The Lagos State Commissioner of Economic Planning & Budget (MEPB), Olusegun Banjo has inaugurated the State Operations Cooperating Unit (SOCU), as part of efforts to create a Single Social Register that would lead to the conditional and unconditional fund transfer to the poor and vulnerable segment of the State.
Banjo explained during the inauguration that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode recently approved the establishment of the SOCU while the validation of the constitution of the Unit was done by the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Office of the Vice President, Abuja.
Noting that the programme would assist the State to achieve more in its strides to reach the poor and vulnerable segments of her population, the Commissioner emphasised that the initiative is credible because it has the support of World Bank, UNICEF, andother Development Partners.
The National Coordinator, National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), Mr. Apera Iorwa in his speech said that not less than 665,655 poor and vulnerable households have been mapped in 26 States of the Nation, explaining that the mapping of the poor and vulnerable is one of the five cardinal facets of the Federal Government Social Investment Programme which aims to pull the poor out of poverty.
He further noted that the major assignment of Lagos SOCU is to establish a Single Social Register at the State level for inclusion into the National Register, hence, this segment of people would have the opportunity to enjoy N5,000 cash transfer while youths will receive skill acquisition training and job employment opportunities to push them out of poverty net.
Iorwa commended Lagos for joining the league States in Nigeria that has embarked on mapping out the poorest of the poor from its Local Governments for the purpose of the intervention.
In her remarks, the Lagos State SOCU Coordinator, Mrs. Olukemi Adedeji, appreciated the State Government for approving the Unit with a promise that her team will deliver on the targets and give the State, as well as NASSCO, a credible Social Register that will be transparent and reliable for planning purposes.