Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
An agriculture research expert at the Ogun State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Olatokunbo H. Osinowo, has urged the Federal Government to adopt fiscal discipline and policies that would promote critical infrastructure development to reduce poverty in Nigeria.
Osinnowo stated this, on Thursday, while presenting a lecture during a second conference of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, organised by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) noted that despite many government’s policies to alleviate poverty, millions of Nigerians still wallops in the scourge.
The agricultural researcher in his lecture titled ‘Poverty in Nigeria: The Role of Economic Growth, Governance and Agriculture’, traced persistent poverty in Nigeria to weak governance, a combinations of inefficient service delivery and inconsistent policy settings.
He continued, “In most cases where growth occurs, poverty falls no matter whether inequality becomes greater or lesser. Furthermore, since similar growth rates impact differently on poverty reduction, we may conclude that growth is good for the poor, but not sufficient condition for poverty alleviation.
“Since economic growth ( GDP), translates into poverty reduction in both short and long run, it is recommended that stable macroeconomic policies, such as sound fiscal and monetary policies that would create a hospitable climate for private investment and thus promote productivity that the poor and non-poor would benefit from.
“Infrastructure is also one of the most important variable that influence poverty reduction and significant in both the short and long run.
“Therefore, it is recommended that government should embrace more fiscal discipline and put-in- place policies that would promote critical infrastructural development which will accelerate the rate of poverty alleviation.”
Osinowo who commended Federal Government over it efforts to diversify nation’s economy, said more actions should be made on using agriculture as the main driver of the economy.
Earlier, Head of IFPRI, Nigeria Office, Dr. George Mavrotas in his lecture titled ” Fiscal coordination and Agricultural Growth in oil exporting developing countries: Evidence from Nigeria,” noted that Nigeria could do better on agriculture if all stakeholders, farmers, government, private investors see farming as a business.
He urged government to adopt and implement many researches blue prints carried out by experts and IFPRI on agriculture sector to restore its glory as main export earning in Nigeria.