Addressing Nigeria’s High Poverty Rate

Poverty is the state of having few material goods or little income. Poverty can have various social, economic and political causes and effects.

According to a World Bank report, the number of poor people in Nigeria will increase to 95.1 million in 2022. The number of poor people was 89 million in 2020 and will be 95.1 million in 2022. This means that 6.1 million more people would have fallen. below the poverty line between 2020 and 2022, an increase of 6.7%.

With the figures projected for 2022, the number of poor people in Nigeria has increased by 14.7% over four years, from 82.1 million in 2018/19 to 95.1 million in 2022. It was stated that the poverty rate had been helped. by the impact of the Covid-19 crisis and population growth.

We have unknowingly left what should be the income mainstream with little or no cost to pursue white collar jobs that are in short supply…

Obviously, it should be the problem of any responsible government to help reduce the level of poverty in society by creating conducive environments for investment in various small and medium enterprises.

We sincerely welcome Nigeria’s aspiration to lift 100 million people out of poverty by 2030. Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, around 4 in 10 Nigerians lived in extreme poverty, based on monetary measures alone.

Using the same population estimates as the 2018/19 Nigeria Living Standards Survey, this means that over 80 million Nigerians were living in poverty before the pandemic, even without the Borno State data. where the investigation could not be fully completed.

However, projections suggest that the combined effects of the Covid-19 crisis and natural population growth could leave 100 million people living below the national poverty line by 2022, rationalizing the government’s ambitious ambitions in in poverty reduction.

Given that Nigeria is home to the largest number of poor people in sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world, lifting Nigerians out of poverty is key to “moving the needle” and reducing global poverty.

However, we want to state here that a key way for Nigerians to rise out of poverty is to embrace skills acquisition and agriculture. Adopting an attitude of looking inwards rather than waiting for white-collar jobs will go a long way in lifting many people out of the troubled waters of poverty.

Agriculture will allow young people to maximize the abundance of natural resources with little or no financial cost. It is unfortunate that most of our young people migrate to urban cities to avoid engaging in agricultural activities.

In a country of over 200 million people, 40% of whom are young people under the age of 35, agriculture and SMEs can create significant employment opportunities that will stem the alarming drain of talent across the country.

Agriculture and small businesses have the ability to create opportunities for people to feed themselves and take care of their families.

Nigeria cannot succeed in eradicating poverty without directly tackling unemployment. And available statistics indicate that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has increased from 27.1% in the second quarter of 2020 to around 33% in 2022. This is alarming!

Unemployment is undoubtedly a fundamental cause of poverty. When people don’t have jobs, they get hungry and angry. They also become easy tools for criminal activities.

And sadly, many young Nigerians would not want to get their hands dirty on the farm. We have unknowingly left what should be the income mainstream with little or no cost to pursue white collar jobs that are limited in number, thereby indirectly increasing the level of poverty in the country.

Read also: Reducing poverty through education

Immigrants from Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo and other neighboring countries exploit our income simply because they are the ones who do most of the agricultural work in the country. Our young people are deserting the villages in large numbers, leaving agricultural land fallow. And that’s not a good development.

If we are to swim out of the waters of poverty that overflow our country, federal and state governments must find ways to make farming attractive, especially to young people who have a higher population.

We believe that getting into agriculture and other small and medium enterprises will contribute massively to reducing poverty in Nigeria.

Therefore, we would like to encourage a decision by the federal government to reintroduce agricultural establishments in every federal riding to improve the agricultural value chain, and an intentional plan on the ground to engage youth in food processing.

There is a need for innovative technologies to be leveraged in our agricultural sector. We need to change the narratives that associate agriculture with poverty to attract young people to the sector. Modernized agriculture is the way forward to reduce the growing level of land poverty.