Taming the bogey of rising poverty in Nigeria
By Richard Mammah
Nigeria’s imminent categorisation in February, 2018 as the country with the highest extreme poverty indices in the whole world should be a most urgent wake-up call.
This is more so when it is coming against the backdrop of the fact that only a few weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari had very lavishly congratulated China for lifting 700 million people out of poverty in an incredible span of four decades.
Now as the data is reading, in eight weeks flat, ‘the giant of Africa’ will overtake India as the country with the largest number of people living in Extreme Poverty!
Everything must be done to ensure that this sad blight is redressed. And it will take more than conflated tokenist initiatives as the current School Feeding and N-Power initiatives to truly make a dent in this most unimpressive and very ill-fighting armour that we have been presently constrained to adorn.
We need a real plan.
And talking about plans, I have one real recommendation: our policy makers and indeed everyone who is interested in getting the job done should go and read Jonathan Swift’s very instructive book on tackling poverty, ‘A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick.’ Then we can begin to talk!
Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo