The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has raised alarm over what it called “the worsening poverty” in Nigeria, warning that the federal government must act quickly to reverse the situation to avoid plunging the country into a worse social crisis than it is already experiencing.
In a statement issued in Ilorin on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said while the government continues to beat its chest over a supposed economic growth every year, it has shut its eyes to the paradox of a worsening poverty among Nigerians, as attested to recently by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
It will be recalled that the NBS has said that the percentage of Nigerians living in poverty has risen from 54.7% in 2004 to 60.9% in 2010, translating to 112 million Nigerians living in poverty, despite a 7.6 gross domestic product GDP) growth in the country’s economy.
However, ACN stated that it has always warned that economic growth in itself is meaningless if it does not translate to better life for millions of Nigerians living in poverty. “We hate to say it, but the revelation by the NBS has proven that this is true.
”We have also consistently alerted the nation to the fact that the PDP-led federal government is clueless on how to ensure that economic policies impact positively on the people by helping to generate wealth and create jobs. This, sadly, has also turned out to be prescient.
The party said it was particularly revealing that the poverty level in the two regions worst hit by the activities of the Boko Haram sect – the North-west and the North-east – recorded the highest
poverty rates during the period under review by the NBS.
”There is no better indication of the correlation between poverty and social disorder than what the statistics have revealed,” it said..
”While nothing in the world justifies the continuous maiming and killing of innocent people by Boko Haram, we cannot run away from the fact that the high poverty rates in the north have provided
a fertile recruiting ground for the Boko Haram dead-enders.
“And unless this situation is reversed and our growing number of jobless youths are gainfully employed, Nigeria may sooner than later become engulfed in a social crisis of unimaginable
proportion, even as the PDP-led federal government continues to engage in wasteful spending and mindless corruption,” ACN warned.