*** As CSOs Score FCTA High On Palliative Distributions
By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has revealed that with the validation of the social register, the administratiob has identified over 700, 000 vulnerable households in the territory, just as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) scored the administration high on the palliative distribution to vulnerable members.
The minister, who made this revelation during the presentation of a scorecard of the palliative distribution by a coalition of COVID-19 Civil Society Organisations Emergency Intervention Group, however, acknowledged that there was more that meet the eyes during the palliative exercise.
Aliyu also stressed that the scorecard would further guide the action of the administration especially during emergency situations, adding that the administration would not wait for any emergency before reaching out to the vulnerables.
While commending the Civil Society Organisations, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youths and other stakeholders in joining hands to make the exercise a success, the minister also noted that the COVID-19 brought the real function of a mother to bear.
In her words; “During the very tough and trying period of COVID-19 pandemic, I will confess to you that it seems things have fallen apart, and the centre could not hold. Fortunately for us, we had able bodied men and women who defied all odds and show willingness to work. Honestly speaking, people may ask how much were you paid. It was done pro bono, no budget line, but you were willing to risk it across to the targeted beneficiaries.
“We draw up our template, and a more encompassing and more reaching template with men and women of the civil society organisations and put concerted efforts to ensure that they were in all places in all the committees.
“Many at times when you work and put in the best you can, you are not in the best position to score yourself. We are proud to say indeed some people out there did not only go out to distribute the palliative, but also make efforts to look into what we were doing without fear or favour and scored us as it is. This to you is a scorecard, but to me it is a validation of my dreams.
“This can serve as a guide to what we need to do further. With the pandemic in place, we were able to work harder, we found that the social register was validated. Today, we have over 700, 000 vulnerable households, because during the time of the pandemic, we used the definition of vulnerability to mean the very poor in the hinterland, those that are not earning anything from government revenue and without a source of income.
“But later, it was clear to us that there is more that meet the eyes. Even the so called salary earners become vulnerable due to COVID-19 and the pressure of the lockdown. And that brought about the new template. God’s willing, we can boast that the Federal Capital Territory is used as a standard to other states”.
On his part, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, thanked the civil society groups for not abandoning the administration in times of need, stressing that the report would not only inspire the Minister of State, but also the entire administration.
Adesina, however, harp on team work saying; “We must join hands together to build the territory of our dreams. You cannot walk with one leg, but you need the two legs to walk. If you have abandoned the distribution of the palliative, nobody would have believed that palliative was distributed because we live in an era where nobody believes anything. But you are our testimonial, you have spoken”.
In her presentation, the National Coordinator, COVID-19 CSOs Emergency Intervention Group, Dr. Jophia Nanker Gupar, said though, the palliative did not get to everybody, but every community in the territory received the palliative.
She thanked the administration for the opportunity to serve the rural people and to participate especially in an intervention programmes like the COVID-19 pandemic.