Farouq who made the disclosure during the ministerial dialogue on the National Social Register (NSR) in Abuja, said strategies to reduce poverty in the country are already in place, but the overwhelming number of poor people in the country, and the impact of covid-19, could be a major challenge.
The minister noted that in 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics estimated that 40.2 per cent (equivalent to 82.9 million) of Nigerians live on less than one dollar ninety cents ($1.9).
She said, “The National Social Safety Net Project (NASSP) was set up to deliberately improve the lives of all vulnerable Nigerians. To implement the NASSP, the government established the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO) to develop the building blocks and set the systems for implementing social safety nets in the country, as well as build the National Social Registry (NSR) – a hub for the aggregation of the databases of Poor and Vulnerable Households (PVHHs) across Nigeria.
“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. This database capacity is unprecedented in the history of our dear country.
“Social registries serve both a social policy role, as inclusion systems, and an operational role, as information systems. They provide a “gateway” for potential inclusion of intended populations into social programs while reducing private and public transactions costs by simplifying certain steps, such as identification and registration of people eligible for social assistance.”