Lagos, Global Poverty And Wealth Creation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lagos, Global Poverty And Wealth Creation

Posted: Jun 7, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Michael Oputeh

It is a as a result of the harsh reality of the danger of poverty, if allowed to flourish, that poverty eradication has become one of the essential aspects of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Presently, from all available indexes, there are apparent signs of extreme poverty across the world. According to Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank Group, Kaushik Basu, “it is shocking to have a poverty line as low as $1.25 per day, it is even more shocking that 1/7th of the world’s population lives below this line. The levels of inequality and poverty that prevail in the world today are totally unacceptable”. 



In 2013, the World Bank, in view of the frightening world poverty condition, set two major goals as a springboard through which poverty could be confronted. The first is to basically stop acute poverty, by reducing the share of people living on less than $1.25 a day to less than 3 percent of the global population by 2030. The other is to encourage shared prosperity by improving the living standards of the bottom 40 percent of the population in every country. In-spite of genuine efforts from World Bank, governments and other development partners, the task of poverty eradication remains a daunting one.

In Africa, the reality of poverty is pretty scary as most Africans live on less than a dollar income per day. Perhaps more niggling is that, with 34 out of a total of 49, African countries account for a greater proportion of the Least Developed Countries, LDCs, in the world. This, perhaps, explains why poverty indicators such as extreme hunger, malnourishment, homelessness, diseases, high crime rate, slums, lack of opportunities, low productivity and illiteracy abound in larger quantity in the continent.

Despite being the sixth Oil producing nation in the world, and also blessed with other natural, human and agricultural resources, the United Nations Development (UNDP) rate Nigeria as the 26th poorest nation in the world. With average Nigerian living less than $1 a day, and poverty rate is 54.4%, when the average primary rate in Sub-Saharan Africa is around 50%.

The poverty trend in Nigeria, therefore, calls for urgent attention by all stakeholders. Being the window through which the world views Nigeria, the present government in Lagos State is actually leading in the fight to eradicate poverty and create wealth for the people.

Sadly, the high unemployment situation in the country, coupled with the not too impressive state of the economy, naturally make the youth vulnerable to manipulation from scheming political actors and other anti-social elements within the polity. The Lagos  State Government recognizes the significant role of the youth in national development. Consequently, it is putting measures in place to pursue dynamic various youth growth policies and programmes to allow the youth to become more creative in entrepreneurship.

With the renewed emphasis on wealth creation and employment, the State government is also reiterating commitment to the 13-year Development Plan of the State which is anchored on social development and security, infrastructural development, economic development, and sustainable environment. None of these could be effectively realised if emphasis is not focused on wealth and job creation. Given the abundant human and natural resource endowments of the State, renewed emphasis on wealth creation is, indeed, not a misplaced priority. This is because the issue of poverty and its eliminating strategies is one of the toughest development challenges facing the world today.