The National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) has released a statistic from its ongoing assessment in Nigerian communities, which revealed that about 9.45 million Nigerians located in 35 states of the Federation are poor.
The NASSCO statistic is from the agency’s National Social Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households. According to NASSCO, as of January 31, 2020, the 9.45 million Nigerians in poverty were from 2.25 million poor and vulnerable households.
Nairametrics learnt that the poor individuals are living in 43,258 communities in 421 local government areas and 4,347 wards located across Nigeria. The Poor and Vulnerable Households are part of a database being built by NASSCO, so the census of poor population in Nigeria is expected to continue.
It was stated that the building of a database of poor Nigerians would serve as a bridge between poverty alleviation outreach and the poor population within the country, thereby, bridging the gap between the poor communities and social programs for the poor.
In a statement posted on its official Twitter account, NASSCO stated that “What we are building is an information system that supports outreach, targeting, registration and determination of potential eligibility for one or more social programs for poor & vulnerable Nigerians. Here’s the status of the register so far.”
The National Social Register we are building is an information system that supports outreach, targeting, registration and determination of potential eligibility for one of more social programs for poor & vulnerable Nigerians. Here's the status of the register so far. pic.twitter.com/EQQb9JFCus
— NASSCO Nigeria (@NasscoNigeria) February 7, 2020
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The number could be more: While NASSCO’s database building is still ongoing, the World Bank has already stated that the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty might increase by more than 30 million in 2030. According to the World Bank, the current economic situation and the level of unemployment in Nigeria would be key contributors to the increased extreme poverty.
The measures being taken by President Muhammadu Buhari to mobilise revenue is expected to impact the living conditions of Nigerians. The Finance ACT, which consists of the increased VAT (from 5% to 7.5%), is already increasing cost of living despite some food items being exempted.
Also, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has warned that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria might rise to 33.5% this year from 23.1% of last year.