Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, has said her initial plan as minister is to verify the social register of Nigeria and create an accessible database for the public.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, Edu said the Tinubu government is a communicating and transparent administration stating that “Nigeria will not go under.” She spoke of the inclusion of, not only the government, but the total incorporation of the private sector in the humanitarian and poverty alleviation space.
She said, “The first thing we want to do is to verify the social register.
“We must get a database, a base upon which we are going to do the work, and we will put this out there to Nigerians, so that they can hold us accountable.”
According to Edu, the president’s target is to prevent any Nigerian from living under the poverty, and as part of the poverty alleviation scheme, discussions will take place within two to three weeks with key stakeholders to come up with exact figures to provide for each individual or family in the poverty alleviation project.
She said, “We have a total idea which is according to the action plan of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It’s already fully written, however, implementation failure will arise when it is not domesticated and honed by the context where we will be implementing it.
“We will be on the consultative mode, getting across to Nigerians at all levels.
“The register must be verified and updated, and where there are people who don’t deserve to be there, based on the criteria, they will be taken off the register.”
The minister also spoke of plans to employ the private sector fully into the humanitarian and poverty alleviation space, saying the government will deploy the same strategy as the private sector-driven Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) during the Covid pandemic.
She said, “We are going to create a trust fund for emergency response and humanitarian response in the country and create protocols for this response to know what to do when to do it and how to do it and who are the people who should be beneficiaries from it.
“Beyond this, we are bringing the private sector fully into the humanitarian and poverty alleviation space.”
Edu also spoke of her meeting with the head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and mentioned the agency’s promise to come into the humanitarian and poverty alleviation space with over 270 million dollars.
“UNICEF will be working with us to set up a humanitarian situation room to monitor, prevent, mitigate and reintegrate people, when they have a humanitarian crisis, back into society,” she said.
Several methods will be explored in the humanitarian and poverty alleviation process, according to the minister, including expansion on some past programmes of the former president. She would also look back at the works of her predecessor to learn from the errors and build on the successes.
Furthermore, she mentioned that the logistics concerning the palliatives need to be reworked and that having a meeting point to collect the palliatives isn’t too ideal.
“For us, we would think that it will be better off to deliver this, improve on the logistics and deliver it to their doorstep where they live,” she said, stating that GPS will be employed to aid logistics and accountability.
The newly appointed Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, took office on Monday, hours after being sworn in, amongst others, by President Bola Tinubu. During her welcome ceremony, she also emphasised that as minister, she will run an open door policy.