54% Of Nigerian  Children Are ‘Multidimensionally Poor’- Report

54% Of Nigerian  Children Are ‘Multidimensionally Poor’- Report

By Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu

A report, the Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis in Nigeria has revealed that about 54 per cent of children in Nigeria are multidimensionally poor.

A statement released by UNICEF disclosed that the Vice President of the Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Friday, launched the report including two other reports; The Situation Analysis of Children in Nigeria and Monetary Child Poverty in Nigeria.

The reports which were prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with UNICEF also disclosed that children in the country face at least three deprivations across seven dimensions of child rights including nutrition, healthcare, education, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and information.

“Multidimensional poverty in children is more prevalent in the rural (65.7%) than urban areas (28.4 %). There are also high state disparities ranging from 14.5 % (Lagos) to 81.5 % (Sokoto).

“The monetary child poverty report shows that 47.4 % of children face monetary poverty by living in households with expenditure less than N 376.5 a day – national poverty line. Slight differences are observed between boys (47.98 %) and girls (46.8 %) while there are high geographical and state disparities (from 6.5% in Lagos to 91.4% in Sokoto),” the statement added.

It added that in Nigeria, according to the report, 24.56% of children face extreme poverty by living in households that spend less than $1.90 a day.

“The analysis indicates that the country would need as roughly as 1 trillion naira to lift children out of poverty.

“ Situation Analysis indicates that child poverty rate is highest among children aged 16– 17 years and least among children aged 0–5 years. It notes that children are most affected by poverty because they are   vulnerable, and that poverty has long-term impacts on the well-being of children, even into adulthood,” it said.

Speaking on the issue, Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria said, “Data is critical for effective budgeting and decision making – and the data from these surveys together paint a picture of the situation for children and families in Nigeria.

 “We still have a long way to go towards ensuring the well-being of children and families in Nigeria, with persistent multi-dimensional poverty being a crucial obstacle. The findings of these reports will help guide the federal and state governments as they plan their budgets – providing evidence for where more funds need to be allocated and wisely spent.”

The statement added that an analysis of the reports indicates the need for improved social protection measures to ensure that children are protected from risks, along with an expansion of access to much-needed social services.

It added that whether looking at poverty from a monetary or non-monetary point of view, the data show that children are more likely to live in poverty than other groups.

Hawkins therefore spoke  of the need for the country to pay special attention to planning and programming for children, based on the policy recommendations and calls to action contained in the reports.

 “The data they provide offer a clear direction and key actions necessary for the realization of children’s rights in Nigeria,” he said.

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