- 94.5 million Nigerians are now live below poverty threshold
The poverty level in Nigeria has deepened with more additional three million Nigerians falling below the poverty threshold in the six months.According to a report by Oxfam, people who are living below the poverty threshold increased from 91.5 million to 94.5 million in the period.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 19 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries.
The International Country Director of Oxfam (Nigeria), Constant Tchona, while raising concern over the spate of poverty in Nigeria at the Quality Review and Planning meeting which held in Abuja, said the new figure was based on the latest World Poverty Report released Tuesday.
Oxfam International country director in Nigeria, Mr. Constant Tchona, made the disclosure in Abuja, at the organisation’s Programme Quality Review and Planning meeting, with the theme “On the Road To Becoming an Influencing Hub.”
The figure of the extremely poor Nigerians by comparison, according to Tchona, is more than the population of the Gambia and Cape Verde combined.
Tchona said, “On April 8, 2019, when we met here for the last quality review workshop, I quoted some numbers from the World Poverty Clock. This was how many people in Nigeria live in extreme poverty, below the benchmark of $1.90 a day, or N684 a day.”
“Back in April, the number of people below poverty line was 91,500, 000. Now, it’s about 94,500,000 people, if you check the World Poverty Clock.
“What that means is that in six months, we have added three million people into extreme poverty.
“Why is that the reason? Is the work we are doing making any impact? If it does, is it fast enough? This is why we are here to look at how we can make fast impact.”
The report is an indication of the failure of Federal Government Social Investment Programme and the claims of having lifted millions of Nigerians out of poerty threshold.
He said, “At the current rate, Nigeria is not only off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but many now believe that up to 25 per cent of the world’s extreme poor will live in Nigeria by 2030.
“Nigeria’s total population is 200,963,599 people, according to the Worldometer, and is to become the world’s third largest country by 2050,” .
While describing the burden as pathetic, the country director noted that Nigerian government was aware of the rate of poverty in the land.
Tchona quoted President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention to “lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years and set them on the path to prosperity” to “fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place it among the world’s great nations.”
According to him, if this is achieved, Nigeria would shock the world to achieve the SDGs.
“Now the question is, what is the role of the citizens and how that role will be played in supporting both elected and appointed officials in achieving this lofty goal.
“What could be the role of International NGOs like Oxfam on that journey?” he asked.
He noted that in order to effectively make impact in poverty reduction, the organisation would have to assess its programmes to ensure they were not against Oxfam’s established quality standards.
He stressed the need to expedite action, adding that more people were getting into extreme poverty as at the moment.
Tchona explained that the meeting was to reflect on what the role of the organisation could be in support of government and citizens in order to reduce the burden of poverty.
He said that the meeting was also to explore ways to strengthen business support to power up Oxfam execution capability while ensuring operational excellence.