A human rights activist and two financial experts have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to provide a conducive environment for job creation so as to get more Nigerian out of poverty.
They stated this while reacting to the report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, which ranked Lagos and Delta states as the least poor cities in the country.
The survey has since generated controversy among stakeholders, who described President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy direction in taking Nigerians out of poverty as a mirage.
Executive Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, said at least 80 million Nigerians were still living in multi-dimensional poverty.
She faulted the Nigerian Government for not living up to expectation in the provision of social services such as portable water, electricity and transportation, which serve as determining factors for industrial growth and development.
She said, “You cannot get out poverty so far those services are not available and poverty itself is vicious circle.
“For productivity, you must ensure you create industrial areas that have access to road, water, electricity and learning centres because if children don’t have access to education, the future of this country is bleak.”
The activist said the emphasis of the survey should be focused on the disparity between the extremely rich and poor in order to ascertain the poverty gap.
Also, a financial expert, Nancy Nnaji, said the poverty rate in the country would continue to increase since there was no strategic action plan put in place by government to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty as pledged by the President.
She said, “Government said they have conditional cash transfer which is definitely not enough. Look at the poor distribution of cash and food palliative. Those who were supposed to get these money could not get it.”
She added that over 83 million Nigerians living below the poverty line were still earning N137,430 a year.
On his own part, an investment expert, Ogbonna Ukuku, said the rating of Lagos State could be attributed to income generation within the industrial economy.
He attributed the factors responsible for Delta State’s ranking to the number of people involved in farming, fishery as well as support from the oil industries.
He cautioned the government of the two states not to applaud themselves for the rating, adding that it was a natural phenomenon that affected economic system of areas in positive way.
Ukuku while speaking on the performance of the Nigerian Government in making the environment conducive for creating jobs, said the latest ranking of Nigeria to 131 on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index was a welcome development.
He said, “I have been hearing diversification in economy for a long time but for the first time I have seen moves being made towards diversification.”