IT presents a sad scenario that despite several policy initiatives the menace of poverty is a staggering reality and may have accounted for the loophole in myriad of social vices. Most notably are high incidences of armed robbery, kidnapping, corruption, advance fee fraud (419), prostitution Rings, human trafficking and “the likes perpetuated and perpetrated by the authors as the quickest route to scale the poverty barrier.” THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its 2000/2001 Human, development report on Nigeria, states that 70 per cent of Nigerians are in abject poverty while massive unemployment of people and the under utilization of resources are the order of the day. Since the report nothing about the poverty level has changed dramatically.   NO doubt, the crushing poverty level currently ravaging Nigeria has become so overwhelming that over 70 percent of Nigerians have unwittingly bowed to the pangs of biting hardship.
POVERTY is today a generic term and has been so since attempts at its classification by various study and academic groups with Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) ever more vehement and critical on the problems associated with large scale poverty and ways to improve the economic status of those classified in the group.
SOCIAL scientists in attempt at plausible stratification and definition of the term find it necessary to Contrast poverty with such opposite terms as richness, wealth, comfort, affluence and the likes as the terms carry inherent semantic undertones that most times solicit sympathy, empathy and compassion from those afflicted with the plague which poverty has come to symbolise.
HOWEVER, by daily interactions within society and among communities and nations, it is clear that poverty has striking universal Eradication Policies perception and similarities because of its cross- country feature and characteristics. The basic feature being that people suffer hunger and deprivation with not enough to eat, lack shelter and clothing as well as basic necessities required for human existence.
FOR instance, the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights aptly sums up poverty as a “human condition characterised by the sustained or chronic deprivation of the resources, capabilities, choices, security and power necessary for the enjoyment of all adequate standard of living and other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights”.
THERE is, as a result, conscious efforts by many organizations to mitigate the harsh effect of poverty which is more endemic in developing countries and many parts of Asia while in Nigeria, government’s effort at providing palliatives and putting in place workable measures from some of its economic policies that cause poverty shocks are yet to yield the desired impact.
IT is the concern for the world’s poor and to find solution to spreading poverty crisis that the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) is celebrated worldwide in order to push people up the ladder of comfort where health care, food, shelter, clothing among others are assured the citizenry without experiencing the pain of deprivation.
IN Nigeria, however, government has put in place social programmes as National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS), the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to tackle problem of youth unemployment, a crucial poverty indicator among the socio cultural stratification.
IN assessing Nigeria’s poverty level, based on its oil wealth which it described as a mixed blessing, the report explained that it was not the oil resources that are the problem, but the management of those resources.
A general overview of Nigeria’s poverty crisis indicates therefore that there is a fundamental problem which the Federal Government needs to identify and tackle in order to address the continuing poverty level in Nigeria. The NIGERIAN OBSERVER urges the government to re-appraise some of its economic policies and those geared towards poverty eradication. Beside, it is remarkable that government insensitivity to suggestions put forward to it is increasing and is not being addressed as they should.
A holistic reappraisal is therefore inevitable in all sectors of the economy and mitigating measures put in place if government is to succeed in its poverty eradication drive.
IN the face of glaring discontent at the increasing poverty level, the World Bank proffered in its report. that “oil and natural gas will generate continuing wealth for many years on which Nigeria can build, if it manages this wealth well. If it channels more of this wealth to the development of its people and to the productive use of its land and other resources, then Nigeria has a promising Future”.
WE implore the Federal Government to continue to put policy measures in place to scale down poverty level. Corporate bodies and organisation can play a part by partnering with the various governments to alleviate poverty in the land.