FG needs 1 trillion to lift children out of poverty – Report

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

A new report launched by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to mark the 2022 Children’s Day has revealed that Nigeria needs 1 trillion to lift children out of poverty along side exposed the depth of poverty children face in households.

The three fold Reports launched on the Children’s Day namely , The Situation Analysis of Children in Nigeria, the Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis in Nigeria and Monetary Child Poverty in Nigeria prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with UNICEF, reveals the new evidence on the situation of child deprivation in Nigeria.

According to the report 24.56% of children face extreme poverty by living in households that spend less than $1.90 a day as the analysis indicates that the country would need as roughly as 1 trillion naira to lift children out of poverty.

The report notes that children are most affected by poverty because they are   vulnerable, and that poverty has long-term impacts on the well-being of children, even into adulthood.

The Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis using Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis approach reveals that approximately 54 % of children in Nigeria are multidimensionally poor by facing at least three deprivations across seven dimensions of child rights including nutrition, healthcare, education, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and information.

The Situation Analysis also indicates that child poverty rate is highest among children aged 16– 17 years and least among children aged 0–5 years.

Multidimensional poverty in children is more prevalent in the rural (65.7 %) than urban areas (28.4 %). There are also high state disparities ranging from 14.5 % (Lagos) to 81.5 % (Sokoto), the report showed.

The monetary child poverty report shows that 47.4 % of children face monetary poverty by living in households with expenditure less than N 376.5 a day – national poverty line. Slight differences are observed between boys (47.98 %) and girls (46.8 %) while there are high geographical and state disparities (from 6.5% in Lagos to 91.4% in Sokoto).

UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins said,”Data is critical for effective budgeting and decision making – and the data from these surveys together paint a picture of the situation for children and families in Nigeria.”
“We still have a long way to go towards ensuring the well-being of children and families in Nigeria, with persistent multi-dimensional poverty being a crucial obstacle.”

The findings of these reports will help guide the federal and state governments as they plan their budgets – providing evidence for where more funds need to be allocated and wisely spent, Hawkins explained.

According to the UNICEF lead, an analysis of the reports indica the need for improved social protection measures to ensure that children are protected from risks, along with an expansion of access to much-needed social services.

Whether looking at poverty from a monetary or non-monetary point of view, the data show that children are more likely to live in poverty than other groups, he emphasized.

Hawkins stressed the need to pay special attention to planning and programming for children, based on the policy recommendations and calls to action contained in the reports, adding that the data provided offers a clear direction and key actions necessary for the realization of children’s rights in Nigeria.


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