The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) has demanded that poverty eradication is prioritized as political parties continue with the electoral campaigns ahead of the 2023 General election.
This is contained in a press release issued by CCD’s Executive Director, David O. Anyaele, in commemoration of the 2022 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with the theme “Dignity for All in Practice.”
Anayele noted that it is worrisome that the number of poor people in Nigeria is increasing while other countries are taking steps to reduce poverty.
He said, “as an organization of and for people with disabilities, we are worried that while other countries of the world are taking steps to reduce poverty within their societies, the increasing number of Nigerians that are experiencing extreme poverty is very alarming.”
According to a World Bank report titled “A Better Future for All Nigerians: 2022 Nigeria Poverty Assessment”, poverty reduction has stagnated since 2015, with more Nigerians falling below the poverty line over the years. The international organization projected that the number of poor Nigerians would hit 95.1 million in 2022.”
It also claimed that Nigeria has been classified as the poverty capital of the world. This is because while the population of Nigeria is growing, the poverty situation is also competing with the population increase in the country.
The most challenging aspect of this situation is that people living in poverty experience many interrelated and mutually reinforcing deprivations that prevent them from realizing their rights and perpetuate their poverty, including but not limited to dangerous and degrading working conditions, unsafe housing, limited access to nutritious food, limited access to justice, stiffened access to political power, and hindered access to healthcare services, amongst others.
He further said that this demoralizing poverty situation in Nigeria is manmade and fuelled by bad governance and corruption in high places. Unfortunately, as poverty has been linked to as a major source of disability, people’s chances of becoming disabled increase, even when disability pushes families into extreme poverty.
He also stated that the current set of Nigerian leaders has failed to reduce poverty in the land. They have consciously or unconsciously contributed to the growing number of people with disabilities due to their inability to tackle the increasing number of Nigerians going into extreme poverty.
“As the 2023 general elections are around the corner, we call on Nigerians to make poverty reduction a key campaign issue. Political party candidates for the State Houses of Assembly, the Governorship, the National Assembly, and the Presidency must tell Nigerians how they intend to bend the poverty curves in Nigeria. “Citizens should prepare to hold elected officials accountable for poverty reduction as the poverty situation in Nigeria is manmade, majorly because of bad governance,” he said.