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The Kogi State government has urged its citizens to key into the Rapid Response Register, (RRR) which will serve as a database to deliver social assistance and emergency response during future emergencies and disasters.

The Kogi State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning Asiwaju Asiru Idris gave the advice on Wednesday at a press conference to sensitize residents on the programme.

Idris while advising Kogi people to respond to messages on their phones and get registered, noted that the Rapid Response Register” (RRR) is a shock response framework designed by the National Social Safety-Net Program (NASSP) in collaboration with the World Bank to provide emergency social interventions to poor and vulnerable households in challenging circumstances (Natural disaster, epidemic, pandemic, economic and downturn).

The Commissioner said the RRR is a subset of the National Social
Register (NSR) and State Social Register (SSR) which is only deployed for emergency circumstances and interventions.

He mentioned that the Kogi State Government under the leadership of Yahaya Adoza Bello in collaboration with the Federal Government had designed to target and capture the urban and semi-urban areas in Kogi State that are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

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This according to him is because the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed people deeper into poverty and vulnerability.

“In Nigeria at large and Kogi State in particular the economic impact of the pandemic has been felt mostly by urban and semi-urban dwellers many of whom lost jobs, businesses and consequently incomes.

“Although Kogi State remains the safest state so far, the global economic downturn from the pandemic has brought enormous hardship on our people.

“In response to these economic shocks, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in partnership with the World Bank is building The Rapid Response Register as an intervention to identify and document the urban and semi-urban poor who have lost their
income and consequently become poorer because of Covid-19.

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“The Register is being built in Kogi State to target those in the category of non-traditional poor people in urban and high-density locations or slums where the pandemic has affected economic life.

“Individuals/households in the Rapid Response Register will be paid a monthly stipend for at least six months under an expanded Cash Transfer Programme of the Federal Government. This will boost their consumption and build resilience.

“To identify those made poorer in Urban and semi-urban areas for registration, geographical satellite remote sensing technology to locate urban poor wards and high-density settlements is deployed to Kogi State.

“Targeting and enrolment of affected individuals will be done using cellphone short messaging service (SMS) technology that allows residents of identified communities to register to be assisted by following simple steps via_USSD codes. This technological
approach is integrated with the National Living Standard Survey assessments and will be complemented by existing databases of NGOs, local self help-support groups and neighbourhood structures in the communities”

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“Mobile phone numbers of applicants validated and deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive N5000 monthly stipends” he stated.

Earlier, Dr Noah Alilu, the State Coordinator Kogi State operation Coordinating Unit( SOCU) while explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the people in the past year in Nigeria, noted that the invention of Rapid Response Register is timely as it will help
to enhance productivity and accountability during emergency and disasters management.

Alilu maintained that after Gombe State which has 70 wards, Kogi State is the second with 52 wards.

He said only Ankpa and Ajaokuta are the two local governments not captured and a petition has been sent to ensure that it is done.

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