A N2.3trn (about $5.5bn) stimulus package by Nigeria’s federal government to mitigate the effects of recession and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country kicks-off Monday May 24, in phases across the country.
It is an initiative being overseen by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, in partnership with the World Bank is tagged: “Covid-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR)”.
With the phased approach beginning Monday, two states each per geo-political zone would first rollout the registration, with Bauchi and Adamawa States from the North East Zone commencing from May 24 to 31, of which Bauchi is already touting no fewer than 828 communities to benefit from the package.
A statement by the communications officer of the State Operations Coordinating Unit (SOCU) in the Bauchi State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mallam Yakubu Mudi, however disclosed the development.
The objective of the Covid-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR) intervention, Mudi further explained, was to identify and support individuals and households in semi urban areas, whose livelihoods had been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The statement said that in Bauchi State alone, about 828 communities in 12 Local Government Areas had been earmarked to benefit from the cash intervention, after fulfilling the criteria for selection through replying to a text message from their phones using a special USSD codes that will be made available by the State Operation Coordinating Unit to each of the selected LGAs.
According to the statement, the general nationwide code of *969# can be dial to get connected to the RRR Call centre for inquiries, with each participating Local Government Area and Ward having their unique USSD codes that the target individuals/households could text to apply for registration into the RRR.
“Already, Bauchi SOCU have held a meeting with state ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Chairmen of the selected LGs, as well as ALGON Chairman in the state, informing them on the processes, aims, and objectives of Covid-19 Cash Transfer Rapid Response Register.
“Also, ad-hoc staff are deployed, going round educating people from the targeted communities to be on the look out for such messages in their phones, with radio jingles and programmes ongoing to further enlighten potential beneficiaries. The potential beneficiaries will be targeted in semi urban wards of the 12 selected LGAs of Bauchi State, using geographic satellite remote sensing technology.
“Those selected in these communities will then receive text messages with USSD codes that would allow them to register, so as to be considered for the federal government’s Covid-19 Cash Assistance,”Mudi said.
While calling on the people from the selected communities to avail themselves the opportunity to be registered in the exercise, Mudi also solicited the assistance of elites within the concerned communities to further enlighten the potential beneficiaries by not rejecting the offer for fear of fraudsters.
Already, the statement clarified, 12 local government areas in Bauchi had been selected to participate in the Covid-19 RRR intervention and they are Alkaleri, Kirfi, Warji, Toro, Jama’are, Itas/Gadau, Shira, Tafawa Balewa, Ganjuwa, Dass, Bogoro and Darazo LGAs.
Also, a total of 20 Wards were equally selected from the LGAs, with a projected number of 828 communities.
Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi