The President, had on Sunday during a live broadcast, directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately to beneficiaries.
In a live press briefing monitored on television by The Nation, the Minister gave an update of what the ministry has done since the directive was issued and how it intends to capture all the states of the federation.
Farouq said: “I want to appeal to citizens to desist from spreading fake and malicious news around. We just started the programme of the cash transfer and we have different states with their numbers all over the country. No section of this country is going to be marginalized.
“This is a national programme irrespective of religion or political affiliation. It is a programme that has been on and nobody is going to be shortchanged. Let us be nationalistic in this very trying moment of our lives. We are all committed to this work and I appeal that everyone should contribute his or her quota to get through this pandemic.”
On the number of people in the social register and number of people to be captured in the cash transfer, she said: “it is a programme that has been on for years and the national social register as at 31st March 2020 is made up of 11,045,537 poor and vulnerable people in 35 states and 453 local government areas across the country.
“Household’s composition by the general standard is six-person per household. We are thinking of expanding the register and we are in touch with the UN Social Protection Donor group to see how the register can be largely expanded to cover additional 1million households but we have 11.4million households already for this intervention”.
“The way these people are captured is by community engagement. We go into the community and reach out to the opinion leaders there and they are the ones that decide which family falls within that category of poor and vulnerable households and that is what we use. So, there is real transparency and accountability in this regard.”