Nigeria tends to politicise its challenges which in turn weaken both the citizens and governments to mobilise effective national responses to find solutions to serious problems of poverty in the country.
Director General, Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Mohammed Lukman, made the disclosure in a statement made available to the 21st Century Chronicle on Monday.
Lukman said both the APC and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari acknowledge that more than 100 million Nigerians are poor, and question the commitment of both the party and government to implement initiatives aimed at reducing poverty in the country.
“Somehow, given our increasing challenges as a nation, the impact of government welfare programmes appears to be hardly satisfactory, which account for the stagnant reality of the problem of extreme poverty as reported by the World Bank,” he said.
A recent World Bank report on Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: Reversal of Fortune indicated that 2,969,158 Nigerians are living in extreme poverty and 94,470,535 are below the poverty line of $1.90 or about N700 per day.
The report said Nigeria has the largest population of poor people, accounting for 20 percent of people living in poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, with a further projection that the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the economy will increase the number of people living below the poverty line to more than 100 million by 2022.
Lukman also recalls former Central Bank Governor Charles Soludo in 2007 saying that three northern regions had an average poverty incidence of 70.1% as compared to 34.9% for the three southern regions.
The DG linked crimes in the north, asking that despite the knowledge that the people are poor, “why is it difficult to associate our current high levels of crimes, producing all manner of conflicts with high incidence of poverty in the country?
He said beyond the “excellent” initiative of government to ensure that Nigerian economy is on the path of sustained growth, which is largely responsible for the quick exit of the country out of recession, it is important that He called for a deliberate policy to increase both the levels of economic activities in the country as well as share of income citizens earn through participation.