By Peter Egwuatu

The former Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, who was the Chairman of Vanguard’s 2019 Economic Discourse, has moved for elaborate planning of the economy aimed at addressing the issue of poverty in the country.

Dr Shamsudeen Usman, former Minister of National Planning

While addressing guests at the Discourse, he recommended the need for government to adopt  multi-dimensional poverty index which addresses different causes of poverty in the country, adding that the amount of income is not the best way of measuringy.

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He stated: “They say any person that is earning not more than two dollars per day is having the problem of extreme poverty, so the person is extremely poor. But now, from a practical point of view of policy making, addressing the problem of poverty, that measurement is completely inadequate.

“So what did we do when I was in government?    We started working on something that is called multi-dimensional poverty index.

“Now, the multi-dimensional poverty index addresses different causes of poverty and the point is that poverty is more than the lack of income. Sometimes you can actually be poor if you are living in an area that you have money but there is no power. So you are actually a poor man as far as power is concerned.

“If you are living somewhere that there is no health facilities; you may be the richest man in that village but you should be counted as poor in terms of health facilities.”

Usman also called for a system of accountability and consistency in delivering demands of public officers, saying:    “We started a system where, at every Federal Executive Council, a Minister will come with a report on quarterly basis, of his Ministry, how the activities have been impacting on the citizens and how he is addressing the objectives of the Ministry. But unfortunately, the biggest problem of Nigeria is the lack of continuity”.


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