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Above 1.5M Lagosians living in abject poverty, critical condition

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Atleast 1.5 million Lagosian have been identified as been poor and vulnerable as well as currently living across the state below the universal poverty standard line, according to Lagos State Government records.

The 1,596,596 individuals were reported to be members of 403, 976 Poor and Vulnerable Households (PVHHs) identified and enumerated during a statewide exercise carried out by the state government through the Lagos State Coordinating Unit (LASOCU).

Although the state government did not reveal the actual figure of funds spend by these individuals daily, the United Nations (UN) had earlier in the year pegged anyone living on less than $1.90 a day as living below the poverty bracket.

Releasing statistics on Lagosians that require immediate assistance to live above the poverty line on Thursday, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube, hinted that they were captured on the Lagos State Single Social Register (LSSR) during February 2021 exercise that was conducted to ascertain a thorough state of activities within Lagos.

Egube noted that the efforts to capture virtually everyone living below the poverty line through LSSR has increased the state ranking on the National Social Registry due to the coverage of a greater number of  Local Government and Local Council Development Area (LCDAs) in the implementation of by National Social Safety-Nets coordinating office (NASSCO) in Lagos State.

“Since the debut of LASOCU, it has grown in leaps and bounds from its initial inaugural upload of 10,064 Lagos State poor and vulnerable households (PVHHs) and 36,968 individuals in December, 2019, to 403, 976 poor and vulnerable households (PVHHs) and 1,596,596 individuals as at February 2021”.

He explained that the essence of the data collection was to assist the state government in its developmental plan and to give the apex government through states of affairs whenever the need for assistance arise in the country.

Of these statistics, the commissioner noted that over 7000 individuals living under the poverty line were enrolled on the Federal Government’s State Cash Transfer and were currently enjoying a bi-monthly payment of N10,000 in six local governments under phase 1 of the programme implementation-

While noting that the effort was facilitated by state government, Egube stated that the beneficiaries were from Lagos Island, Badagry, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Amuwo-Odofin and Apapa and that additional enrolment of over 5000 beneficiaries from LASSR was currently ongoing across Lagos.

According to him, beneficiaries for the second batch were selected from the following councils, Alimosho, Agege, Ifako-Ijaiye, Shomolu, Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Ikorodu.

“LASOCU represented the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster management and Social Development Abuja in taking over relief materials from the Nigerian Customs and handing over same to different states of the Federation and also joined the State Ministry of Agriculture to distribute the Lagos State covid-19 food response as championed by Mr. Governor, using the LSSR to reach the poor and the vulnerable”, he added.

Aside from the cash provision, the commissioner noted that the state government had executed 377 different capital projects across the 377 wards in Lagos.

While explaining the essence of these projects, the commissioner said these projects were initiated in response to the series of requests by the various communities across the State to address specific challenges that are germane to each ward.

Egube said the projects, which include the construction of 257 community roads and drainages; rehabilitation of 86 public buildings and the installation of two jetties, nine water projects and 23 power projects.

He noted that these projects underlines promises made by the Governor during his campaign for the seat in 2019, assuring Lagosians that his administration will run an all-inclusive government that yearnings of the citizenry will be taken into consideration, while also ensuring that the Greater Lagos vision is well on course, and no ward is left behind.

He said that most of these capital projects have been delivered for public use as he promised that there will be other phases of the ward projects in order for the government to deeply touch down on the various communities of the State.

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