Spotlight on NIGERIA: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

In Morning Crossfire 2019-10-17 13:15:20
Spotlight on NIGERIA: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Spotlight on NIGERIA: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Sheriff Quadri tackles the issue of poverty in Nigeria as a means of checking how nicely Nigeria has gone as far as the International Day For The Eradication Of Poverty promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries.

 

According to estimates from the World Poverty Clock in 2018, “About 90 million people - roughly half Nigeria's population - live in extreme poverty. Also, estimates from the World Poverty Clock in 2018, “About 90 million people - roughly half Nigeria's population - live in extreme poverty" 

 

In December 2018, during President Buhari's N8.83 trillion 2019 budget presentation to lawmakers, he stated that one of the priorities intended was “to further place the economy on the path of inclusive, diversified and sustainable growth in order to continue to lift significant numbers of our citizens out of poverty.”

 

Recall that Nigerian economy emerged from recession in Q2 2017. In February 2019 Africa Check reported that “the macroeconomic environment has stabilized and is recovering gradually”; while giving background to the 2019 Budget: Africa check says Macroeconomic stability has been largely achieved adding that growth is expected to increase “from 0.8% in 2017 to 2.1% in 2018 and 3.01% in 2019 with the continuing implementation of the ERGP” (i.e Economic Recovery and Growth Plan)

 

According to World Bank update as of 13th October 2019 Growth is too low to lift the bottom half of the population out of poverty. Large pockets of Nigeria’s population still live in poverty, the latest World Bank report shows that: The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, of regional inequality, and of social and political unrest in the country.

 

What other areas of the economy does Nigeria need to pace up with in order to stabilize economy for her teaming population? Is it that population growth outpaces public infrastructure and development?

 

Folahan Johnson responds to the issue of monetary and poverty level in Nigeria. He looks at it from two angles. First, how many Nigerians live in poverty and two; how many Nigerians live in abject poverty.

 

“Numbers going around has been featuring on those that are living in abject poverty – those that can’t feed themselves, they also have difficulties in accessing basics. Then you can talk about the number of Nigerians that are living in actual poverty. They live on less than a dollar per day. That figure is around 120 – 121 million at present.

 

“Extreme poverty is a terrible situation. More people are living in this poverty level in Nigeria. Over the years, government has been spending less on the sectors that have the possibility of dragging people out of poverty. These sectors, such as education, agriculture and even health get the least expenditure from government. Paying salaries alone is not able to pull people out of poverty.”

 

Folahan says the solution lies in government spending more money and not just relying on oil and gas revenues. Government should also increase productivity, and refrain from using taxes to stifle Nigerians.

 

Tunde Onakoya, who says he grew up in a slum in Lagos, on his part talks to Sheriff about what his organization has been doing to aid children living slums. “For over a year now, we have been using the game of chess to empower the children. When we talk about poverty, it is more prevalent in some of these communities. I can say chess saved me and exposed me to a different kind of world. As a chess professional, I determined to use it to drive social impact and empower many children.

 

Henry Ushie, who also responded says the issue of inequality in Nigeria s worrisome. But he said OXFAM is working on making things better by ending poverty and injustice the world over. Ending inequality globally report was first launched in 2014.

 

Take a listen to the show by watching it below

 

 

Resource Persons:

 

Folahan Johnson - Senior Programme Officer @BudgITng Abuja

Tunde Onakoya - Chess in Slums Lagos

Henry Ushie - Oxfam in Nigeria Lead "Even It Up" (Inequality Campaigns)

 

Spotlight on NIGERIA: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

 

Morning Crossfire with Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry)

 

By Jude Chukwuemeka