From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said that, henceforth, the report of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (NMPI) would be used to allocate resources for national development.
Speaking at the launch of the NMPI in Abuja, the president who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, also noted that the NMPI would be integrated in the National Social Register to facilitate better targeting for social intervention.
“At the federal level, these results will be used to influence the allocation of resources going forward, particularly to target sectors where most citizens suffer deprivations.
“The MPI is not our only data on poverty, combining the insights provided by MPI results with data from the income poverty measurement, it provides a holistic picture of poverty, and helps to shape the path towards shared prosperity” he said.
According to the president, the multidimensional way of understanding poverty has been helpful in highlighting beyond monetary/income-based poverty measurements, the stark realities of poverty in each state and across the 109 senatorial districts.
The incidence of monetary poverty, he said, is lower than the incidence of multidimensional poverty across most states where 40.1 per cent of people are poor according to the 2018/19 national monetary poverty line, but 63 per cent are multidimensionally poor according to the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report.
Furthermore, the report shows that multidimensional poverty is higher in rural areas, where 72 per cent of people are poor, compared to 42 per cent of people in urban areas.
Buhari explained that globally, people that are most vulnerable to poverty are very often women and children, while commending the report for including child poverty.
” It is therefore commendable to see that this report also includes child poverty numbers. Children are a strategic population of concern, as nearly half of all Nigerians are children under the age of 18. Two-thirds (67.5 per cent) of children aged 0–17 are poor according to the National MPI, and half (51 per cent) of all poor people are children.
“This government recognises the importance of the data and the need to deploy it in sharing your story to a broad spectrum of stakeholders, both domestically and internationally. One way we have started this engagement was at the recent United Nations General Assembly where Nigeria co-hosted the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network- MPPN– and shared lessons learned from other 100 member countries. However, this is just the start. Internally, we have now deployed a comprehensive Data Demand and Use (DDU) strategy to embed the use of evidence-based and data- driven poverty reduction mechanisms. To begin this deployment of the data, let me share seven reasons why Nigeria’s multidimensional poverty index is a powerful tool to galvanise the kind of action that will push us forward to achieving the presidential mandate of lifting 100 million out of poverty, within the next decade” the president, noted.
Earlier, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, noted that in spite of the huge national funding, the government still embarked on the survey because of its national importance.
He said that 82.9 million Nigerians are income poor while 51 per cent experience intense poverty in education, health, energy, water, assets, and other living standard indicators.
“Monetary poverty figures showed that pre-COVID, of Nigeria’s over 200 million population, approximately 82.9 million (40.1 per cent) were income poor. However, multidimensionally, a higher 50 per cent were identified as poor while 51 per cent experience intense poverty in education, health, energy, water, assets, and other living standard indicators. Unfortunately, this information as provided in the 2018 global MPI conducted across 50 countries, does not provide sub-national data that should trigger responsive action. Hence, beyond pondering why the country’s poverty narrative has not changed in spite of the huge government funding, we are conducting a sub-national MPI survey across the 109 senatorial districts, to investigate at granular level, why there is a disconnect between available social welfare opportunities and its uptake; identify which sector, state, senatorial district, and groups of persons with poverty incidences, and then use these data to nudge for behavioural changes that will lead to increase in uptake, influence design and implementation of projects, and also use as policy tool for targeted resource allocation. The official flag-off of the survey took place in August 2021, with the first sub-national MPI survey being completed in February 2022” he stated.