The World Bank has commended Nigeria for prioritising the National Social Register (NSR), describing the country as one of the few in the world with comprehensive catalogue of its poor.

The multilateral institution stated that the NSR remains a credible building block for social intervention, noting that it was committed to partnering with the Nigerian government to strengthen the Register.

The Regional Director, Human Development, Rena Ringold, who spoke in Abuja, yesterday, at a National Safety Nets Project (NASSP), National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO)/World Bank Stakeholders Outreach on the National Social Register, applauded Nigeria over the social register which captures over 50 per cent of the poor in the country.

She stated that the register provides a potent tool for other countries to study and emulate.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo, said the NSR is a national asset, adding that it provides a basis for intervention.

According to him, every poverty-related intervention should benchmarked by the NSR.

Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, said the NSR is the springboard in addressing poverty.

Uwais stressed that it provides a potent mechanism of achieving President Muhammadu Buhari’s target of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Presenting an update on the social intervention programmes, the National Coordinator, NASSCO, Mr. Iorwa Apera said the NSR has covered over 48 million individuals, more that 11.6 million households, 134,103 communities, over 8,000 federal electoral wards as well as 752 local governments across the country.

Based on the estimated number of poor Nigerians in the country, he said the register had captured over 70 per cent of them while only 22 out of the 774 local councils are yet to be captured.

While applauding the World Bank for its supportive efforts, he stated that the NSR had become a reference point globally.

Apera said NASSCO had touched and continues to touch the lives of millions of poor Nigerians across the country particularly with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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