Poverty Reduction: How Atiku’s policy differs from Buhari’s
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, does not think direct cash distribution to the poor can help combat poverty, as he takes a different policy path to President Muhammadu Buhari on addressing the malaise.
The Buhari administration has a string of special intervention programmes operated to tackle poverty, a scourge that has taken a soaring nature in Nigeria, ironically Africa’s largest economy by GDP size and largest oil producer.
According to the World Bank 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals, between 1990 and 2013, Nigeria added 35 million people to its poverty population, jumping from 51 million to 86 million (and now over 100 million). Of the 10 populous countries surveyed, Nigeria is the only country that failed to reduce poverty.
By 2018, Nigeria has overtaken China and is only behind India, arguably, with the highest number of extremely poor people within one national territory.
Among the Buhari anti-poverty programmes, Trader Moni offers N10,000 cash to market women (and men) trading in a few markets across the country. There is also a N5,000 monthly grant to ‘poorest Nigerians’. The latter does not offer up to $1 a day to the beneficiaries, falling below the $1.9/day global poverty line.
“Rather than direct cash distribution,” says Mr Abubakar in the policy document he launched at the start of the campaign towards the 2019 elections on Monday, “What we shall do (is to) provide skill acquisition opportunities and enterprise development for job and wealth creation (and) improve citizens’ access to basic infrastructure services – water, sanitation, power, education and health care.”
He also vows he would help “marginalised and vulnerable citizens” remove discrimination and enhance their access to education and income-generating activities as well as “implement pro-poor policies that will enhance their participation in economic activities and improve household income.”
Ultimately, Mr Abubakar, a former vice-president, promises to lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2025. To execute this ambition, there are no specifics or mentioning of the steps to be taken in Mr Abubakar’s policy document.
Instead, the PDP candidate says he would “reconcile the link between economic growth and human development through proper selection of effective polices on education and health, and set as our major policy objective the transformation of the agricultural sector into a viable high-income generating enterprise for the rural workers.”
But in social media event to kick off his campaign, he mentioned it would take two years to achieve the goal of removing 50 million Nigerians from poverty.
He spoke of “investments (that) will create a minimum of 2.5 million jobs annually and lift at least 50 million people from poverty in the first two years.”
“If he says creating 2.5 million jobs would lift 50 million people out of poverty, that is almost impossible to achieve given that Nigeria’s average household is about five or six persons,” economist Mohammed Al-Salafi told PREMIUM TIMES, pointing to flaws in Mr Atiku’s policy ambition. “So we could expect to see about 15 million people who would benefit from that policy, assuming it comes to fruition.”
Analysis: Meanwhile, one other program of the present All Progressives Congress (APC) organization, N-Power, isn't about direct money appropriation. It conveys a huge number of jobless alumni to fill insufficiencies in broad daylight benefits in training, wellbeing and urban instruction, with N30,000 month to month advantage. It is the nation's publication work-for-money social program to address the test of joblessness.
Be that as it may, it misses the mark concerning fitting into the standard meaning of restrictive money exchange (CCT), in opposition to the administration's gloats.
CCT programs exchange money to poor family units dependent on the condition that the recipients show pre-determined interests in the human capital of the individuals from the families, particularly youngsters.
At the end of the day, they are not only for the beneficiaries to use for apparel and encouraging, yet additionally to battle more extensive impacts of neediness and social issues a nation faces, for example, low-school enrolment rate, poor rate of immunizations for youngsters, sexual orientation variations and lack of healthy sustenance, among others.
For example, in Bangladesh and Cambodia, CCTs have been utilized to drive a decrease in sexual orientation incongruities in instruction, the World Bank reports.
On account of Nigeria, in any case, there are no conditions that recipients of social projects need to illustrate; for example, enlisting their kids in school – to handle the nation's famous issue of high number of youngsters out of school.
At any rate, Mr Abubakar's current arrangement does not get to holds with the holes in the current organization's approach and thusly offers no cure.