schools nationwide. She said the programme has been expanded to accommodate additional 5million children in line with the directives of President Buhari.

The minister also directed the 550,000 shortlisted applicants for the N-Power Batch C programme to log on to the National Social Investment Management System (NASIMS) self-service portal and enroll their biometric data to qualify for final selection. She said the second batch of another 500,000 will subsequently be made in line with President Buhari’s directive to engage 1,000,000 beneficiaries under the Batch C.

“The outcome of this programme includes increase in school enrollment, improved nutrition for benefiting pupils, boosting of local economies and facilitating job creation through the activities of 103,028 cooks, 100,000 small-holder farmers and numerous aggregators and commodity transporters engaged nationwide,” said Minister Farouq.

President Buhari has, in a speech marking Democracy Day on June 12, paid tribute to the ministry, NSIP, the Central Bank’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and intervention agency Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.

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