OPINION: Strategy of lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty is not viable- By Yasir Ibrahim
The strategy of lifting 100m destitute citizens out of poverty in Nigeria is not viable.
Written by: Yasir Ibrahim Katsina.
India had lifted 271m of its impoverished citizens out of poverty within 10years. But we have to take note of the fact that the policy frameworks and strategic plans they put in place weren’t the same as the one Buhari’s led administration had drafted. In the first instance, the policy of lifting people out of poverty must be centred towards establishing new Government-owned industries and revitalizing the dilapidated ones. Enrichment of industrial facilities would engender dramatic production of stable commodities which we’re now importing from foreign countries. Technically, when basic commodities become abundant in local markets the price control shall set up itself. The markets will become more competitive. The price of goods will be depilated.
Secondly, in a country like Nigeria where most of the populace are young people who are carrying the largest proportion of unemployed citizens. There’s a need for the establishment of more technical and vocational centres. More investment would have to be geared towards empowering young people and women by providing a conducive environment for them to thrive in marketing and technology. When young people fully engage in technical aspects of professions they’ll become self-reliant, thus the socio-economic welfare will be stabilized. In the same vein, the number of antisocial activities and vices will abate in large quantities.
Expansion of agricultural opportunities and fostering an agricultural value chain can also never be overemphasized. Now more than ever the agricultural sector needs to be prioritized when it comes to the reinforcement of investment. The farming subsidy needs to be activated for farmers, especially smallholders, to earn farming inputs at a medium price and sell their farming output on a cost-effective basis. When farmers get fertilizer, which is the cornerstone of effective farming, at a cheap price they would cultivate a bumper harvest. And consequently, the food processing industries who are in a dire constraint of supply would find an easy to procure hefty amounts of resources they need to produce adequate deliverables for the final consumers.
So if you take a look at these aforementioned snapshots of the most priority areas to consider when it comes to breaking the dreaded poverty cycle in Nigeria. We can say that the Buhari led administration is just paying lip service in fighting against languishing poverty in Nigeria. The adopted policy in use is an ostrich one. As far as eradicating poverty is concerned, moonshot thinking is imperative, not this wonky policies and strategies that would only fuel a rifling effect of social predicaments in the few years to come. Because, since the inception of these safety nets and bailout programs rolled out by the Government, people have entirely relied on the government when it comes to their ends meet. If this administration is gone, every upcoming administration will be expected to keep going in such principle. The ongoing strategy of disbursing one-off cash to some luckily selected applicants in the flagged off social empowerment programs is a no go. Most of the beneficiaries of these programs have already spent theirs, and are still in an extreme poverty state. It gives me no wonder. How can someone who doesn’t have any existing business or a feasible plan utilize such a substantial amount of funds to live even a hand to mouth life? Most of the beneficiaries are in such a category.
And last but not the least, the monitoring and evaluation measures to ensure every ratified project has been fully implementing both by its target objectives are very critical. This administration has so far squandered billions of naira in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty. Yet, since the advent of the covid-19 pandemic, millions of poor citizens who were fortunate to get lifted out of poverty in the previous years have now been pushed back to their former status. The government had better reset its task force that constitutes solely for monitoring the success indicators and evaluating the impact of the huge money being sunk in this very significant fight. Given the recent happenings during the just concluded social empowerment programs, the ones saddled with the responsibility of manning these activities were lacking integrity and accountability.
In my way of thinking, the only doable approach in championing this cause is to restructure the policy and make it holistically focus on developing what builds humans not channelling the ingredients directly to them. As well as to adopt a bottom-top decision-making approach and reinforce integrity and excellence while implementation of the designed policies.
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