Despite economic growth, 40% of Nigerians still live below poverty line


Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, said on Thursday that in spite of the country’s significant strides in economic growth in recent times, millions of Nigerians still experienced multidimensional poverty.

Bagudu said the country faced unique challenges in addressing poverty considering its diverse population and regions.

Speaking at the opening of a one-day high-level stakeholders’ dialogue on operationalizing the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in Nigeria, Bagudu said recent figures indicated that about 40 percent of Nigerians lived below the poverty line.

He stated, “When we apply the MPI, this percentage often reveals deeper, multidimensional aspects of deprivation.”

The minister said Nigeria’s MPI brought many concerns together into one headline measure and focused on people who were being left behind in multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the same time.

He said the government had positioned the index to play a pivotal role in the hands of discerning stakeholders, including policymakers at various levels of government, academia, civil society, and the public.

Bagudu said the federal government will continue to support the implementation of the MPI through the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) and the implementation of the eight-priority areas of the President Bola Tinubu administration.

He said the operationalization of the MPI was a clarion call to action for stakeholders to embrace a holistic approach to poverty reduction—one that recognized the interlinked deprivations affecting millions of Nigerians.

He said that by “leveraging the MPI, we can craft informed, targeted, and effective policies that address the root causes of poverty and promote sustainable development.

“Let us commit to this transformative journey with determination and unity. Together, we can create a Nigeria where every individual has the opportunity to thrive, where no one is left behind, and where the dream of prosperity and well-being becomes a reality for all.”

According to him, the MPI is one of the in-flight projects of the NPRGS that was launched in 2021.The 10-year programme was created as part of the federal government’s efforts to intensify its commitment to eradicating extreme poverty in the country, and accelerating steady human capital growth.

He said the programme aimed to sustain the reduction in poverty through economic growth and the consistent implementation of social protection programmes.

Bagudu further explained that the MPI was launched in 2022 as a front line effort by the government to create an evidence-based, data driven strategy for achieving the mandate of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in a decade.

The index remains a transformative tool that goes beyond the traditional income-based measurement of poverty.It was developed through the collaborative efforts of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), and other key stakeholders.

It recognises that poverty encompasses various deprivations experienced by people in their daily lives, and considers dimensions such as education, health, and living standards, offering a more comprehensive picture of poverty.The minister pointed out that the MPI provided a nuanced understanding of poverty’s complexity.

He said, “By measuring factors, such as access to clean water, electricity, schooling, and healthcare, we can identify specific areas where interventions are needed, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

In his remarks, Statistician-General of the Federation (SGF)/Chief Executive, NBS, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, said the dialogue had the potential to significantly shape the country’s approach to tackling multidimensional poverty. Adeniran said the MPI will also ensure that policymakers have the tools they need to succeed in tackling multidimensional poverty amid current efforts in the fight against poverty.

He said the meeting sought to build on the success of the 2022 MPI survey by ensuring that the data was used for the benefit of citizens. He also stressed the need to invest in continuous training and technical capacity building for personnel to be able to produce these results across the board.

Adeniran said, “It also requires devoting the necessary and adequate resources to produce the data in a timely and sustainable manner, so that the government will have the appropriate tools to effectively monitor and track the impact of the interventions, and, where necessary, design new interventions to address any lapses.

“While this means more resources from the government side, it also necessitates, more donor support and assistance, both financially and technically.

“While we acknowledge the support already provided by both the government and partners, we appeal for more to meet this mandate and task ahead of us

Leave a Reply