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GUARANTEEING THE WELL-BEING AND PRODUCTIVITY OF THE PEOPLE
The overall goal of economic development is improvement in human well-being. To attain Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 would, therefore, require the translation of the nation’s economic growth into tangible improvements in the well-being of the majority of our citizens.
Given the nation’s history of wide income disparity, which has manifested in large-scale poverty, unemployment and poor access to healthcare, the disconnect between our economic growth and human development has to be addressed to increase the well-being and ultimately labour productivity of our people.
Nigeria currently ranks 158 out of 177 economies on the Human Development Index (HDR 2008), despite her rich cultural endowment and abundant human and natural resources. This position underscores not only the limited choices of Nigerians, but also defines the critical development challenges being faced by government. A majority of Nigeria’s 140 million (2006 census) citizens live below the poverty line and have limited or no access to basic amenities, such as potable water, good housing, reliable transportation system, affordable healthcare facilities, basic education, sound infrastructure, security and sustainable sources of livelihood.
Table 2-1: Human Development Index: Nigeria Vs. Other Countries
Source: Human Development Index Report 2007/2008
*MDG Indicator, ** na: not applicable
In addition, Nigeria records gross under-achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with a significant amount of its population still living below the poverty line, and with food insecurity, high child/maternal mortality, among others. NV20:2020 recognises the critical need to attain the MDGs which are aimed at reducing extreme poverty in its many dimensions (income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter, and exclusion) and promoting gender equality, education, and environmental sustainability, while setting out a series of time-bound targets with a deadline of 2015
The basic objectives for guaranteeing the wellbeing and productivity of Nigerians towards achieving the NV20: 2020 intent are depicted in Figure 2-1:
Figure 2-1: Strategic Framework for Guaranteeing the Productivity and Wellbeing of our people
In line with the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on hunger and poverty, NV20:2020 aims to reduce the number of people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition by 50% by 2015 and 75% by 2020.
Table 2-2: Human Development Index - Nutritional Status
Source: Human Development Index Report 2007/2008
To eradicate poverty efficiently would entail reviewing the nation’s approach to the implementation of poverty reduction policies and programmes which, historically, have been a top-down approach – with government developing programmes for the people rather than programmes designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated by the people themselves. Nigeria’s NV20:2020 recommends a decentralised approach to the development and implementation of pro-poor programmes. This will ensure that federating units are able to adapt strategies to their respective circumstances, constituencies and development challenges. By this, the citizens will have full ownership of pro-poor strategies, with greater prospects that the strategies will be translated into budgets, programmes and concrete results, and will benefit the intended groups.
The strategic objectives to ensure that the intended beneficiaries enjoy pro-poor programmes and Nigeria achieves the desired result of poverty reduction include:
Another component of the poverty reduction strategy includes the rehabilitation and expansion of physical and social infrastructure to ensure growth of output, employment and development of human resources. This will be facilitated by the following strategic initiatives:
Guaranteeing Food Security
In Nigeria, given the preponderance of poverty amongst rural agricultural workers who constitute a significant proportion of our population, agricultural and rural development is a key route to accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in its State of Food Insecurity in the World (2006) Report, indicated that Nigeria had about 12 million undernourished citizens (about 9% of the population) as at 2003. Lack of food is the most critical dimension of poverty, which is critical to meeting the MDG goals. Agriculture, predominantly small – scale farming, with low and declining productivity, accounts for 41% of the real sector, while crude oil accounts for 13%. Agricultural production remains largely of a subsistence nature and is rain-dependent.
Food security is currently constrained for many households in Nigeria. Localised production deficits in the main 2007 harvest occurred as a result of localized poor rainfall and an early end to the rainy season in mid-September. The problem of food security is compounded by the nature of land tenure systems, which makes it difficult for the majority of farmers to have access to large acreage of land, amenable to mechanisation. In the face of current climate change concerns, the country’s food situation may get worse in many parts of the North, where climate-change-induced drought is aggravating food shortages.
Ensuring food security and reducing extreme hunger will entail
Other strategic initiatives will include:
Факультет государственного управления, Ломоносовский пр-т, д. 27, корп. 4, Москва, Россия