At Least 129.5 Million Nigerians Are Poor - Presidential Aide
A new report by the National Bureau of Statistics has put Nigeria’s population at 193.3 million.
However, at least two-third of that population are people leaving below the poverty line.
The nation has been bedevilled with unemployment, increased insecurity, poor literacy level and gender inequality which has on several occasions hinged on years of bad leadership and corruption.
Nigeria’s current poverty status is directly opposite that of China which has reduced poverty by more than two-thirds over the past five years.
China is Nigeria’s biggest trade partner in terms of products used in Nigeria.
Giving a breakdown of what the government is doing to alleviate poverty in Nigeria, the Special Advisor to the President, Social Protection, Maryam Uwais, said about 67% of Nigeria's population (which translates to 129.5 million people going by the recent NBS’ statistics) live below the poverty line.
Uwais was addressing a gathering at a social protection Practitioners and Academics Dialogue on Thursday in Abuja.
She said that social protection would be an adequate response and a key strategy towards reducing poverty and socio-economic vulnerabilities.
Part of the strategy is a four-point National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) and Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (CCT).
"This involves the direct transfer of N5,000 to the targeted poor and vulnerable households.
"The Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) assists vulnerable families feed their children in primary 1-3. They get one nutritious meal a day and provides an incentive to send them to school which is targeted to feed 5.5 million children.
"The N-Power Programme is designed to put 500,000 young Nigerian graduates on employment and empower or train 100,000 of non-graduates with necessary tools to create, develop and build projects that will change our communities, economy and nation.
"There is also Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which is targeted financial inclusion and empowerment loans programme to deliver maximum impact to the economically under- represented groups that targets about 1.6 million beneficiaries," said the presidential aide.
Also Read: China Edging Close To Total Poverty Eradication
She, however, highlighted that for the National Social Programme to move forward cooperation of agencies, groups and individuals is needed.
Some areas they could offer their support are knowledge, resources and skills for transformative undertaking.
SEE HOW POVERTY HAS FORCED MANY NIGERIANS TO JOURNEY THROUGH THE DESERT TO EUROPE