ANEEJ calls for transparency, accountability in social register verification

ANEEJ calls for transparency, accountability in social register verification

By: Femi Mustapha

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called for transparency and accountability in the verification of the social register by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.

The Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev. David Ugolor, stated this in a statement made available to the media in Kaduna on 29th August 2023.

The statement was a reaction to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu’s, interview with Channels Television, where she explained that because of the high rate of poverty in the country, social intervention programmes should be painstakingly pursued by the government at all levels.

“We welcome the Minister’s decision to engage with State governors and stakeholders in the local governments to verify and expand the register. The stakeholders should include Civil Society Organisations, traditional rulers, faith groups, states, and local governments. An independent monitoring protocol should be developed to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to validate the process and guarantee easy resolution of issues arising from the verification process,” Ugolor stated.

“The FG should release a public statement with details on how the process is being carried out across the States to sustain easy tracking from independent monitoring organizations. This way, there will be less criticism of the final register,” Ugolor added.

“It is important that we build on what the previous administration has done instead of starting afresh. This way, the register could be expanded to cater for more poor Nigerians across the entire local government areas in the country,” Ugolor concluded.

It would be recalled that the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, had questioned the credibility of the social register, the news of which sparked a reaction from concerned stakeholders. But the Minister in her briefing indicated that NEC resolved to update the register and that States should develop their records using formal and informal means.

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