by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has requested the World Bank’s assistance to create a database to improve social safety nets in the country.
Speaking on Sunday in Washington DC at the Spring Meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, she stated the importance of social safety nets and explained that they could only be successfully achieved with a good population data base.
“The very important thing for a successful social safety net is targeting,” she said. “You must have the bases to be able to target those who need help.”
She went on to explain that having a database of members of the population and their income levels would help government in determining how to distribute funds.
“So, I insisted that we don’t have a data base to know who are the poor and what level of income in Nigeria.” she said.
“It is not enough to know that 50, 60 or 70 per cent of the population are poor; you need to have data on the poor households because they are the ones to come up and collect the safety net.’’
But we don’t have one that we can rely on and not every State has one. So, I am saying to the World Bank and we are not the only country, help us to build this data base.’’