Poverty knows no tribe or race; it knows no religion; and it is not peculiar to any gender. Little wonder, it is the first on the list of seventeen goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the United Nations, about one in five persons in developing regions lives on less than $1.25 per day while 836 million people still live in extreme poverty; overwhelming majority of people living on less than $1.25 a day belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa; and sadly, one in four children under age five in the world has inadequate height for his or her age. The latest of United Nations Development programme (UNDP) multidimensional poverty index also reveals that almost 1.5 million people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standard.
The National Bureau of statistics (NBS) notes that in Nigeria, 50.9 percent of the population (88,425 thousand people) are multidimensional poor while an additional 18.4 percent live near multidimensional poverty (32,001 thousand people). The breadth of deprivation (intensity) in Nigeria, which is the average of deprivation scores experienced by people in multidimensional poverty, according to NBS, is 54.8 percent.
It is instructive to note that in Nigeria, the North has the highest average poverty rate of states in the country with North -West at 71.4 per cent followed by North-East 69.1 per cent and North Central, 60.7 per cent. The record showed that poverty was least prevalent in the South-West, with an average of 49.8 per cent, followed by South-South, 55.5 per cent and South-East, 59.5 per cent.
As regards unemployment, the rate is 12.1%, underemployment (19.1%) and youth unemployment/ underemployment (42.24%) for the year 2016. From the foregoing statistics on poverty and unemployment/ underemployment, it is clear that ‘End poverty in all its forms everywhere’ should be on the front burner of development initiatives.
Within the framework of SDGs, the United Nations and its member States have set a goal that by 2030, poverty shall be eradicated everywhere. The targets include reduction of at least half of the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all dimensions according to national definitions; implementation of nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors and by 2030 achieving substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable; as well as ensure equal distribution of the economic resources as well as the basic necessities. Written by Nicole Chukwuka (An Intern)