Tag Archives: poverty

Growing-Poverty

Opinion: Commemorating 2014 World Poverty Eradication Day – The Nigerian case

by Yusuf Ishaku Goje

Like peace-building, the solution to poverty does not reside in quick-fix approach but in a sustainable humanitarian effort. Also, just like nation-building, combating extreme poverty requires the collective and synergistic effort of all irrespective of class strata. Therefore, there is no gainsaying the fact that combating extreme poverty requires a long term and sustainable pro-poor approach through the collective effort of all stakeholders in every society. This is more so, because poverty has been an age-long unwanted but integral companion of the history of the world, which has generationally conquered many and left them in a vicious cycle of abject penury and despondency. Poverty has done more damage than any other phenomenon in the history of man. Great wars have been fought, destructive disasters have occurred, ravaging diseases have struck; but poverty still stands unrivalled in its ravaging negative effects on man.

Jeffrey Sachs (Special Advisor to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan) captures the reality succinctly when he stated that; “currently, more than eight million people around the world die each year because they are too poor to stay alive”. The thought of many; dying because they are too poor to stay alive, staying for days without food, going to sleep without shelter over them, being sick without adequate healthcare, families breaking up, children in a state of hopelessness, youth engaging in immoral acts to eke out a living; should naturally evoke the empathy and action of all ( individuals, non-governmental organizations (both national and international), private sector and governments) towards taking more drastic steps before poverty consumes the world, God forbid!

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 112million Nigerians live below the poverty line, this figure represents about 67 per cent of the entire population.

It is in response to the ravaging effects and impact of poverty on the globe that the United Nations in 1993 declared and set aside October 17th annually as world poverty eradication day; to draw attention and promote awareness to the plight of poorest of the poor and the need to eradicate extreme poverty. Poverty is one of the biggest challenges that the world has been grappling with; even though successes have been achieved in this fight (from 1990 till date extreme poverty rates have been cut by half), the battle is still far from being won.

According to available reports, approximately 1.3 billion people in developing countries live below $1.25 a day or less. No wonder, The Millennium Declaration calls for special attention to Africa, because more than 41 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1 per day, and 32 percent are undernourished. Again, Jeffrey Sachs brought our attention to the enormous reality of poverty by positing that; “all told, the extreme poor (at around 1 billion) and the poor (another 1.5 billion) make up around 40 percent of humanity”.

Narrowing it down to Nigeria, one does not only need statistics to come to terms with the injurious effects of poverty because of its palpability; which has brought so much despondency, dehumanization, deaths, disease, hunger, immorality and insecurity to a nation that is so great in potential. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 112 million Nigerians live below the poverty line, this figure represents about 67 per cent of the entire population. The World Bank in its ‘May 2013 Nigeria Economic Report’ said the number of Nigerians living in poverty was increasing too rapidly, particularly in rural areas. Also, a report from the World Bank in April 2014, listed Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world, with the largest number of people said to live on less than $1.25 a day. The others are India, China, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Many causes have been attributed to be the source of poverty such as a negative mental attitude, lack of education and skills, unemployment, ineffective government, disaster, war, amongst many. But to my mind the one that has brought poverty to the doorsteps of many Nigerians is unemployment; which has left many without the purchasing power to acquire the basic needs of life such as food, clothing, shelter, education, healthcare, amongst many. Unemployment in a country like Nigeria has left millions of our teeming youth idle, roaming the streets in search of non-existent jobs and in an unconducive environment to be self-reliant and employed.

It was estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that 54 per cent of Nigerian youths were unemployed in 2012. While According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS, 2013), the national unemployment rate is 23.9 percent with the youth accounting for more than 70 percent. This statistics are meant to reemphasize the depth of unemployment in Nigeria which has worsened and increased poverty to an alarming level.

It is in the face of this reality that Nigeria, as a committed member of the United Nations, has over the years marked the world poverty eradication day with series of programmes such as seminars, conferences, advocacy campaigns, rallies and various sensitization programmes. This year would not be any different.

As we commemorate this year’s World Poverty Eradication Day with the theme; Leave No One Behind: Think, Decide and Act together against Extreme Poverty; let us pull our ranks closer in tackling the unemployment crisis on our hands, as a viable measure in thinking, deciding and acting together against extreme poverty. In doing that lets heed the advice of Dr. Willie Siyanbola ( The  Director General of the Centre for Technology Management), who rightly said, “Unless both the government and private sector generate 2.5million jobs yearly, about 60% of Nigerian graduates would remain unemployed”.

The non-governmental and civil society organizations have been consistent at the centre of poverty reduction through advocating for increased employment generation and the commemoration of the World Poverty Eradication Day in Nigeria over the years; one of such organization is Ambassadors Initiative for Development and Empowerment (AIDE).

AIDE is the convener of the Global Partnership for Poverty Reduction in Nigeria (GPPRN), and has been championing the campaign, alongside its partners in Nigeria, its theme for 2014 is: “Using Skills to Fight Poverty: What is in Your Hands”. The Initiative has organized series of programs and has brought together key stakeholders in the fight against poverty at various platforms to initiate and collectively execute a roadmap that is innovatively geared towards combating extreme poverty in line with this year’s United Nations World Poverty Eradication Day theme. This is in recognition of the fact that the fight against poverty should not be left in the hands of the government and private sector alone. All hands must be on deck, to ensure that more jobs are created through encouraging skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development especially targeting the poor in eradicating extreme poverty.

It is in culminating this year’s Global Partnership for Poverty Reduction in Nigeria (GPPRN) campaign and marking this year’s World Poverty Eradication Day; that AIDE and her partners is organizing an outdoor sensitization programme titled: “USING SKILLS FIGHT TO POVERTY: WHAT IS IN YOUR HANDS” and a charity visit to an orphanage.

———————-

Yusuf Ishaku Goje is the Head of Programme, AIDE, Abuja

Osogbo

The politicians are gone, life in Osogbo, and Osun, has returned to normal: hard

by Simon Ateba

Thursday, August 21st, is a bright day here in Osogbo, the capital of Nigeria’s south-western state of Osun. The masked men have gone. The checkpoints have disappeared. The sea of policemen and soldiers holding Ak-47 rifles or operatives of the State Security Services brandishing machine guns and driving at breakneck speed have all vanished. They have all left following the completion of a tension-soaked, closely watched governorship election on August 9.

The election itself is now history. Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, won almost 400 thousand votes and 23 out 30 council areas, leaving Iyiola Omisore of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, far behind with only 7 local government areas.

Life appears to have returned to normal virtually everywhere I visited on my way to the capital.

At Freedom Park, a government renovated square in Osogbo, many people sat late into last night drinking beer, eating meat and watching Yoruba movies on a giant screen. Adults sat on plastic chairs and children were on bare floors.

The police boss in charge of that election had refused to disclose at a pre-election press conference how many cops were deployed here, but reports claimed they were more than 65,000.

Yesterday, I saw only four of them controlling traffic and looking mild, not as dangerous as ‎those who ordered me and a Reuters photographer on August 8 to take one way or turn back because they had closed the road.

The empty streets have been filled up and commercial and social activities have picked up. At Spices, a famous fast-food restaurant here, the queue was as long as the curfew imposed on August 8. Hotels, booked weeks and months before August 9, are now empty again. ‎The giant billboards are everything left as a reminder of that election.

With the politicians long gone with their money and their security agents, the state is again left ‎to grapple with the same challenges. The roads linking Osogbo and the other local government areas remain in a chaotic state, many of them are riddled with potholes. The intercity roads will also need a serious and fast upgrade to make Osogbo look like a normal capital city.

Basic social amenities for those living in the suburbs are still lacking. Apart from electricity, which is fairly constant because of the location of Osun state in relation to how power is distributed in Nigeria, ‎other amenities such as potable water, affordable and good health centres all need to be built rapidly.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy with its biggest population, but corruption and mismanagement have left much of its 170 million people stuck in squalor and hopelessness. Virtually none of the governors indicted for money laundering, mismanagement or whatever else has been convicted in Nigeria. The only one in jail now, was prosecuted and locked up in London.

Elections have come and gone in Osun State and ordinary Nigerians have returned to facing the same challenges of life.

A version of this article first appeared on Simon’s blog

Congo Guinea Ebola   AGUI101

Dele Agekameh: Ebola is a disease of POVERTY!

by Dele Agekameh

 

As Piot rightly observed and I agree with him, “this is a disease of poverty, of dysfunctional health systems and of distrust”. The current Ebola’s spread in West Africa is a reminder of the vast development needs that persist in some of the region’s poorest countries despite claim to rapid economic growth and investment.

Its recent outbreak in some West African countries may not have initially been accorded much attention, but today, as a result of the havoc it has so far created and the ease as well as the rapidity of infection, everybody is now on his toes across the globe. Now, Ebola has suddenly assumed the status of the fastest-growing killer virus in the world. And to affirm this horrible and disturbing status, last Friday, health experts declared the Ebola epidemic an international health emergency that requires a coordinated global approach.

At the moment, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and lately, Nigeria are battling the deadly virus, which has defied any known cure. So far, the virus is believed to have infected at least 1,779 people, killing 961 or more, thereby making it the worst outbreak in the four-decade history of tracking the disease. According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, “the possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries”.

The history of the disease is well known. Unfortunately, since it was first recognized in 1976, all the 18 outbreaks so far recorded occurred in Africa alone. Ebola may be a native of Africa but now the virus is threatening to go global and, by declaring it an international public health emergency, it shows how seriously WHO is taking the current outbreak. But tough statements, definitely, won’t save lives. Perhaps, what should really worry all of us now as the battle against the virus rages, are the words of Peter Piot, the scientific adventurer who discovered the virus: “We shouldn’t forget that this is a disease of poverty, of dysfunctional health systems and of distrust”.

In 1976, Piot, a 27-year-old medical school graduate training as a clinical microbiologist, undertook a voyage of discovery to the then Zaire, where, out of sheer determination, he ventured into the thick forest in one of the remotest areas of the country and unearthed the disease. Piot is now 65 years old. It’s been 38 years since the first outbreak and the world is now experiencing its worst Ebola epidemic ever. At the last count, the disease has reared its ugly head in four West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. Out of these, Nigeria has been least affected, recording fewer deaths. Unlike in the past when the outbreak is confined to only one country, the current situation is unprecedented as the spread of the disease across four countries is making it more complicated to deal with than ever before.

As Piot rightly observed and I agree with him, “this is a disease of poverty, of dysfunctional health systems and of distrust”. The current Ebola’s spread in West Africa is a reminder of the vast development needs that persist in some of the region’s poorest countries despite claim to rapid economic growth and investment. The vast majority of Africans live miserably in slums and squalor. Africa faces endemic poverty, food insecurity and pervasive underdevelopment, with almost all the countries lacking the human, economic and institutional capacities to effectively develop and manage their water resources sustainably. As a result of this, a large number of countries on the continent still face huge challenge in attempting to achieve the United Nations water-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Although the crucial role of water in accomplishing the continent’s development goals is widely recognized, various governments on the African continent seem not to be moved by the appalling living standard of their people both in the urban and rural areas. Thus, clean water becomes a scarce commodity.

Besides, Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s poorest and least developed region, with half its population living on less than a dollar a day. About two-thirds of its countries rank among the lowest in the Human Development Index. A recent report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA, gave an analysis of data from 35 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, representing 84% of the region’s population, showing significant differences between the poorest and richest fifths of the population in both rural and urban areas. According to the report, “over 90% of the richest quintile in urban areas use improved water sources, and over 60% have piped water on premises. In rural areas, piped-in water is non-existent in the poorest 40% of households, and less than half of the population use any form of improved source of water”.

The report stated that despite efforts and approaches to extend and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene systems and services continue to suffer leading to different health complications in Africa as a whole, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, thereby causing avoidable deaths. “The water and sanitation position in West/Central Africa is of particular urgency, as the region has the highest under-five mortality rate of all developing regions: 191 child deaths per 1,000 live births.”  This is underscored by recurrent outbreaks of cholera in both urban and rural areas, a situation that equally underlines the poor state of this region’s basic living conditions. This is a serious concern because of the associated massive health burden, as many people who lack basic sanitation engage in unsanitary activities like poor solid waste and waste water disposal, open defecation and other dirty habits. The practice of open defecation that is rampant in Africa is widely believed to be the primary cause of faecal oral transmission of disease with children being the most vulnerable.

As if all these are not enough, there is also rapid and almost uncontrollable population growth and rural-urban migration. Despite the efforts of some Sub-Saharan African countries and cities to expand basic services and improve urban housing conditions, rapid and unplanned urban growth has increased the number of settlements on unstable, disaster-prone and high-risk land where diseases and other phenomena disasters with devastating consequences are prevalent. Among developing regions, Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to have the highest prevalence ofurban slums and it is expected to double to around 400 million by 2020. Again, this rising population is driving demand for water and accelerating the degradation of water resources in many countries on the continent.

Africa has joined India and China as the third region of the world to reach a population of 1 billion people, and it is expected to double this by 2050, the UN says. By then, there will be three times as many people living in Africa’s cities, and the continent that had fewer than 500,000 urban dwellers in 1950 may have 1.3 billion. The breakneck transformation of a rural population into a predominantly urban one is neither good nor bad on its own, but the issue is that African countries should plan their cities better, to avoid mega-slums and vast areas of deprivation developing across the continent. This is because, in most slums in Africa, basic amenities like potable water, quick disposal of garbage, sanitation facilities and toilets are not available. People in slums face many battles. Besides poverty, the health situation is very bad. Since slums are considered illegal, the government feels no obligation to provide water and proper sanitation to slum dwellers. This high density and over-population means viruses and diseases can spread easily and cause epidemics. And when people are ill, there are not enough health services, doctors, nurses and medicines available for them, or even if these are available, people often lack the money to pay.

The sickening living conditions in many African countries may not have attracted much attention from the global community all this while. However, the ravaging Ebola virus that is currently knocking at the doorstep of everybody has, once more, forced global attention on Africa. With the experience of Nigeria, where a Patrick Sawyer, an American-Liberian diplomat, imported Ebola into the country from Liberia, the whole world has suddenly woken up from slumber to the stark reality that the entire global community is at the risk of contacting the deadly virus. What this calls for is the need for global cooperation and strategy to combat the recalcitrant disease. Not rhetoric. Not empty promises!

—————-

This article was published with permission from Premium Times

 Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

ATIKU_104220530-15168121391

Atiku Abubakar: Nigeria is losing the battle against poverty

Atiku Abubakar

 

We have skilled people and nowhere to employ them! This is a travesty…

In honour of the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty last year, I asked the people of Nigeria to support our young people and the future that lies ahead. In our young men and women lies the capacity to eradicate poverty and to change the path of Nigeria’s future for the better. In our government lies the capacity to help them achieve it.

Poverty does not simply have one solution; rather it requires the concerted application of many solutions. Nigeria has vast natural resources, but our challenge remains harnessing these resources for the greatest good. Our children and mothers are dying, as we fail to deliver our end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The little progress that we have made towards achieving our MDGs is simply not enough, and for a country as rich in resources as ours, there is no excuse for our lacklustre performance.

We have not been able to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, or even come close to it for that matter. Our young people are either unemployed or underemployed. We set the goal of getting our children into primary schools, but still our children do not receive the education they need to effectively participate in a globalised world. Their performance does not live up to their promise due to the combination of under qualified teachers, insufficient funding for facilities and supplies, and lack of job prospects as a result of our decaying infrastructure.

Infant mortality rates are still high. Though our under-five mortality rates have begun to decrease, we still lose far too many of our little ones. Each one is a treasure and should have the chance to live.

The final MDGs tied to protecting the environment and setting up a solid partnership for development have not moved at all. In our efforts to extract oil from the ground and build up our natural resource extraction processes, we are destroying our beautiful countryside and the world around us. We are not developing sustainable processes that will protect our resources for future generations, but rather have focused on the short-term monetary benefit that has seemed only to benefit those in power and not those whose homes have been made uninhabitable.

The international community has reached out to assist us in creating partnerships for development, but we have not met them in good faith. Instead, those charged with these responsibilities have short-changed us by putting their own interest first.

We have created partnerships with other countries for many reasons and in order to reach many ends. One area that the international community has identified as having a significant impact on Nigeria’s economy and ability to trade is our failing infrastructure.

Our country has many roads, but they are not well-maintained and safety concerns prevent people from travelling on them. Potable water does not reach all of our citizens and what does reach them is not always clean. We have an infrastructure, but it is not maintained or repaired. We drive on roads that are unsafe and in a state of disrepair – this is not acceptable.

If we create new jobs, but don’t provide reliable sources of power, water and transportation to help get and keep people there, then it is as if no progress was made at all. The multitude of hours that many of our workers spend waiting for a bus ride is counter-productive. The absence of proper infrastructure is holding Nigeria back.

More and more young people are going to school and learning valuable skills. But they are graduating from university and vocational programs into a country where there are not enough jobs.

Something must be done to combat these deficiencies and bring Nigeria out of poverty. Without change, without concrete evidence of progress, Nigeria will not be able to reach its true potential.

This potential is all around us, but we have to take action. I call upon my brothers and sisters to ask for change and hold our government to a higher standard. I recognize that to effect change in government takes time and effort, but I believe the promise of our country’s future is worth it.

The promise within me has led me down a long path toward public service. While I may have risen to the position of Vice President of Nigeria, I began life just as many young Nigerians have. I had loving parents and a strong religious upbringing, but few true prospects for economic or social mobility.

But because of my education at Adamawa Provincial Secondary School and the School of Hygiene, and finally Ahmadu Bello University, I was able to reach my full potential. But that was a time when education opened doors and jobs were available to everyone. This is no longer the case.  Our young people, who take the time and the money to go to vocational schools or universities, graduate into a market already saturated with job seekers.

We have skilled people and nowhere to employ them! This is a travesty, especially because I know we need their skills to build up Nigeria’s roads, waterways, public transportation systems and other infrastructure.

Building up our nation’s infrastructure will do two things. First, it will provide jobs for skilled and unskilled labour across Nigeria. Building good roads and waterways requires all types of workers, the kinds of people that Nigeria has an abundance of. Our government should be working on projects that create opportunities for everyone.

With a proper infrastructure across Nigeria, farmers could send their produce to market faster, ensuring that we have enough food in our cities and adjoining areas. Workers in the cities can get to work faster on safe, well-paved roads. With better roads and public transportation, our youth will be able to find good jobs that pay them and provide stability.

I continue to dedicate my time and resources to advancing education in Nigeria, because I truly believe that an educated population forms the backbone for a progressive and prosperous society. Between 1999 and 2003, I oversaw the Universal Basic Education (UBE) program in which four blocks of three classrooms and a teacher’s room were constructed in all 774 local government areas of Nigeria.

The program was immediately successful and enrolment in primary education in Nigeria increased substantially. This program then jump-started state involvement in providing secondary schools and new federal provisions for tertiary education that would be able to absorb the influx of students graduating from the lower levels. But these programs did not last, and since then these and other initiatives have been set aside and ignored.

Our leaders can no longer ignore the basic facts that inertia, deceit and greed have taken over the affairs of state, leaving the Nigerian people without a structure to provide for the security and well-being of its citizenry.

Millions of Nigerians have become disenfranchised – shut out of a system that provides little option or opportunities for advancement – many more have had to relocate due to insecurity caused by a deepening sense of abandonment. It is time for a change in vision. A strong nation builds its future on what it does today!

 

Atiku Abubakar was the former Vice President during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

————————-

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Cocoa farmer

HEAVEN! Watch these cocoa farmers eat chocolate for the very first time

by Kolapo Olapoju

Cocoa farmer

Irony don’t come better than this.

These people farm cocoa, yet they have never seen neither can they afford to buy the end product -chocolate.

A bar of chocolate costs about 4 euros in Ivory Coast, but the cocoa farmers make just 7 euros per day, making it virtually impossible for them to purchase chocolate.

But for the first time, they have a taste and to them, it feels like heaven.

 

Buki Otuyemi: Rape goes both ways (Y! Superblogger)

by Buki Otuyemi

raping-men

I recall hearing a story when I just got into the university, about how a bunch of ladies raped a randy lecturer that had been sexually harassing a younger student.

As far-fetched as it may sound to many, men and boys do get raped too. Rape is all shades of evil and it is especially hard and traumatic on the victims. One would find it difficult to visualize how men get raped given their physical stature and strength compared to women but the fact remains that men have been disarmed in the past by women (and other men) and raped.

I recall hearing a story when I just got into the university, about how a bunch of ladies raped a randy lecturer that had been sexually harassing a younger student. Also, I have been reading about men being raped in places like South Africa, Europe, etc for many years now. Male-rape have been going on for a long time and while they are not as rampant as female-rape, the devastating trauma the victims go through are not to be trivialized.

Recently in Russia, a 27-year-old female hair-stylist knocked out a 32-year-old would-be male burglar who tried to rob her shop and then tied him up. She was skilled in martial arts and was able to knock him out and subdue him with her skills. She plied him with viagra and raped him several times for three days before releasing him.
1901592_10153879340355640_29790037_nI would never understand how people get off by subduing another person, with force, just to attain their sickening height of pleasure. The trauma that remains with rape victims, both male and female,  cannot be put into words. I implore victims of rape to speak out as we stand by them to bring the perpetrators of rape to book. Leaving rapists to God or fate no longer cuts it because studies have shown that for most rapists, it is not merely a one-off experience. They continue in this sickening trend knowing they would not be made to pay for their crimes. They revel in a culture that stigmatizes the victims rather than the rapists themselves, knowing they can get away with these atrocities.

I look forward to a day when rapes will rarely occur. I look forward to stiffer sentences for rapists. I look forward to programmes that would help victims of rape heal faster.

For legal help and counseling and all assistance needed in a case of rape, please get in touch with the Stand To End Rape Initiative team on:

Email: [email protected] OR [email protected]
Phone Number: 09095967000

————————–

Buki Otuyemi tweets from @survivor17

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

I join my team mates to #StandToEndRape. You should too.

Poverty-in-Nigeria

Nigerians are not as poor as you think we are – even the World Bank says so

by Tunji Andrews

The recently announced re-based GDP figures that increased the estimated size of the Nigerian economy has again drawn attention to official poverty statistics. Data from the last comprehensive household survey (NHLSS) in 2009/2010 indicated that the official poverty rate remained stubbornly high at 46% of the population (adult equivalent approach), or 62% in strictly per capita terms.

This indicates only a slight decline from 48% and 64%, respectively, that were recorded from the NHLSS in 2003/2004. These poverty numbers raise two major economic questions. Firstly, why has the rapid economic growth in Nigeria not generated greater poverty reduction?

Second, how could an economy of the size and wealth of Nigeria have such high poverty rates? The country’s performance is at odds with the general international trend of poverty reduction, in particular in other countries experiencing rapid economic growth like Nigeria.

Child poverty is thought to be widespread in Nigeria, but overall, poverty is not as bad as first thought.

Child poverty is thought to be widespread in Nigeria, but overall, poverty is not as bad as first thought.

From the report, it appears increasingly likely that consumption of Nigerians was underestimated in the 2009/2010 NHLSS. A World Bank report of 2013 raised the hypothesis that consumption may have been significantly underestimated in the 2009/2010 NHLSS. This report noted an unusual sharp decline in monthly consumption in this survey in early 2010 relative to the second half of 2009 that would seem to have little economic rationale. The newly re-based GDP numbers increase suspicions in this regard, as the average level of consumption reported in this survey would appear to be inconsistent with the newly estimated size of the Nigerian economy.

What the report does, is that it provides a partial reassessment of poverty in Nigeria based on recent information. This note makes use of new National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, that has become available on the web from two smaller General Household Surveys (GHS) in panel format conducted in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013. It should be emphasized that this reassessment is only a very partial analysis, and its confirmation or refutation will need to come from the next comprehensive HNLSS in 2014/2015 by NBS.

Reactions

John Litwack, the World Bank’s Acting Country Manager and Lead Economist, said that the decrease represents a dramatic drop from an estimated poverty rate of 62.2% recorded between 2009 and 2010 based on the Harmonised Nigeria Living Standard Statistics (HNLSS).

“The poverty rates per capital from the General Household Survey (GHS) panel between 2012 and 2013 is 33.1% with 44.9% in the rural areas and 12.6% in the urban areas. This indicates lower poverty rates compared to 35.2% recorded between 2010 and 2011 with 46.3% in the rural areas and 15.8% in the urban centre.”

He said that an estimated 60 per cent of the Nigerian population lived below 140 per cent of the poverty line, which is close to two dollars per day.

Explaining the disparities between poverty level in the Southern and Northern Nigeria, Litwack said there appeared to be higher poverty rate in the Northern part than in the Southern parts of the country.

“The number of poor Nigerians has remained 58 million, more than half of which live in the North East or North West of the country. While the South and North Central experienced declines in the poverty rate between 2010 to 2011 and 2012 to 2013, the poverty rate increased in the North East and remained almost unchanged in the North West,” he said.

‎Despite the upward reversal in par capita income and revised consumption figures, many Nigerians still feel the report are mere
semantics.

Yomi Fawehinmi, a HR and Corporate responsibility consultant, felt the supposed effects of the report were not being felt on the streets as cost of living was on the rise, without a commensurate increase in earnings. He said “The percentage of money spent by Nigerians on food, health and education is upwards of half of their total income. Its evident none of the prices of these 3 items ever reduces in Nigeria. And that’s why in spite of the reported reduction in poverty rates in Nigeria, most people don’t feel it.”

Opinion: Open letter to Aunty Diezani Allison Maduekwe

by Adetayo Adegbemle

Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum Diezani Allison-Madueke speaks at a media briefing on a new gas price regime in the capital of Abuja

Aunty Die, you are wondering what is my own in this matter, right? Oh well, I will tell you. For every penny you steal, or misappropriate, you reduce the buying power of 170m Nigerians. 

Dear Aunty Die,

Permit me to call you Aunty, Not like you have much choice though. For one, you are not as old as my mother, and two, if you have virtues near anything my mum has, I won’t be writing this letter at all.

We have been inundated by several media releases regaling us with your escapades and brigantries, out of which the most daring one is the missing 20billion dollars. WOW! A feat that is.

I am honestly and truthfully not even interested in the poorly Pro-Diezani protest put together in Abuja, can’t avoid laughing at the “Live Diezani Alone” placards though. Those ladies would have finished spending the stipends you share with them out of your loots, and would be back to their penury by now.

What I found to be the next level of your gangster move is your several attempts to silence the National Assembly. Wow!!!

Aunty Die, let me jolt your memory. Your position as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a Public Office, and not your village royal seat. You are not doing Nigerians any favor, as we also have more honorable and qualified individuals who could occupy that position to better effects.

That you are serving in a government that is fast becoming the worst nightmare of every Nigerian is not an excuse to not give an account of your stewardships.

By the way Aunty Die, if you honestly feel you are clean of all allegations, why would you be so desperate to gag the only alternative means of governance in Nigeria? Why would go through so many court filings just to prove you are not a thief? Why do you have to pay rented illiterates to ask Nigerians to “live Diezani alone”? Why do you have to pay so much for online adverts to proclaim you as the best thing to ever come out of Nigeria?

Aunty Die, we all know that in sane climes where accountability and responsibility matters, you would have been cooling your heels on a 2×3 bed in a secluded solitary confinement by now. But No, This is Nigeria, where impunity rules, justice goes to the highest bidder.

Aunty Die, the National Assembly that you are contending with today “screened and confirmed” you before you can become the Minister of Petroleum, remember that day you took a bow and asked to leave the chambers? Do You? Of course not, it’s eons ago.

Aunty Die, The National Assembly you are contending with today were elected to represent people like me, and other “voiceless” people, that you are supposed to be serving, in the best interest of Nigeria, not your pocket, or your kleptomaniac avarice.

Aunty Die, you are wondering what is my own in this matter, right? Oh well, I will tell you. For every penny you steal, or misappropriate, you reduce the buying power of every 170m Nigerians. For every kobo you add to fuel subsidy, you make life difficult for Every Nigerians, including me.

Aunty Die, the most unfortunate part of your kleptomaniac behaviors is that you steal from Nigerians, only to take this morning to America. You remain a second class citizen in America, you and your children.

The money we would have used to build good roads, the money we would have used to power every home in Nigeria, the money we would have used to feed every Nigerian, the money we would have used build schools, the money we would have used to build good health care facilities. But NO, that is not just good enough for you.

Aunty Die, you prefer to stash these money in your bank account, and immediately you have a little headache, you run to London to medical checkup. If only the people that built those institutions too were like you, I wonder where you would have run to.  Mars would have been developed by then though.

Aunty Die, all these do not matter to you, simply because you are a product of the generation that has failed Nigerians. You have failed yourselves, and you have all failed God.

Aunty Die, do the needful, this noise is too much, and don’t wait till the Americans revoke your citizenship before you do the needful. Fall on your own sword, with honor now.

Aunty Die, I will personally move to Abuja to witness the public inquiry into your activities, because you owe Nigerians. You are paid to do the job you are doing, you are paid to steal from us.

Aunty Die, I am aware that in your villge, thieves are out casted. They become Esu, with the consequences.

Posterity will not be kind to you, as you would ALL be judged for not giving anything for the coming generation.

I remain yours in the fight for the soul of Nigeria,

Adetayo Adegbemle.

 

————————-

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

Opinion: Boko is Halal, not Haram

by Ikechukwu Mbachu

boko-haram-400x300_82

Haram is when your governors collect hefty monthly allocation and fly off to Dubai for some frolicking and rollicking, while poverty ravages the people.

When the Boko Haram menace started, I thought it will fizzle out just like the sharia brouhaha. I honestly thought they will either run out of funds or suicide bombers willing to blow themselves and other people up. But the reverse seems to be the case.

Now, this group says they are “Boko Haram” meaning “western education is sin”, but the name in itself is an absolute misnomer. How can Boko be haram when even Islam itself enjoins its adherents to actively seek and pursue knowledge? Boko is not haram. In fact one of the hadiths says “seek knowledge, even in China.” To say education or knowledge is Haram is to do Islam a great disservice. Education (western or not) is not forbidden and shouldn’t be forbidden under Islam. The people who say they are Boko Haram seem not to have adequate knowledge of their own religion. How can Boko be haram when for hundreds of years Islam was at the forefront of seeking and gathering knowledge? How can Boko be haram when some of the most ancient universities in the world were founded and run by Muslims? How can Boko be haram when Muslims were very active and contributed significantly to advances in the field of mathematics, philosophy, medicine, travel, geography, chemistry, literature, etc?

Watching the YouTube videos of their leader, one can’t help but notice the manner with which they proudly display their tanks, AK 47s, and other weapons. Are these weapons not products of the Boko they say is haram? In spreading their propaganda and hateful messages, they use video recorders, videos, and even the internet; do they think that such things are products of the Stone Age they want to forcefully return us to? I see them wearing western style army uniforms, obviously they use phones, they drives cars and not donkeys, and with their knowledge of world affairs, it is obvious they listen to radio and may even have satellite receivers in their hideouts. Are these not inventions of western education? How dare they criticize and fight against Boko and yet use the things produced by Boko? This is sheer hypocrisy and haram!

Dear Boko haram member, Boko is halal (permissible) not haram (forbidden). Just in case you don’t know what the real harams are, we will do you the favor of telling you.

Haram is when a peasant’s hand is cut off for stealing pittance, while the elites amongst you steal billions and nothing happens to them.

Haram is when your governors collect hefty monthly allocation and fly off to Dubai for some frolicking and rollicking, while poverty ravages the people.

Haram is when people go to sleep on hungry stomach with no hope for the next day while government officials feed fat.

Haram is when some of your elites own the choicest oil block in Nigeria and are listed as Forbes billionaires, yet people from his own village are still hostages to hunger and deprivation.

Haram is when your elites (because of the depth of their pockets) marry off your under-age girls, girls as young as 14.

Haram is when your leaders cannot provide you with decent education, yet they can have their own children in some of the most expensive schools in the world.

Haram is when your leaders steal from national and state coffers and siphon such monies abroad and blatantly lie about it.

Haram is when your cleric sends poor, innocent and vulnerable boys to beg for money in the name of teaching them. This is dehumanization!

Haram is when you kidnap innocent girls and threaten to sell them off as slaves.

Haram is when you blow up innocent people to death for what they know nothing about.

These are the real Harams and not western education as you people claim.
I was ready to accept your initial attacks as part of seeking attention, now you have our attention, I honestly think you guys have made your point, we know what you want, and some of us are even ready to give you what you want.

You have killed enough, enough blood have been shed. You are not been fair to us, you kill Christians, Muslims, you kill mostly the poor, you kill the innocent, you kill the oppressed, is this jihad?

I know you want to die for Allah as a martyr but the fact is Allah also wants you to live for him, to spread his message and teachings, Allah wants you to build, to be productive, to create and invent for the sake of Allah. Allah never commanded you to kill to stop the spread of knowledge, instead he commands you to seek knowledge.

Dear Boko Haram, stop the killings and senseless carnage and give us back our girls.

————————-

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Perry Brimah: Poverty does not fuel Boko Haram, corruption does

by Perry Brimah

BokoHaram-WIT-GUNS

Gambia is a poor nation. Mali is poor. Niger, Togo, Cameroon, even Ghana is poor when compared to Nigeria. But these States do not have Boko Haram.

God forgive all of us who have at some point or the other disrespected the poor, yet rich people of today and yesterday. We may be poor in paper money and living essentials, but God knows we are rich in heart, spirit and character. We may pick a pocket or steal a loaf, but God knows we will NEVER kill. The Holy books speak the truth, that the poor are closer to heaven; it is the rich that are close to terror. Soldiers in the Nigerian army selling ammunition, boys from Niger and Cameroon paid $3000 and bonuses the more they kill. What do these things have to do with us poor men? Boko Haram is a rich establishment, sponsored by Nigeria’s missing billions ($), the nations billionaires and our fourth republic political system. Boko Haram recruits rich and poor soldiers, civilian, army and government collaborators, governors, even President’s, alike. What does this have to do with the poor and why is our name dragged in the mud? Stop it!

One of the reasons Boko Haram exists in Nigeria today, is because our borders are not monitored. $3000 is buying mercenaries from Niger republic. Those who blame poverty for the terror, do they intend to feed the people of Niger, Chad and Cameroon too? No, it is not poverty, it is our open borders and our borders are open because our government steals the money to close them.

People die out of poverty; they do not kill out of poverty. Are we trying to create new shibboleth in Nigeria to avoid facing the reality? The reality is that corruption, especially political bred, is the root cause and sponsor of Boko Haram, and the corruption is buying more rich terrorists than anything else. How poor was the Nyanya bombing mastermind? When Kano governor, Kwankwaso disgraced the President of Nigeria, that was when bombs started blowing up left and right in Kano. What do these things have to do with the poor?

Some say, use carrot and hard stick approach. They say the hard stick has failed so we should use the carrot. This is bullocks. We have not used any hard stick. We lack a hard stick. The army has been sabotaged, it is not hard any more, it is a carrot, a soft, sweet stick. The army trades with Boko Haram, they give Boko Haram road to pass and even ammunitions. Our army is a carrot, we are yet to use a hard stick and this is why we are plagued by Boko Haram still. Not because of poverty, but because of administrative corruption which has destroyed the hitherto, respected Nigerian army—soft stick lasan, lasan, sweet carrot of an army. Give us Civilians the right to bear arms and you will see what a hard stick is. Rich and poor civilians, you will see if our poverty will not make us kill Boko Haram, the demonic army of the corrupt cabal twice as fast. Tompolo, Shekau, the bad are given guns in Nigeria.

Some people say it was the ‘extra-judicial’ killing of Mohammed Yusuf that ran Boko wild. This is all misguided talk. Did the extra-judicial killing of Abiola make anyone go mad? A terrorist is a terrorist. An armed robber is an armed robber. A killer is a killer. There are such people in every crowd and it takes little to recruit them and it is the responsibility of functioning state apparatus to deactivate and incarcerate them. The rise of terrorism in Nigeria, north and south is the simple result, not of poverty but of state corruption. The money to install security is stolen and used to sponsor terror. Imagine that!

President Yar’Adua finished Boko Haram quickly. He gave no time for accusing poverty for this crisis. He wasted no time in corruption to keep this crises festering. The current administration loves the carrot approach because this is all they know. Bribe, bribe, corrupt, mismanage, embezzle. They know they have no stick, that the army has been robbed of its due, so they rush to give more carrots to Boko Haram.

We all knew confraternity boys who killed in college—those of us who went to real colleges that is, not the #DiaRISGODo type. Were these frat boys not the affluent in the society, the ones with connections? Were fraternity members any more poor than rich? What did poverty have to do with deadly fraternization in school? We challenge any local or global body of authority to produce a single study that correlates a rise in armed, deadly violence with poverty more than it does with government corruption, reckless administrative mismanagement and misgovernance. So why are the poor made the culprits and why do the global bodies suggest improving welfare of poverty struck areas as though this is the reason for terror in Nigeria; rather than they promote the truth—that it is the political, systemic corruption that is the sole cause of insecurity and terror plaguing Nigeria? This appears to be a deliberate distraction technique to avoid proper analysis of their failure to implement global mechanisms and conventions against State corruption and terror. Why have global bodies failed thus far to list Boko Haram as a terror organization? Their attitude, always making matters outside their nations as though two equal members are fighting; whereas, when it is terror against their state, they hastily, unambiguously delineate themselves apart from the terrorists and compel all to strongly condemn the ‘terrorists.’ In our case, they watch Boko Haram with its government official and their private partner Cabal sponsors wreck the nation and refuse to classify the terror as authority, politician derived and based, with such indicted members of Nigeria at its helm deserving arrest and sanction, till we come on our knees to seek their help; and then still they court and dine with our terrorist leadership, still blaming us poor for this expensive problem.

True, the poorest parts of Nigeria need urgent appraisal, but let it be clearly stated that State corruption, politics and social strangulation by the government and Cabal are causes of the terror, not poverty.

One of Nigeria’s and the world’s most wealthy Cabal said a few days ago at the World Economic Forum, WEF, that he intends to invest $2.3bn in rice and sugar in the north and that this creation of 180,000 jobs will stop Boko Haram. This is pure deceit. Boko Haram does not exist because people do not have jobs; it exists because of the corruption he and the government engage in. He and they should stop that first and then see if that is not the true and root cause of terror. The rich are terrorists. The employed politicians and business owners are terrorists. If he reduced the price of cement which is now sold at three times the global average, to the price Nigeria used to import and sell it for before the politicians he sponsored into power helped him usurp Nigeria’s cement plants, gave him nil import tariffs and helped enforce his cement oligopoly on the nation, we promise him there will be no Boko Haram. His companies are simply to quadruple his profit off of the back of ‘slave’ workers and essentials he will again sell to the masses as enforced by the government at crippling exploitative prices. The mechanisms of his business only promotes more government corruption, more hardship and anger and more terrorism. Stop sponsoring illegitimate candidates with criminal corruption records, stop collaborating with them to destroy Nigeria, stop extorting the people and we will see if Boko Haram does not disappear. It is time to change the topic and focus from the poor to the rich usurpers.

It is to the shame of the foreign participants who came to the Nigerian hosted WEF days after the Nyanya bombing, kidnapping of the girls and dancing President. Nigeria does not deserve inclusion in any world economic bodies; the nation should be starved of funds looted by its corrupt rulers and used to fund global terror. At best, what should have held in Nigeria was a World Corruption Forum or Sanction Forum.

It is very important we stop lying to ourselves. Only when we do stop will Boko Haram become a thing of the past. It is only when we stop spreading our comfortable lies, like—Poverty breeds terror, the lies the colonial nations gladly help concoct, then only shall we be able to defeat the terror and other menaces in Nigeria. I have seen many poor nations and they do not have Boko Haram. Gambia is a poor nation. Mali is poor. Niger, Togo, Cameroon, even Ghana is poor when compared to Nigeria. But these States do not have Boko Haram. To stop Boko Haram, turn your face to the right side:  stop government thieves. Stop government sponsors of terror. Focus on the government and their private partners stealing the nation’s wealth, stealing from the oil revenue and the income of the poor in government enforced extortive oligopolies. Sanction government thieves and their private partners. That’s where to direct your stick and fruit. Take your Ivies and hard sticks to Aso rock and the homes of the world billionaire ‘business’ men. If you give them that your poison ivy fruit and hard stick, this senseless terror would end at last.

——————————

Dr. Peregrino Brimah for http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.