NEC Dumps FG’s Social Investment Register, Says It Lacks Credibility

By Ezra Odogu

The National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, has dumped the national social register compiled under Muhammadu Buhari, immediate past president, for lacking credibility.

The council, instead, proposed the implementation of a cash transfer programme for states based on their social registers and a cash reward policy for public servants for six months.

The decision was part of the outcome of the over five hours meeting by members of the council at the state house on Thursday.

Speaking with journalists, Chukwuma Soludo, governor of Anambra, said NEC agreed that states should come up with their own registers using formal and informal means.

He added that all beneficiaries will be easily identified at the subnational level.

“We need to face the problem of the fact that we don’t have a credible register,” he said.

The Anambra governor said NEC deliberated on ways to cushion the impact of the recent removal of the petrol subsidy.

He added that the council agreed on the need for payment of outstanding liabilities of public servants, including pensions and gratuities, to alleviate their hardships.

According to Soludo, the council also agreed that the government will focus on funding micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with single-digit interest rates to support business growth.

In 2016, the federal government established the national social investments programme (NSIP) to “tackle poverty and hunger” across the country.

For the take-off of the programme, the government had directed the immediate release of N25 billion.

For its implementation, a national social register was created, comprising names of vulnerable people and households across the country.

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