THE President Muhammadu Buhari administration failed to lift many Nigerians out of poverty due to poor concentration on the human development index (HDI), analysts have said.
Some development experts question President Buhari’s model of addressing poverty alleviation, saying the President should have concentrated on improving the HDI, instead of giving out financial handouts, which the Buhari administration adopted.
A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last year showed that Nigeria had 133 million people living in different categories of poverty, a situation some analysts believe could have been averted with increased focus on wealth creation opportunities and human capital development.
A Federal Government report on multi-dimensional poverty that it released in November 2022 stated that 65 per cent of the poor in Nigeria (86 million people) were living in the North, with 35 per cent (almost 47 million) living in the South.
A development expert and associate consultant for the British Department for International Development (DFID), Celestine Okeke, told The ICIR that inflationary pressures had been rising because of what he called government’s knee-jerk approach to policies and less attention to human capital development.
Okeke said, “Most of our intervention programmes failed because they are knee-jerk. Look at our Anchor Borrowers programme and see how it was politicised, and now, we have the CBN lamenting people are not paying back.”
Another development economist, Kelvin Emmanuel, told The ICIR that improving the HDI would stimulate economic activities.
Emmanuel said, “Buhari started, for instance, with closing the borders and widening the size of the budget while relying on the central bank to provide the deficit financing of the budget.
“The idea that you could create a bigger budget and then rely on the central bank to provide deficit financing through ways and means is detrimental to the economy.”
He stressed that the more the ways and means, the more the CBN faces a currency depreciation problem, and the more it keeps adjusting the rates to meet up with the parralel market and official rates against the dollar because of exchange rate issues.
He argued that the reality on the ground is that inflation is double digit.
“It has gone from 16.95 per cent in 2016 to the current 22.22 per cent. When you add bank lending rate to management fees to document action fees, you could see that the commercial bank lending rate is at 31 per cent. How can industries borrow at 31 per cent per annum and still be in business?” he wondered.