By Daniel Tyokua
The minister of State for FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has said the Administration has identified over 700, 000 vulnerable households in the territory.
In a statement, she said the households were identified through validation of the social register by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) which also scored the administration high on the palliative distribution to vulnerable residents.
The stated this during the presentation of a scorecard of the palliative distribution by a coalition of COVID-19 Civil Society Organisations Emergency Intervention Group on Thursday in Abuja.
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 vulnerables.
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.
In her words; “During the very tough and trying period of COVID-19 pandemic, I will confess to you that it seems things have fallen apart, and the centre could not hold. Fortunately for us, we had able bodied men and women who defied all odds and show willingness to work.
“We draw up our template, and a more encompassing and more reaching template with men and women of the civil society organisations and put concerted efforts to ensure that they were in all places in all the committees.
“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.
“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 meet 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’s willing, we can boast that the Federal Capital Territory is used as a standard to other states”.