COVID-19 Fund: Update Rapid Response Register to Benefit, Oyo Govt urges Residents

In its bid to distribute the dividends of democracy, the Oyo state government has called on residents in the 229 communities in the urban and semi-urban region of Oyo state to play their part by updating the rapid register of the state.

The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Oyo state; Mr. Adeniyi Farinto made this call while speaking at the state stakeholders’ meeting on the sensitization campaign for the Rapid Response Register (RRR) at the Ibadan Business School, Bodija, Ibadan on Wednesday.

The commissioner stated that the FG initiative would consider low-income earners in the informal sector who have lost their income opportunities due to the pandemic, disclosing that the Oyo state government has commenced the process to register prospective beneficiaries.

The meeting was organized by the State Operation Coordinating Unit (OYOSOCU) in collaboration with the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in partnership with the World Bank.

Farinto said the intervention, which is a short-term shock response measure, is expected to pay every successfully captured household in the register N5000 monthly for an initial period of six months.

He further added that the initiative is a partnership between the FG and the World Bank that targets mostly urban and semi-urban low-income earners and households who have fallen into poverty as a result of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Farinto, to locate the wards and communities, the National Social Safety Nets Project utilized the geographical satellite remote sensing technology which culminated in 229 communities, identified in eight local government areas of Oyo state.

He named eight local government areas; Ido, Atiba, Ogbomosho South, Saki West, Iseyin, Oyo East, Irepo, and Ibarapa East, saying “Households for the Rapid Response Register will be identified via a combination of Satellite Technology, SMS-enabled registration, and physical verification.”

“We will also deploy a community-driven approach and it is apolitical. Whereas, targeting and enrollment of affected households will be done using cellphone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows beneficiaries to register by following a simple USSD code while verification will be done manually to confirm the existence of the beneficiaries.”

“Let me, therefore, use the opportunity to encourage every individual to spread the Rapid Response Register (RRR) message to the people and the communities concerned for effective participation and massive enrollment of beneficiaries.”

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and Planning, Mrs. Foluke Adebiyi while speaking on updates of the registration, said RRR would assist the state government in dealing with the socio-economic effects and threats of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She called for proper attention by the populace on the new initiative, so that low-income earners and other vulnerable demographics could benefit from the program.

She said “There are eight pre-coded Local Government Areas on the list that have been identified across the state for the action and we are targeting 229 communities.

“Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some self-sustaining low-income households in urban and semi-urban areas have come under hardship due to the loss of income”.

The Co-coordinator, State Operation Coordinating Unit of National Social Safety Nets Project, Mrs. Laide Lasisi explained that households found eligible should carefully follow the instructions in the SMS and USSD prompts sent to their phones.

She added that the pilot phase of the project which was done in Lagos and Abuja provided valuable lessons around communications and advocacy, adding that it helped in shaping the engagement and setting the tone for the countrywide implementation.

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