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Shocking Truth: 133 Million Nigerians Are Poor Amid Government Claims -->

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Shocking Truth: 133 Million Nigerians Are Poor Amid Government Claims

MPI Report: 133 Million Nigerians Are Poor Amidst Government Claims
Poverty Index 2022:

The recently released MPI Report has revealed that 133 Million Nigerians are struggling in poverty, contradicting Government claims. With this report, we are tempted to ask, what has the government of President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) achieved with the billions of Naira spent already by his administration in his cash transfer program to the poorest of the poor and his claim of lifting at least 10 million Nigerians out of poverty? What is your thought about the report and vice versa regarding the government cash transfer program; is it money well spent or money wasted if not looted? Feel very free to share your thought in the comment. Moving on!

The Nigeria Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2022 released on Thursday by The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS shows that 133 million, representing 63 percent of Nigerians are said to be “multidimensionally” poor.  This means that the poor people in Nigeria experience over one-quarter of all possible deprivations and lack across the board, going beyond the Global MPI, which uses three dimensions (Health, Education, and Living Standards). The report shows that out of these 133 million (63%) poor Nigerians, about 86.1 million (65%) live in the Northern part of the country while about 47 million (35%) live in the southern part.

The survey was a joint effort between the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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The report shows that poverty is worse in rural areas, both in dimension and intensity.  About 70% of Nigerians live in rural areas, with an 80% poverty level while the intensity of poverty is 42% in rural areas and 37% in urban areas.

The report shows that poverty is not just manifested in lack of sustainable income, but also in the lack of basic amenities. 4 out of 10 of these poor Nigerians experience monetary deprivation, but more than 6 out of 10 are “multidimensional” poor without access to stable power, clean cooking fuel, clean drinking water, healthcare, and adequate sanitation. The average deprivation score among poor people has an intensity of poverty of 40.9%

World Bank Projection

You will remember that the World Bank had a project that poor people in Niger will hit 95.1 million in 2022.  But the report upon release suggests that Nigeria’s poverty level exceeds by far World Bank projection with five states, including oil-rich Bayelsa leading the rest of the pack

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If you are a Nigerian, this is where you need to pay keen attention because your general election is around the corner and you must do it right this time if you all want to survive the harsh times ahead.  The World Bank said that poverty reduction stagnated since 2015 under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and projected in its report titled, "A Better Future for All Nigerians: 2022 Nigeria Poverty Assessment." that the number of poor Nigerians would hit 95.1 million in 2022.  2015 was an election year and the majority of Nigerians were happy about the change of government as they believed that their messiah was the current president who all indexes of measurement have shown to be a bad mistake of judgment by Nigerians who voted him in 2015.

Don’t forget that on August 2019, President Buhari said his regime would lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty between 2020 and 2030, which means that an average of 10 million Nigerians would be lifted out of poverty each year.  Even though I have not seen how he hoped to achieve that knowing his tenure was to end in 2023, knowing that the government is not a continuum in the real sense in Nigeria even when the transition is within the same party.  There has not been any concrete development plan known to me to the realization of the plan of Mr. President to lift 10 million Nigerians out of poverty yearly since the statement was made. 3 years later, after the programme was launched, the number of poor people in Nigerians jumped from about 81 million to 133 million. 

Government Response 

In a swift reaction, the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has restated its commitment to eradicating poverty in the country saying that the MPI results will be used to influence the allocation of resources going forward, particularly to target sectors where most citizens suffer deprivations.  In addition, he said that the MPI results will serve as both policy and measurement tool to monitor the Federal Government’s progress in achieving this goal of lifting 100 million people out of poverty within 10 years, in line with the objectives of the SDGs and the Africa Agenda 2063

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The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the launch of the MPI report in Abuja said;

This government recognizes the importance of the data and the need to deploy it in sharing your story with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, both domestically and internationally.

Internally, we have deployed a comprehensive Data Demand and Use (DDU) strategy to embed evidence-based and data-driven poverty reduction mechanisms. To begin this deployment of the data, let me share seven reasons why Nigeria’s multidimensional poverty index is a powerful tool to galvanize the kind of action that will push us forward to achieving the Presidential mandate of lifting 100 million out of poverty, within the next decade:

First, the building blocks of Nigeria’s MPI are a set of deprivations that a person experiences at the same time. They relate to dimensions like health, education, living standards, work, and security. And so, the MPI brings under one roof different Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators and forms of poverty, so we can break silos and address them together. Secondly, Nigeria is a large and diverse country. Using disaggregation to show the vast range in the levels of poverty, we can see the precise needs of each State or senatorial district, which will allow policymakers at that level to take appropriate action.

He went on to explain how the Federal Government will use improvingMPI reports to improve the economic conditions of the people of Nigeria.

As a post-pandemic data, it will be integrated within the National Social Register- the government’s largest databank on the poor and vulnerable. This integration will facilitate better targeting and coordinated response for social interventions; leaving no one behind.

The MPI is embedded within the Medium-Term National Development Plans (2021-2026 & 2026-2030) as a measurement and policy tool for poverty reduction. Likewise, this year, the Federal Executive Council approved the 2022-2025 National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) under which the MPI project is being implemented.

The MPI analysis uncovers differences by gender and children. Children are a strategic population in Nigeria. They are deeply affected by poverty, yet they are our future. So, we are building a young child MPI. It includes the national MPI and adds extra information about early childhood development, which is the information we require to improve their lives and life chances.

At the Federal level, these results will be used to influence the allocation of resources going forward, particularly to target sectors where most citizens suffer deprivations.

The MPI is not our only data on poverty, combining the insights provided by MPI results with data from the income poverty measurement, provides a holistic picture of poverty, and helps to shape the path towards shared prosperity.

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