How UNDP predicts 115 million people will join the extreme poverty list in 2020
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
As the world celebrates the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2020, on Saturday, October 15, 2020, civil society organizations, CSOs, on Sunday, evaluated and rated the performance of federal, state and local governments in the reduction of poverty in the country.
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is ‘Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all’, which the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, has predicted that 115 million people will join the list of extreme poverty in 2020, mainly caused by the devastating impact of the new coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria is reportedly currently known as the poverty capital of the world, surpassing India with the highest rate of people living in extreme poverty, that around 86.9 million people in Nigeria live in extreme poverty. , and this is about 50 percent of your total. population.
Speaking about the effort and impact made by the government so far to reduce poverty, CSOs claimed that there really is no significant impact, hence the rise of various armed groups, including kidnappers, armed robbers, terrorists, ritualists, ‘Yahoo! Boys’, baby factories. , cultists, scammers, gangs of a chance, thugs, murderers and terrorist groups across the country.
The poverty in the country has also led to unemployment, suicide, frustration and the continuous #EndSARS and #EndSWAT protests that have engulfed the country as young people have decided to take their destiny in hand to free themselves from the pains and fangs of poverty, caused mainly by corrupt leaders who have diverted what belongs to all.
The coordinator of the Nigerian Coalition in Defense of Democracy and the Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said: “The efforts made by successive governments have yielded little or nothing because we cannot make any significant progress towards the fight against poverty in Nigeria without restructuring the country so that the federated units are strategically empowered to address its many challenges.
“Nigeria does not currently have the right leadership that is visionary, bold and resourceful enough to carry out the process to separate this country and unleash its vast potentials.
“What we need now is the kind of leadership that can take Nigeria into a new phase of commitment to a functioning nation.”
One Love Foundation founder and president Chief Patrick Eholor said: “It’s funny when you ask me if I’m satisfied with the effort made by the government so far. So far, what we’ve had is complete or, if you like, lousy performance from government at all levels.
“The federal government said they said billions were feeding vulnerable children during the shutdown; Did you see them feeding anyone in your neighborhood? They said empowering youth with N-Power; Can N30,000 feed any family in Nigeria?
“Well, I’ve said it countless times, we need to diversify the economy by investing in agriculture, healthcare, and vocational education. The government should spend a lot of money on agriculture and vocational skills to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
“It’s funny when those in government share # 5,000 in every election trying to fool the masses. This mentality can never lift the nation out of poverty. Overall, I rate the government very low. “
The Executive Director, Center for Legislative Defense of Civil Society, CISLAC Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said: “To change this narrative, many things fall on the government table. They must take deliberate measures to alleviate the sufferings of the people through transparent schemes of social intervention, lowering the price of critical goods, developing infrastructure and monetary policies to support foreign direct investment and local businesses, urgently addressing corruption at all . levels and ensure proper management of all assets recovered for the benefit of victims of corruption.
“Citizens must make decisive decisions at the polls to elect visionary leaders who will save the country from impending collapse and deliver the dividends of democracy.
“The government must contain all security risks (banditry, insurgency and kidnapping) to reduce the loss of life, food and livelihoods and increase our chances of attracting investment. Our legislators must play an important role in effective oversight and ensuring transparency and compliance with government programs and projects. ”
The Director of Health of the Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, said: “Nigerians have been very tough and resilient. The pressures of inequality, division, insecurity, unemployment, poverty, and poor access to health care are enough to drive entire populations crazy. That said, the situation calls for a total overhaul of the broken socio-economic and political systems.
“The whole system is broken. We have to get back to where we started. The wasteful political system, the economic system works with the very short-term vision, and others. We have to have a clear image of the future.
“I think young people are starting to dream as we see in the #EndSARS movement. But we need lawsuits to move toward fundamental issues like environmental justice, the baseline for a society where the majority of our compatriots are engaged in informal businesses and family farming.
“We need a total rethinking, a total transformation, with restructuring as one of the initial steps.”
Yiaga Africa Executive Director Samson Itodo said: “I believe that the federal government can accelerate the poverty reduction process by one, reducing the cost of governance and channeling resources towards an investment of human capital such as education, healthcare and creating more opportunities.
“Second, improved social security; the lack of transparency in the social investment program undermines GF’s efforts to reduce poverty.
Third, “long-term development planning guided by accurate data and technology.”
The president and founder of the Peoples’ Movement for a New Nigeria, PMNN, Yahaya Ndu, said: “First of all, I must say that in my opinion Nigeria is the richest nation in the world and that it is a shame is ravaging our country. .
“A Korean statesman once said: In Korea, God gave us nothing but human beings; But for Nigeria, God gave you everything, what stands between you and greatness?
“Nigerians are among the most intelligent human beings on earth and excel in all fields of human endeavor, but the system of government we administer dulls our minds, bodies, and souls and makes everything around us so dysfunctional. .
“Just take a look at some details of the 2021 budget. The country’s education budget is much smaller than that of the National Assembly. As you can see, the health care budget is 46 billion naira for a nation of 200 million people.
“N48 billion for a nation of 200 million people, but N125 billion for Nigerian federal legislators of 465 people. So is it any wonder poverty is ravaging our country?
“Look at the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the entire world. While other nations are doing their best to make things easier for their citizens, we are strangely trying our best to make things more difficult for the average person.
“However, the rulers of Nigeria are totally brazen. Greed has rendered them completely insensitive to the plight of their compatriots and women. The average manner of the National Assembly raises about a thousand times the salary of the average Nigerian worker and still claims to be a public servant when he is most the master and Lord of the public.
“Nigeria is a country where the net salary of the average worker cannot take him home. Yes, it is no wonder that we have surpassed India as the poverty capital of the world. We always excel at negative things. Shame and shame for all of us. “
Meanwhile, according to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, UNDP, Achim Steiner, despite the monumental challenges facing the world now, “the COVID-19 pandemic presents the world with a unique opportunity to press the “Reset button” towards a more sustainable future situation.
“On the ground in 170 countries, UNDP is not only helping countries simply recover from the devastating socio-economic effects of the pandemic, but also helping them better move towards an inclusive green economy, for example through our Promise Climatic.
“In a broader sense, we must transform our unsustainable production and consumption patterns, decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, and address the structural causes of social and environmental inequalities in our societies.
“Doing so will help us achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and realize our global ambition to finally end poverty in all its forms, everywhere.”