National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy: Serious Business or Playing to the Gallery?


Tuesday, June 01, 2021 / 09:43 AM / by United Capital Research / Header Image Credit:  NigeriaGov

Earlier in the month, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS), a program designed by the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC). The NPRGS is a poverty alleviation program created to achieve the President's ambitious plan of lifting 100m people out of poverty within 10 years. The program, through economic growth and social protection program, would help accelerate the poverty reduction. We recall in 2019, during the President's speech on Democracy day (June 12), he made an ambitious pronouncement, declaring he is working on lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty as he aims to remove the title of poverty capital of the world from Nigeria.

Evaluating the NPRGS content, the program is built on four core pillars, including Macroeconomic stabilisation, Industrialisation for Economic Growth and Transformation, Structural Policies and Institutional Reforms, and Redistributive Policies and Programs. The document further elaborates on how the various policy pillars will be achieved. For example, the macroeconomic stabilisation pillar will be driven by exchange rate unification, single-digit inflation, gradual phase-out of subsidies, sustainable public debt level etc.

Noteworthy to mention, about 86.9m Nigerians are living below the National Poverty Line, with Nigeria carrying the unenviable title of "poverty capital of the world". Thus, we reckon the Federal Government (FG) can no longer afford to pay lip service to the topic of poverty alleviation in Nigeria, particularly with the unabating social restiveness in different parts of the country. Thus, question marks remain on FG's willingness & capacity to implement this plan effectively and efficiently. That said, we choose to remain pessimistic on the possibility of fulfilling the policy objectives giving the FG's history of ambitious plans and underwhelming implementation, an acute case of consistently playing to the gallery.  

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