By Justina Auta
Stakeholders have advised incoming governments after the 2023 general election to align and sustain national development plans and interventions to end poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They made the call during the High Level Forum on SDGs special session at the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 28) with a theme, “Multi-Dimensional Poverty” organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja.
Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, Statistician General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said ongoing discussions are being made with political parties to ensure continuity and sustainability of programmes.
Adeniran added that the National Poverty Index (NPI) will guide in national planning to align with projects and programmes.
“Government is making plans through the national assembly, legislative arms in sync with Nigeria action plan 2021-2025.
“The legacies these present regime will leave behind for the incoming government in this midterm National Development plan as well as the 2050 national Action Plan.
“There are discussions between the government and all the political parties that whoever comes in will take on the priority of the National Development plan of the government,” he said.
He added that the NPI will also help government to unify the MDAs to work towards addressing gender inequality index, unemployment and underemployment, improved access to health care and education.
“There are so many programmes geared towards addressing the issue of multidimensional poverty .
“Government is looking at both at the federal and state in terms of health, nutrition, productivity, Nigerian youths in general.
“Putting these together and looking at the Nigerian National Development Programmes, 2021- 2025, where government has indicated passion to lift 34 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2025.
“All these are geared towards eradicating multidimensional poverty by government, ” he said.
He added that the NBS would launch the 2022 NPI results and poverty situation room/lab with all details and data on poverty on Thursday.
Also, Rushnan Murtaza, Deputy Representative, UNICEF said evidence and data would aid in restrategising and making investment plans to address challenges affecting children in Nigeria.
Martaza, stressed on the need to use the available data to plan and invest towards policies and interventions that will address the challenges affecting children, especially in regard to health, education and nutrition.
“UINCEF is part and parcel in generating this data, we have made a lot of investment and have been looking at multi-dimensional overlapping child poverty.
“Which we use another methodology but now with the NPI, we have introduced and invested in a chapter to see what happens to a child within the household.
“The children whether they have access to education, healthcare and other deprivation they are facing.
“It is a critical path but it will give us understanding of what is happening in the states of the situation of children, then accordingly we can then do the investment,” she said.
According to her, the NPI will also enable stakeholders to know particularly areas to channel resources and interventions towards alleviating poverty.
On his part, Mr Sadiq Usman, Director, Flour Mills Nigeria, linked multi-dimensional poverty in Nigeria to global forces such as the Russia/Ukrainian war, which he said has affected global market and commodities and resulted to food insecurity.
He said the only way to tackle poverty in Nigeria is through creation of economic my for people through skills and the adoption of a private centre approach in creating job opportunities.