Over 35% of people in C’River living in abject poverty – Commissioner

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The Commissioner for International Development Corporation in Cross River, Dr. Inyang Asibong has revealed that about 36.3 percent of people residing in the state are merely surviving because they live in abject poverty.

She said the affected individuals cut across the 196 wards of the state and have different situations ( circumstances) which make them fall under the category of poor people.

Asibong made the revelation Friday in Calabar while flagging off the campaign for initiation of Rapid Response Registrar, RRR in the state.

She said: “Latest poverty index in Nigeria is 40.1%, Cross River is 36.3% which is still very high but we promise to do everything within the reach of the ministry to step down the poverty index in the state.

“Our plan is to reduce that poverty index from double-digit to single-digit. Single-digit means anything from 9 and below which is what developed countries have. Some have 3%, and others 1%” she said.

Asibong asserted that with the flag-off of the awareness campaign, enumerators would have to go rapidly into the very hard to reach areas across the three senatorial districts of the state to capture the vulnerable/downtrodden so as to key them into the exercise in a bid to benefit from the programme.

NAIJA LIVE TV learned that the Rapid Response Register is an intervention by the federal ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development centre around urban and semi-urban areas that is economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asibong explained that those qualified to benefit from the programme include, low-income earners like vulcanizers, petty traders, taxi drivers, stylists, barbers.

She stressed that target groups include urban and semi-urban poor and vulnerable people who were yet to benefit from the existing national social Safety- Net programme of the federal government.

Asibong said that upon completion of registration of poor/ vulnerable people by the enumerators, the state government shall thereafter through that same register build a data base that will provide authentic data that will be needed by the state government’s development partners in helping the vulnerable people in the state come out from poverty.

” By so doing there would be a drastic reduction in the poverty index of the state,the RRR was introduced by the federal government to assist people financially, particularly those living below five hundred to one thousand naira per a day.

“We have a checklist that we use. The checklist looks like a form where those identified from the community can fill their information, after that, we go ahead to conduct physical check to ascertain the kind of houses those that we had pick live in .

“We want to know if its a thatched house that the poor person we captured live, does he/she use an air-conditioner, does the person’s picked live in a sophisticated house, what kind of water do they drink.

“Does he sleep on the floor, does he drink from the borehole or stream”? All these would come to play before we pick those that are to benefit from the programme,” she said.

Asibong further hinted that those who will qualify to benefit in the scheme would begin to receive financial assistance after three months.

She called on CrossRiverians to cooperate to enable the enumerators who shall visit the homes of vulnerable to gather information that will be used to facilitate cash disbursement to beneficiaries.

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