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40% Nigerians living below poverty line, World Bank report reveals

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A report released on Wednesday by the World Bank has revealed that 4 out of every 10 Nigerians, translating to a whopping 40%, are living below the National Poverty line.

This revelation which was contained in a press release with the title “A better future for all Nigerians: Nigeria Poverty Assessment 2022,” indicted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of not doing much to lift a majority of the poor masses out of poverty.

The World Bank report cited “sluggish growth, low human capital, labor market weaknesses, and exposure to shocks” as key indicators holding Nigeria’s poverty reduction back.

The report, according to the World Bank, represents the culmination of its engagement on poverty – and inequality- relevant data and analytics in Nigeria in the past two years.

“The survey draws primarily on the 2018/19 Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS), which provided Nigeria’s first official poverty numbers in almost a decade, as well as the Nigeria COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (NLPS).”

According to the report which brings together the latest evidence on the profile and drivers of poverty in Nigeria, “as many as 4 in 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty line.”

“Many Nigerians, especially in the country’s north, also lack education and access to basic infrastructure, such as electricity, safe drinking water, and improved sanitation,” the report also noted.

It went on to suggest “at least three types of deep, long-term reforms to foster and sustain pro-poor growth and raise Nigerians out of poverty.

“These include: (1) macroeconomic reforms (including fiscal, trade, and exchange rate policy); (2) policies to boost the productivity of farm and non-farm household enterprises; and (3) improving access to electricity, water, and sanitation while bolstering information and communication technologies.

“These reforms together could help diversify the economy, invigorate structural transformation, create good, productive jobs, and support social protection programs as well as other redistributive government policies,” it added.

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Despite hardship in Nigeria, Tinubu insists on harsh economic reforms

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Despite the hues and cries of agony by Nigerians over the excruciating high cost of living and economic challenges occasioned by the policies of the present administration, President Bola Tinubu says his administration remains steadfast in implementing his economic reforms that he believes will facilitate business growth and create investment opportunities that support Nigeria’s growing population.

The Nigerian President, who made the pledge on Thursday when he recieved a delegation from the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) led by Florizelle Liser, its President and Chief Executive Officer, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, further expressed his administration’s
unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s economic growth and stability, emphasizing that he was not relenting until his vision for Nigeria was achieved.

Tinubu emphasized that though he is not oblivious of the fact that a large percentage of Nigerians are currently going through unbearable conditions, his bold reforms will, in the long run, come good and Nigerians will be better off.

While addressing the delegation, the President said he would not relent until his vision for Nigeria was achieved.

”I am happy that the Council is interested in various segments of Nigeria’s economy. We are right in the middle of a challenging stage of our reforms. We have headwinds, no doubt, but we are not going back,” he said.

”We are challenged, and we believe we will overcome the challenges. I have a can-do attitude that must be translated into a must-do attitude. We have a good team, and we must remain focused to get the goal accomplished,” he reiterated.

President Tinubu also reaffirmed his commitment to creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, emphasizing that his administration’s focus on investing in key sectors, such as agriculture, solid minerals, energy, health, physical infrastructure, trade promotion, financial services, digital enterprise, and the creative economy is underpinned by the need to ensure the welfare and prosperity of citizens.

”We are going to do more on security and investing in education, as we believe that education is the greatest weapon against poverty. We welcome partners like CCA, and we will strengthen our partnership to achieve our goals,” he added.

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Zambia: Opposition FDD calls for creation of agric bank

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Zambian opposition party, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), has called on the government to re-establish an agricultural bank in the country.

The party’s Information and Publicity Secretary, Caeser Liteta, who made the call in a statement on Wednesday, said it was important that government to set up an agricultural bank to provide financing for farmers to invest in irrigation facilities as a result of the drought being experienced in the country.

Liteta added that government should take stock of affected small scale farmers through the extension officers under the Ministry of Agriculture and ensure that a true reflection of affected small scale farmers was captured and prioritised as beneficiaries of farming inputs during the 2024 – 2025 farming season

“The UPND government must consider re-establishing a farmers’ bank similar to the defunct Lima Bank Limited to provide financing need to invest in irrigation facilities,” Liteta said.

He noted that the effects of climate change had become visible and more pronounced and it was high time President Hakainde Hichilema and his Cabinet considered re-establishing the farmers’ bank to help mitigate effects of climate change in the agricultural sector.

“The current Super El Nino being experienced in the country has devastating effects on the rainfall pattern and going by media reports, we may only have a few days of rainfall in the next five weeks, but sustained rainfall is finished for the 2023 – 2024 farming season, especially for farmers in Lusaka, Central, Eastern and Southern Provinces,” Liteta said.

Liteta stated that the FDD as a party, had taken effects of climate change seriously and, as a policy matter, had developed the soon to be adopted Environmental Strategic Plan that was centred on Agriculture, health and water and sanitation respectively.

“Through the programmes, our party hopes to mitigate effects of climate change in areas of agriculture, associated diseases and challenges in depleting sources of clean water both, rivers and boreholes.”

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