By Joseph Erunke
THE A total of 26.8 million extremely poor Nigerians have so far been captured in the national social register of the National Social Investment Programme,the federal government has said.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,Sadiya Umar Farouq, who said this Tuesday,in Abuja, explained that the number was out of the estimated 82.9 million extremely poor people in the country.
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According to the minister,the captured number was equivalent to about 6.3 million households.
Farouq explained that the 26.8 million had coverage across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT in 601 LGAs out of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.
She added that government had covered 7,320 wards, and 72,363 communities, adding that it automatically provides the biggest database for any social inclusion or social protection intervention.
The Minister, who spoke yesterday, at the ministerial dialogue on NSR, in Abuja, explained that the portal would help the Federal Government facilitate the lifting of over 100 millions of poverty.
“As of 31st January 2021, out of the estimated 82.9 million (40.2 percent) 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.
“I am therefore pleased to announce and reiterate that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development now has the database that could provide evidence for impact tracing for most social development projects in Nigeria.
“We therefore welcome all MDAs and partners, to utilise the database of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians to support any effort that contributes to lifting people out of poverty,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, noted that the increasing population has affected the job opportunities, adding that government should begin to pay stipends to graduate so as to give them a sense of belonging.
“We are concerned by the increase of unemployment. And the rising of unemployment we do not see it coming down because of the population we have in Africa and in Nigeria.
“Our population has continued to soar without concomitant economic growth. So, this register is going to be mind by us too and as a good register that I have compartmentalized the people that are there into female, households, and youth will be assisted.
“We need to start giving the youth who are now restive a stipend no matter how small. We you do that it is an exercise of.good faith. It is a sign that the country has not forgotten them.
“Because it is a very tough situation for somebody to spend close to 20 years of schooling and roam the streets,” he said.