Poverty, vulnerability remain pressing challenges in Nigeria- FG

The Federal Government on Tuesday identified poverty and vulnerability as among the major challenges facing Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Esuabana Nko-Asanye, made this known during the opening ceremony of a two-day policy and programmatic dialogue workshop on Nigeria’s poverty profile and social register.

The programme which was organised by UNICEF, the Ministry of Finance among others focused on Nigeria’s poverty profile and social register.

The permanent secretary, who represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume, said it was crucial to recognise the impact of the issues of poverty and vulnerability on Nigerians citizens.

“Poverty and vulnerability remain pressing challenges in our country, and as we gather here today, it is crucial to recognise the impact of these issues on our fellow citizens. Despite progress in reducing poverty rates in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with new challenges, pushing approximately 63 per cent of our population into multi-dimensional poverty of which almost 70 million are children.

“This setback emphasises the urgency to strengthen our efforts in mitigating these issues and improving the lives of millions of Nigerians,” Nko-Asante said.

Speaking further, he said Nigeria’s social inequalities has further exacerbated the situation, as access to essential resources such as food, education, healthcare, and infrastructure are unevenly distributed.

“Women, children, and persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable groups facing poverty, ill- health, and economic shocks,” he said.

Also speaking the country representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Christian Munduate, applauded various efforts of government and development partners in combating poverty and vulnerability.

Munduate said she has personally witnessed the menace of poverty across the country and its toll in several aspects of people’s lives, including education.

“From Lagos to Sokoto, I have met individual like Tutu, a struggling single mother, and Umar, a child deprived of education, who personify the reality of our poverty statistics.

“As of 2022, 63 per cent of our population faces deprivation, a disturbing figure that includes 70 million children,” she said.

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