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Explain How You Arrived At ‘12 Million Poor And Low-Income Households’ In Nigeria - Group Asks Tinubu Government

Posted by Samuel on Fri 14th Jul, 2023 - tori.ng

The group asked who the members of the 12 million households are and how they were identified, noting that similar programmes in the past failed.

 

President Bola Tinubu's administration has been asked by the Federation of Informal Workers' Organization of Nigeria to explain how it arrived at the figure of ‘12 million poor and low-income households’ in a country with over 130 million people suffering from ‘multi-dimensional poverty’. 

The group asked who the members of the 12 million households are and how they were identified, noting that similar programmes in the past failed. 

It noted that relatively privileged Nigerians had their accounts credited with N10,000 ‘MarketMoni” while most market women only heard about the programme on the radio.

This is contained in a statement signed by the  General Secretary of the group, Mr. Gbenga Komolafe. 

He said that development experts and observers have lamented the ‘unprecedented lack of transparency and accountability’ witnessed in fund application, especially with regards to the Tradermoni aspect of GEEP. 

The statement explained that the programmes were bedevilled by so much politicisation, ethnicity, favouritism and nepotism brought to bear on the generation of data and other vital indicators.

The statement reads in part, "The recently announced palliative measure by President Bola Tinubu ostensibly to cushion the effect of petroleum subsidy removal is pathetically too little to make any difference in reliving the overwhelming helplessness that has enveloped Nigeria as poverty holds an increasing number of poor working Nigerians in vicious grip. 

"Reeling under the effect of the ill-fated currency redesign policy implemented in the first few months of the year, a policy which inflicted unimaginable suffering on most Nigerians especially those working in the informal economy, resulted in the destruction of millions of micro and small businesses. 

"The combined effect of the subsequent removal of subsidies on premium motor spirit which spiked the pump price per liter by as much as 300% in some parts of the country as well as the devaluation of the naira announced by the President is already being felt in the astronomical rise in the cost of the most basic essentials, especially food and transportation.

"As reported in the media, the grant ‘will enable the transfer of the sum of eight thousand naira (N8,000) monthly to twelve (12) million poor and low-income households for a period of six months with a multiplier effect on about sixty (60) million individuals.’ The grants will be disbursed through the much-abused ‘Conditional Cash Transfer’ window.

"The first issue with this is that the amount of money to be disbursed to beneficiaries is truly so paltry. N8,000 naira or about USD10 per month in today’s exchange rate really cannot feed a child of 5 years in 30 days talk less of supporting ‘…all vulnerable Nigerians’ to meet the cost of basic needs’ as announced under the programme.  

"We would also question how they arrived at the figure of ‘12 million poor and low-income households’ in a country with over 130 million people suffering from ‘multi-dimensional poverty’ according to official statistics. Who are these 12 million Nigerians, how were they identified? It is critical to raise this because similar programs in the past suffered so much from poor targeting that relatively privileged Nigerians had their accounts credited with N10,000 ‘MarketMoni” while most market women only heard about the program on the radio.

"Under the Federal Government National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), easily the most ambitious financial intermediation programme in recent decades, similar programs to this newly announced program were implemented especially between 2017 and 2019 with billions of dollars invested in them. 

"But development experts and observers have lamented the ‘unprecedented lack of transparency and accountability’ witnessed in fund application, especially with regard to Tradermoni aspect of GEEP.  The programs were bedevilled with so much politicization, ethnicity, favouritism and nepotism brought to bear on the generation of data and other vital indicators.

"We, therefore, use this occasion to call on the federal government to urgently revise the National Social Protection Policy to practically address the problem of exclusion of informal workers from old age support system, maternity care and support system as well as the need for accident insurance. 

"Existing structures created to address these issues such as NHIS and MPP hardly scratch the surface of the challenge of coverage. 90 per cent of working people in the informal economy cannot continue to be excluded from social protection mechanisms while we pretend to be fighting poverty! 

"To achieve accelerated coverage, Government must be ready to part fund informal workers’ contribution to the health and pension funds just as employers’  part fund workers in the organized sectors." 



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