NBS data: Over 60% Nigerians suffer from multi-dimensional poverty – PIC

The Policy Innovation Centre (PIC), an initiative of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), has re-echoed an alarming data by the National Bureau of Statistics (2022) which revealed that about 63% of Nigeria’s population are multi-dimensional poor.

The data also revealed that women, young people, and other marginalized groups are affected due to prevailing gender and social inclusion-related inequities.

The data also showed that Conflict, climate risks, widening income gaps, food insecurity and inflation have exacerbated rising levels of poverty and social inequalities across the country.

Executive Director of the Centre, Dr Osasuyi Dirisu, made this known Friday in Abuja during its press conference announcing the upcoming Gender and Inclusion Summit (GS-24) with theme,

He said, “Reimagining Gender Inclusive Pathways and Partnerships for Poverty Reduction”.

“About 63% of Nigerians or nearly 133 million people are multidimensionally poor which implies that in addition to lack of income, they lack access to basic amenities such as healthcare, education, adequate sanitation and clean cooking fuels. About 80% of the 133 million Nigerians who are multidimensionally poor live in rural areas (National Bureau of Statistics,2022),” she said.

According to her, the Gender and Inclusion Summit 2024 aims to explore gender-inclusive pathways to poverty reduction that utilize innovative approaches to addressing dimensions of deprivation in health, education, and standards of living; and highlighting how strategic partnerships can be leveraged to advance these efforts.

“We will host the third Summit on September 4-5, 2024 and this year we will be focusing on gender-inclusive pathways and partnerships for poverty reduction. The Summit will convene global and national policymakers, business leaders, development partners, civil society leaders, and scholars,” Dirisu revealed.

She noted further that the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), an international measure of acute multidimensional poverty across 109 developing countries captures acute deprivations in health, education and living standards beyond conventional monetary poverty measures.

According to her, Globally, across 109 countries, 1.3 billion people— 21.7 percent—live in acute multidimensional poverty. About half (644 million) are children under age 18. Nearly 85 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa (556 million) or South Asia (532 million).

The ED expressed worry that Africa is home to a significant proportion of the world’s poorest and marginalised populations, adding that despite economic growth in some regions, poverty remains pervasive, with a large segment of the population living below the poverty line of $2.15.

“The slow progress of many African countries in achieving their full social and economic potential has been linked to the failure to embrace gender equity.

“We face unprecedented times; a weak and non-inclusive economy, volatile macro-economic environment, security challenges and weak economic competitiveness. Conflict, climate risks, widening income gaps, food insecurity and inflation have exacerbated rising levels of poverty and inequalities in Nigeria.

“Addressing poverty in Nigeria cannot be business as usual. Ending poverty (Goal 1) and reducing inequality (Goal 10) are part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a wide range of approaches have been identified to reduce poverty and inequities,” she stressed

She therefore stressed the need for Nigeria to design effective poverty reduction programs, adding that it is important to understand pathways to poverty, evidence based approaches that work and linkages to multi-sectoral inequities.

“The intersection of poverty and gender inequity underscores profound challenges in health, livelihood, and living conditions, particularly evident in Nigeria. Significant challenges remain, with many families still experiencing severe poverty, aggravated by disparities in access to resources and opportunities. Addressing these poverty-related challenges requires avenues for promoting gender equity through holistic partnerships.

“We need to identify what works for poverty reduction in Nigeria and sustain the commitment to poverty reduction by intentionally designing and implementing contextually relevant solutions driven by a policy enabling environment. We can learn and adapt from similar context but by all means we must respond to fierce urgency to act and secure the future of the nation,” she stressed.

In his opening remarks, the CEO, NESG Dr. Tayo Aduloju noted that evidence shows a parallel relationship between multidimensional poverty and gender inequality, with countries performing poorly on the Global Gender Report also exhibiting high severe multidimensional poverty.

He shared that the World Bank points out significant gender disparities in labour participation in Nigeria, with about 65.5% of men participating compared to around 52.1% of women. “These disparities extend to business ownership, political leadership, employment, mobile phone use, and bank account ownership,” he said.

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