- How It has Eaten Deep To Our System and Against Sustainable Development Goals.
By Lucky Ekpen
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May’s poverty remark about Nigeria sparked a conversation of conflicting views across the country, but the fact remains that this is not the first time this has happened, Mr Bill Gates in March this year at the special and expanded National Economic Council, held in Abuja stated that the execution priorities of the Presidency’s economic plan do not fully reflect people’s needs as it prioritised physical capital over human capital.
Although, a few days later the minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udoma in a statement said the media misunderstood the context of Mr Gates’ stance on Buhari’s economic blueprint but here we are leading the world on the poverty rate.
Poverty according to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is multidimensional therefore it is not simply a lack of adequate income. Earning US$1.90 PPP (purchasing power parity) per day is unlikely to mean the end of the many overlapping deprivations faced by poor people which includes malnutrition, poor sanitation and a lack of electricity or inadequate education.
According to the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 1.6 billion people in 108 countries, that is homes to 78 per cent of the world’s population are identified as multidimensionally poor. UNDP argues that using MPI, the data reflects the combined simultaneous disadvantages poor people experience in different areas of their lives.
Over 700 million people worldwide still live below the US$ 1.90 PPP per day extreme poverty line, and over half the global population live at the bottom of the economic pyramid on less than US$8 per day.
The Nigeria scene is not so far apart as the National Bureau of Statistics had even painted a worse picture in 2016 when it reported that no fewer than 112 million Nigerians live below the poverty line, preceding year the World Poverty Clock (WPC) suggested that Nigeria’s struggle with overpopulation will be a problem in 2017 rather than in 2050 as many people had thought and that by February 2018 Nigeria will overtake India as the country with the most people in extreme poverty but corporations, legislators and the electorates never believed nor took it seriously.
Well not entirely, because the government at about same time intensified efforts on agricultural diversification programmes and interventions, some state governments even started their own agricultural programmes, as research shows that the National assembly passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill of N7.441 trillion, with the agriculture sector receiving an allocation of N103.7 billion, an increment of N12 billion compared to the N92 billion naira earlier proposed for the sector in 2016.
The increase they argued is in response to the continuing clamour for more funding to support food security and economic diversification. It is also in the realization of the cardinal position Agriculture and agribusiness occupies in the quest to defeat unemployment and its related vices.
However, with lots of intervention programmes and diversification strategies of the government Nigeria still overtook India to emerge as a country with the highest number of poor people in 2018. Prior to this, the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goal has end poverty in all its forms everywhere as goal 1.
This goal explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors that affect the lives of people. It is proven that living in poverty carefully sets motion for humiliation, exclusion and low participation in most social and civic duties from education to health and living standards.
This representation also confirms the UNDP ideology that poverty is multidimensional, now it even gets scarier because in order to eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030 there is a need to achieve globa.