The Federal Government has commenced processes toward building a register of poor and vulnerable persons in Nasarawa State, to serve as a guide for its interventions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that government, through the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Tuesday commenced the training of Community Based Targeting Teams (CBTT) and State Operations Coordinating units (SOCU), to build the register.

According to Mr Peter Papka, National Coordinator of the national social safety net programme, under the office of the Vice President, the register is expected to serve as a guide to government’s interventions in the lives of the poor.

Papka spoke at the opening of the training in Lafia.

He said that the exercise was part of efforts to alleviate poverty and empower poor and vulnerable households in the country.

Papka, who was represented by Mr. Vincent Oriokpa, head of the national social registry of NASSCO, noted that past poverty reduction programmes with huge government spending did not yield commensurate result.

He attributed the ineffectiveness of past interventions to weak partnership between tiers of government, top-down methodology of identification of pro-poor progrmmes, inappropriate targeting process relying on patronage, poor coordination at all levels as well as weak performance tracking.

He said that NASSCO was committed to building stronger institutions and systems to sustain poverty reduction through establishing partnership among all tiers of government.

“Such partnerships will devolve responsibility of identification of the poor to the respective communities,” he said.

He added that building a social register of the poor and vulnerable and developing a robust Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) and Management Information System (MIS) interface at all levels would help to address the challenges facing poverty reduction programmes.

According to him, 108 participants of the CBT teams identified from across the six poorest local government areas of Awe, Lafia, Kokona, Akwanga, Nasarawa and Wamba in Nasarawa state would be trained on the CBT process .

He said that 18 participants each, were selected from the six local government areas identified, adding that the officers were carefully selected, evaluated by the federal team and found suitable to deliver on the assignment.

Papka pointed out that the scheme would serve as a veritable platform to sustain support for pro-poor intervention programmes.

He commended the Nasarawa state government for partnering with the Federal Government in pro-poor intervention programmes.

Governor Umaru Al-Makura, while declaring the workshop open, lauded the Federal Government’s social safety net programme, especially as his state was one of the beneficiaries.

Al-Makura, represented by Yakubu Kwarra, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said that the programme was in tandem with the state government’s efforts to liberate the people, especially the downtrodden, from poverty.

He charged the participants to ensure success of the programme to enable it meet its mandate of ameliorating the hardship of the poor.