BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR.
A non-governmental group, Push Africa, has said the present status of Nigeria as being the poverty capital of the world is very embarrassing in view of the enormous resources the country is endowed with.
In an exclusive interview in Abuja on Wednesday, the Founder of Push Africa, Doris Egberamen, decried the high rate of poverty ravaging the country.
Egberamen maintained that Nigeria has all that it takes to lift her citizenry from the abject poverty which majority of the citizens have been grappling with.
It would be recalled that Nigeria now tops the list of countries with the largest number of extremely poor people overtaking India which formerly held the shameful position.
The report which was released by Brookings Institution, a non-profit public
policy organisation in the United States of America (USA), entitled: ‘The Start of
a New Poverty Narrative”, Nigeria took over as the nation with the
highest number of extremely poor people in the world, while the
Republic of Congo is also rising as the second poorest in the world.
The report states: “According to our projections, Nigeria has already
overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor
in early 2018, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon
take over the number two spot.
“At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had
about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73
“What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six
people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall.”
Egberamen however expressed optimism that with the concerted efforts and collaboration between government and private sector, the rate of poverty would be drastically reduced.
She noted that her organisation has been working assiduously in the empowerment of the poverty-stricken individuals and families through the provision of start-up capital, capacity building, vocational skills training and entrepreneurship.
To this end, she revealed that Push Africa had carried out poverty alleviation projects in Nasarawa, Benue, Kaduna, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Niger and Kogi States, adding that the empowerment projects were designed to create a new lease of life for the residents.
Egberamen further said about 200 people comprising farmers, artisans, operators of small and medium enterprises would be given grants and working implements next week to enable them to be financially independent.
She however advised the unemployed to embrace entrepreneurship to create jobs in the society, instead of the search for little or non-existent white collar jobs.
She also pointed out that there are gaps in the service sector of the economy that many unemployed are yet to explore.