56.1 million poor Nigerians not in database – FG

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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

As of January 31, 2021, a total of 56.1 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians had yet to be identified and registered in the National Social Register, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.

According to the government, data from the National Bureau of Statistics put the number of poor Nigerians below the poverty line at about 82.9 million, while 26.8 million persons in this category had so far been registered in the NSR.

The NSR is a tool of the Federal Government used for coordinating various efforts towards reducing poverty.

In 2019, the NBS estimated that 40.2 per cent, equivalent or 82.9 million, Nigerians lived below the poverty line on less than $1.90.

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Another 10 million are expected to fall below the poverty line as a result of the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19.

In her address at the inter-ministerial dialogue on the NSR in Abuja, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said efforts were being made to increase the number of poor Nigerians in the register.

She said, “As of January 31, 2021, out of the estimated 82.9 million (40.2 per cent) Nigerians living below the poverty line, we have identified and registered 26.8 million poor and vulnerable individuals, equivalent to about 6.3 million households in our country.

“We are expecting another 20 million to be added to the database and held in the Rapid Response Register – a shock responsive intervention register, specifically targeted at urban informal workers impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

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She added, “This database capacity is unprecedented in the history of our country. Today, the social register has coverage across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.”

Farouq said the register had captured residents in 601 Local Government Areas out of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.

“We have covered 7,320 wards, and 72,363 communities. This structure automatically provides the biggest database for any social inclusion or social protection intervention,” she stated.

The minister noted that because of the size of the database, ministries of health, women affairs, labour and employment, education, agriculture, youth, and many agencies would find relevant database for pro-poor interventions.

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She said currently, some of the programmes under the European Union funding stream were accessing the NSR database for their intervention.

Farouq said the United Nations Development Fund, United Nations Women had also mined this database for interventions.

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