Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
As of January 31, 2021, a total of 56.1 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians have yet to be identified and registered in the National Social Register, the federal government announced on Tuesday.
According to the government, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics puts the number of poor Nigerians below the poverty line at around 82.9 million, while 26.8 million people in this category have so far been registered in the NSR.
The NSR is a federal government tool used to coordinate various poverty reduction efforts.
In 2019, the NBS estimated that 40.2 percent, or 82.9 million, of Nigerians live below the poverty line with less than $ 1.90.
Another 10 million are expected to fall below the poverty line as a result of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
Addressing the inter-ministerial dialogue on the NSR in Abuja, Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Farouq said efforts were being made to increase the number of poor Nigerians on the register.
She said, “As of January 31, 2021, out of an estimated 82.9 million (40.2%) Nigerians living below the poverty line, we have identified and registered 26.8 million poor and vulnerable individuals, which is approximately 6.3 million households in our country.
“We expect an additional 20 million to be added to the database and kept in the Register of Rapid Responses – a register of shock-responsive interventions, specifically targeted at urban informal workers affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
She added, “This database capacity is unprecedented in the history of our country. Today, the social register covers 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital. “
Farouq said the registry captured residents in 601 local government areas out of 774 local governments in Nigeria.
“We covered 7,320 departments and 72,363 communities. This structure automatically provides the largest database of any social inclusion or social protection intervention, ”she said.
The Minister mentioned that due to the size of the database, the Ministries of Health, Women’s Affairs, Labor and Employment, Education, Agriculture, Youth and many agencies will find a relevant database for interventions for the benefit of the poor.
She said that currently some programs from the course of financing of the European Union are accessing the database of the NSR for their intervention.
Farouk said that the United Nations Development Fund, the United Nations Women, also mined this database for interventions.
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