How FG can tackle poverty with economic policies — Don

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An Associate Professor of Business Administration, KolaDaisi University, Ibadan in Oyo State, Olarenwaju Hassan, on Monday, urged the Federal Government to be more purposeful, deliberate, and strategic with its economic policy drive to find a permanent solution to the poverty and unemployment in the country.

He made this call during an inaugural lecture of the Faculty of Arts, Management and Social Sciences of the university, held at Sherifat Agbeke Auditorium of the institution in Ibadan, the state capital.

Hassan, who spoke in a research paper titled, “Taming the Twin Problem of Poverty and Unemployment for Sustainable Development in Nigeria,” explained that poor working conditions had led to an increase in the crime rate in the society.

The don said, “Nigerian government needs to be more purposeful, deliberate and strategic with their economic policy drive.

“Entrepreneurship development initiatives should be greatly encouraged and supported with the required financial resources to establish young graduates with robust self-employment initiatives as this will create viable means of gainful employment for young fellows, especially those being churned out of various tertiary institutions every year.

“Taming the twin problem of poverty and unemployment for sustainable development in Nigeria cannot be based on rhetoric but based on action; concrete action and consistent strategic action over time.”

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Hassan lamented that despite the enormous and abundant natural resources such as crude oil, natural gas, gold, limestone, iron ore, coal, uranium, and others in Nigeria, the country has the largest share of its people living below the extreme poverty line in 2023.

“In fact, Nigeria has been classified as the poverty capital of the world with 71 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty. A total of 133 million people in Nigeria are classified as multidimensionally poor according to National Bureau of Statistics data. Besides, Nigeria’s hunger level ranks 103 out of 121 countries.

“Over 33.3% of Nigerians are unemployed while 12.2% of the employed are underemployed as they are unwillingly working in low skill and low paying jobs compared to their level of qualifications. Various economic policies have been formulated and implemented in Nigeria without achieving the desired result of eradicating poverty and unemployment.

“Nigeria’s labour market has been characterized by the high rate of unemployment, low wages and poor working conditions. This has led to other problems such as an increase in crime rate, threat to peace and stability, low standard of living, poor income and gross inequality gap,” he lamented.

Also speaking, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Adeniyi Olatunbosun, called on the government to pay more attention to the adequate funding of education and scientific research for the sustainable development of Nigeria.

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He said, ‘’There is a need for the government to be more involved in the funding of education generally in Nigeria at all levels– primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions. This is because it is with proper funding and support for educational institutions that we can attain development and growth in the system. In spite of the challenges facing the nation, there is still a need for the government to put in more of its efforts in ensuring that it secures the environment and the sector through proper funding.

In his lecture titled, “Strengthening Scientific Research for Sustainable Development of Nigeria,” the immediate past Dean of Science, University of Ibadan, Adekunle Bakare, attributed inadequate funding, deficiency in competent research personnel, lack of adequate skills in contemporary scientific methods, and lack of linkages between research and industry as major problems facing scientific research in Nigeria.

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