Three years after the release of a Transparency International (TI) report which rated Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world after India, the Federal Government has launched the “Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Survey”.
The MPI will identify deprivations across health, education and living standards as well as show the number of people who are multi-dimensionally poor and the deprivations they face at the household level.
In his remarks to flag off the survey, the Statistician General of the Federation (SG), Dr Simon Harry, said that MPI would track three dimensions and 10 indicators namely, health (child mortality, nutrition, education (years of schooling, enrolment).
The MPI would track four dimensions which include, health, labour force, education and living standards.
This, Harry said, has the overall objective of establishing poverty data to inform evidence-based policies for immediate, medium and long-term interventions, through the new national development plan.
‘The data from the survey would help Nigeria monitor progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals 2030,’ he said.
The SG also assured Nigerians that the result of the MPI, 2021 will be a useful guide for policy-makers at the sub-national level in making targeted and impactful interventions.
‘It would interest you to note that for the first time ever, the result for Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 will be reported at the senatorial district level. There is no doubt that this will be a useful guide for policy-makers at the sub-national level in making targeted and impactful interventions where necessary,’ he said.
Earlier, the Director, Demography and Household Statistics Department, Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, said that the uniqueness of the MPI is that it allows for poverty to be easily decomposed into various dimensions.
‘The survey will help to establish poverty data to inform evidence-based social policies for targeted interventions; give the status of the poverty level in the country; show the number of persons who are multi-dimensionally poor and the deprivations such people face at the household level and also measure the share of the population that is multi-dimensionally poor and adjust by the intensity of deprivations” he said.
However, Senior Economic Advisor of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Dr Amarakoon Bandara, explained that the exercise would be a flagship project with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to him, the result will be used to influence policy decisions of the Nigerian Government in terms of poverty.
MPI National Co-ordinator Ms Sola Afolayan noted that the survey was critical, adding that the MPI data would be used in the National Development Plan, especially in the policy map that would come out of the survey.
In 2018, Transparency International released a report which rated Nigeria the World Poverty Capital, displacing India.
India was the World Poverty Capital with a population of 1.324 billion people as against Nigeria’s 200 million. But now the number of Nigerians in extreme poverty has increased by six people every minute.
So, the projection is that 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 (which used to be Nigeria’s position).