Stakeholders have said if nothing was done to alleviate poverty globally, about 25 percent of the world’s extreme poor will live in Nigeria. The submission was given at the Global Goal Live Nigeria Policy Forum on December 5, 2019 in Lagos where representatives of the government, private sector and individuals gathered to seek solutions to end poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Chairman, Global Citizen Nigeria, Tunde Folawiyo stated that according to statistics made available to the group, if nothing is done by the year 2030 to alleviate poverty, 110 million extremely poor people will reside in Nigeria. He said, “Everybody, no matter how big or small should make an effort to help government, private sector, the country and people of Nigeria to do things that will help eliminate extreme poverty by creating the right environment around us. We cannot ignore it because it will be to everybody’s detriment.”
On his part, the Vice Chairman, Global Citizen Nigeria, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede said about 89 million Nigerians live in extreme poverty, which is more than 40 percent of the population, due to the rise in poverty in Africa as a result of the failure in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said six Nigerians join the poverty population every minute, which should be stopped in Nigeria, noting that Asia, which had a problem of poverty 30 years ago have put strategies in place to address it, as China has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, with India working on it, while several other Asian nations have made great progress. He stressed that Nigeria has to come up with its own strategy to end poverty and also address poverty-related challenges in health and education, as the mortality rate of citizens, especially maternal and infant mortality rate is unacceptably on the increase.
He said Nigeria must adopt strategies such as, collective action and sectoral focus thereby creating multiple entry points that addresses the various SDGs and sectors in eradicating poverty. He called on the private sector to key into the Global Citizen’s policy framework, which includes human capital development, gender and sustainability with the focus on sub-priorities, market and non-market based funding, as well as private sector, direct actions and good governance to eradicate poverty in Nigeria by 2030.
The SDG talks about gender equality and health and you realise that over 50 percent of health workers are women, so if we fix primary health in Nigeria, we are going to created huge employment for women, which are nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacologist, and pharmacists, they have to be trained which is education as well.
“So if we fix our health sector, many things in Nigeria would have been fixed and that is the strategy. We all cannot completely live this thing to the government, we can help government and so we are using this movement to mobilise millions of Nigeria to come together and contribute in different ways, their skill, financial resources, networks and so on to fix this challenges that have become retractable in Nigeria,” he added.
On the part of government, the Special Adviser to the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said, the government at all level needs the collaboration of all Nigerians and the private sector to work together in synergy to achieve the SDG 2030 in poverty eradication.
“The heart of SDG is partnership which will be the beginning of good things that will happen to Nigeria. We cannot go far alone, we need the cooperation of the private sector and individuals to come together and work with the government to make life more meaningful to Nigeria and end poverty in all ramification,” she said.