World’s Poverty Capital
Nigeria is one of the countries most affected by extreme poverty in West Africa. According to the World Data Lab’s Poverty Clock report, around 90 million people, or roughly half of Nigeria’s population, live in extreme poverty.
The statistics are, however, very controversial. Many experts disagree on how to measure extreme poverty. According to the World Bank, people in extreme poverty are those who live on less than $ 1.90 per day. Nevertheless, the situation remains critical in Nigeria for part of its population and basic access such as access to quality food, health care, and education are still difficult.
Looting, Corruption, and Bad Governance; key Cause of Poverty in Nigeria
There are innumerable causes of the poor state of living in Nigeria, but in this article, we will concentrate on corruption. The nation’s politicians are more busy borrowing and looting the nation dry instead of implementing a program to lift people out of poverty.
Nigeria is the largest producer of black gold on the African continent and one of the largest in the world, with some 2 million barrels per day. Military governments had plundered state resources for decades, and since 1999, with access to democracy, no leader has been solved this problem.
Oxfam estimates that between 1960 and 2005, $20 trillion was stolen from state coffers.
Solving the poverty Problem through Policy Rejig
However, solutions are possible. Indeed, the government can accentuate its policies in the fight against inequalities and consequently achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here are three examples of policies to follow.
A policy of Compulsive Girl Child Education
Initially, it seems essential to definitively fight against extreme poverty that the government must invest more in the education of girls. According to UNICEF, about 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, half of whom are girls. Two-thirds of out-of-school children are concentrated in the northwest and northeast regions, areas devastated by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
According to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative report titled The 2018 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), the poorest regions of Nigeria have the worst indicators for education, tracking problems of nutrition, and child mortality.
Why invest more in girls’ education?
Girl Child education is essential for the good development of the country and to have an impact not only economic but also inter-generational. For example, Kaduna State has increased its budget for education over the past decade. Thus, the number of children in school has increased from more than one million children in 2015 to more than two million today.
Investing in Health Infrastructure
The Nigerian health sector is as good as dead; hence the Nigerian government needs to invest more heavily in the areas of health and well-being.
Nigeria is also reportedly performing abysmally in the area of healthcare financing which is reasonably different from the encouraging efforts of her neighbours in the same continent.
According to the recent report made available by World Bank, Nigeria spends only a discouraging 3.89% of its $495 billion gross domestic product (GDP) on health care, while South Africa, Kenya, and Togo allocate 8.25%, 5.17%, and 16.7% respectively.
Categorised among the 57 HRH crisis countries, the WHO reported that Nigeria has densities of nurses, midwives, and doctors that are still too low to effectively deliver essential health services (1.95 per 1,000).
The field of health is quite simply linked to economic growth, and therefore it would lead to the reduction of extreme poverty. Nigeria still faces many diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis but also infant mortality.
Economy Friendly Policies
Finally, the government must be open to new economic opportunities and invest in technology. Developing economic activity is a way to fight against extreme poverty and thus offer new opportunities to citizens. Thus, investing in human capital and creating jobs for young people and women, would help rural communities by providing them with new opportunities.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015 by the United Nations to eradicate extreme poverty, create a world of peace and preserve our planet. An agenda, the 2030 Agenda, has been set to eradicate extreme poverty, create a world of peace and prosperity by 2030.
Most countries in the world have adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) L The African Union is committed to following Agenda 2063 which should make it possible to build a more prosperous Africa within 50 years.
Thanks to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), progress has been made: many children are in school, especially girls, more women participate in the political life of their country, child mortality has decreased and fewer people are affected by HIV.
Nigeria is committed to the fight against extreme poverty by adopting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Nigerian government is working hand in hand with the UNDP to ensure proper compliance of schedules and establish a budget.
Many missions were carried out to support Nigeria in the elaboration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, a “Data Mapping Exercise” was carried out to have data on poverty to establish points of reference comparison that are useful for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)
This allows us to reflect on the current situation and to be able to change the situation in the country. In addition, missions with the various ministries, but also the departments and agencies were carried out. For example, the government has developed “strategic private sector engagement”, which recommends the establishment of the first private sector.
Sustainable Development Goal 3: access to health: Nigeria is one of the African countries with the lowest income in health and has high mortality rates. Access to drinking water is 64%.
Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education: One of the main challenges facing Nigeria is the problem of school absenteeism. There are many regional disparities: 78% of children living in the South West can read while only 17% of children in the North East can. The country must invest more in education.
Sustainable Development Goal 8: Inclusive economy: In Nigeria, the informal economy is established at 53%, the largest on the African continent. The number of new informal jobs is estimated at 75%. Youth are particularly affected by unemployment and underemployment, which is estimated to represent around 24 million people.
Nigeria wanted to go further by creating its development objectives, the “Integrated Sustainable Development Goals” (iSDG).