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Okonjo Iweala Seeks Database of National Poverty from World Bank, IMF

By on April 23, 2012

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the Minister of Finance has requested vital statistics on the poverty in Nigeria from the World Bank and the IMF. This is to enable the Federal Government develop and provide some welfare schemes for the poor masses in the country.

The minister spoke during a press briefing in Washington DC at the Spring Meetings of the multilateral financial institutions.

She said government does not have a reliable database of the poor people in the country in order to provide a welfare scheme to the poor.

She said, “You need a database to know the people that will be on the safety net. It’s not enough to just say 60 per cent or 70 per cent of the population are poor; you need to have the data on the poor household because they are the ones that will come out to collect that safety net.

“That is why I insisted that the World Bank must help. When you want to target and build a safety net in Nigeria, you need a database; if you don’t have a database, it becomes difficult.  Brazil has been the most successful with her safety net programme so far because they have a good database.”

“The key to successful safety net is the data, some states have data on the unemployed, while some states don’t have; but we don’t have any for the whole country that we can rely on. We will want the IMF and World Bank to help us build the database,” she added.

The World bank and IMF have called on countries to provide safety-nets for their poor in order to protect the most vulnerable members of society from economic shocks.