The Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Lead at PwC Nigeria, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, has advised the Nigerian government to change the current strategy it uses for lifting Nigerians out of poverty.
According to Oyedele, the current strategy of the government is rather pushing more people into poverty instead of lifting them out of it.
To lift Nigerians out of poverty, Oyedele said governments at all levels need to channel their resources toward addressing the dimensions of poverty by building healthcare centres, schools, and access roads to farms. He said all these should be prioritised over building airports and flyovers.
Citing data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), he noted that 40.1% of Nigerians or 82.9 million people lived in poverty in 2019, whereas in 2022 the number increased to 133 million. This is despite the government’s 2015 promise to lift 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years.
Right policies: Oyedele in a Twitter thread reaction to Thursday’s NBS data which revealed that 133 million Nigerians are multi-dimensionally poor, said:
“Government needs to change its strategy to lift people out of poverty and not push them into it. There is a need for appropriate policies to optimise existing resources, improve priority and spending efficiency of spending, and provide enabling environment for people to earn a decent living. These should be the primary focus of the government.”
Lessons from the data: Drawing out the lessons from the NBS data, Oyedele said that the next elections in Nigeria will be determined by poor people, many of whom, “unfortunately, will be vulnerable to manipulation by politicians.”
He added that the data has also shown that the region where the president or majority of government appointees come from does not necessarily impact the lives of the people positively.
According to the NBS data, 65% of the poor (86 million people) live in the North, while 35% (nearly 47 million) live in the South. Poverty levels across states vary significantly, with the incidence of multidimensional poverty ranging from a low of 27% in Ondo to a high of 91% in Sokoto.
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