Multidimensional poverty, drug addiction and 2023 — Opinion — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News


What will it be for Nigeria if most voters in the 2023 elections are multidimensionally poor and drug dependent? In other words, what can BVAS and other electronics do for us in 2023 if most voters are multidimensionally poor and the bulk of the young people we depend on to change our crushing systemic failure may not be able to exercise good judgment because of substance abuse? So won’t vote buying dominate the next election, in that regard? In the age of big data, two of our credible governance institutions and agencies have released useful big data that we can use to examine the germs of time and peek into the 2023 politics and election results of the project . As I wrote on the walls here, it’s another age of consequences. God is not deceived whatever we sow, we will certainly reap it. Our political leaders have been eating sour grapes since 1999, for example, and no matter how vigilant we kids have been lately, our teeth are sure to be teased in this age of consequences.

Please come with me to analyze the big data: The Federal Government last Thursday in Abuja revealed that 63% of people in Nigeria, or 133 million, live in poverty. The figure was presented at the launch of Nigeria’s Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) survey in Abuja on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

The timely survey was conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the National Social Safety Nets Coordination Office (NASSCO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Development Fund (UNICEF) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). Thus, the data that we contextualize does not come from any element of the opposition parties. They talk about us and our future.

There are confirmed reports that the measure used to calculate the figure was based on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) with five components of health, standard of living, education, security and unemployment.

The survey, which sampled more than 56,000 households in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT, conducted between November 2021 and February 2022, indicates that 65% of the poor, or 86 million people, live in the North, while than 35%, nearly 47 million live in the South.

The report identified Sokoto State as having the highest poverty level of all states at 91%, while Ondo has the lowest at 27%. Speaking at the event, President Muhammadu Buhari said the index was embraced because it provides ways to identify poverty and tackle it with policies. Buhari was represented by his chief of staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

The report confirmed that “over half of Nigeria’s population is multidimensionally poor and cooks with dung, wood or charcoal, rather than cleaner energy. High deprivations are also apparent nationally in sanitation, time for health care, food insecurity and housing.

The credible report states: “In general, the incidence of income poverty is lower than the incidence of multidimensional poverty in most states. In Nigeria, 40.1% of people are poor according to the National Monetary Poverty Line 2018/19, and 63% are multidimensionally poor according to the National MPI 2022.” According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the population of Nigeria reached 216 million in 2022, or 2.7% of the world’s 8 billion people.

As soon as the report was released, Senator Shehu Sani attacked the current administration for failing to lift even a million Nigerians out of poverty and instead threw 133 million into abject poverty. President Buhari has unveiled government plans to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Employment, Ms. Kachollum Daju, had told reporters in September that the planned lifting by the federal government was achievable if stakeholders had effectively played the expected roles. It is also another period of excuses and alibi!

On the same Thursday, as data on multidimensional poverty was contextually reported in the nation’s capital, Abuja, Chairman of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (rtd) was analyzing damning data on the social threat that could affect the outcome of the 2023 elections. Specifically, he said Nigerian youth may not have the impact envisioned in the 2023 general election due to drug addiction.

Marwa, who spoke in Lagos, at the 10th Anniversary Conference and Hall of Fame Inauguration of RealNews under the theme: “Youth Drug Abuse in Africa: Implications for the Nigerian Economy and the 2023 elections,” said with the upsurge in drug use among young people, they might not be actively involved in the voting process.

His words: “Nigerians are not unaware of the problems of drug trafficking and drug abuse. The activities of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over the past 22 months have given our society a clear picture, certainty and gravity of the drug problem in the country. The arrest of 19,341 drug-using offenders and the subsequent conviction of 3,111 in addition to the seizure of 5.5 million kilograms of assorted drugs in 22 months are indisputable facts of a deep-rooted illicit drug subculture. Previously, many Nigerians found it hard to believe that illicit drugs such as cocaine and heroin were trafficked in and out of the country. But the NDLEA has made huge seizures and there is no reason to be skeptical anymore. He continued: “In fact, the activities of the NDLEA since January 2021 have further reinforced the fact that Nigeria is an important hub of the global illicit drug network, and secondly, that our country is not just a pipeline of transit but also a market.”

He said boldly, “Nigerians cannot pretend now that they do not know that our young people are abusing illicit drugs because young people have an obviously drug-related lifestyle. Young people today promote the drug subculture. It’s common these days to hear them say they want to get high. It’s there on the streets, in songs, in chat rooms, in clubs and parties.

He said, “It is disturbing that marijuana and alcohol abuse is the new norm for young people, especially Gen Z and even Millennials,” noting that “drugs and violence go hand in hand. We remember the social upheaval caused in the Southeastern states in the last quarter of 2021, when there was a surge in methamphetamine abuse. This episode gave us a glimpse of the kind of instability that could result from the abuse of illicit drugs by young people.

The former military governor of Lagos State noted that we could learn from the United States, which has better statistics. In 2007, the economic cost of drug abuse in the United States was estimated at $193 billion. Of this amount, lost productivity accounted for $120 billion; while health care gobbled up $11 billion for drug treatment and drug-related medical consequences and $61 billion was spent on criminal justice, mostly on criminal investigations, prosecutions and incarceration, and victim costs.

Other speakers at the conference were Consultant Psychiatrist and Physician, Tranquil and Quest Behavioral Health, Dr. Nkemamolam Ndiomuka; Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry (CADAM) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Dokun Adedeji, and former Chief Executive Officer and member of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Eradication of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho.

The NDLEA boss, meanwhile, has tasked parents and other stakeholders to rise to the challenge of ensuring that illicit substances are kept away from young Nigerians, warning that complacency is capable of undermining the bright future for the young population. Marwa said that instead of reaping the benefits of the huge youth population in Nigeria, the reverse could be the case if relevant stakeholders do not step up and join the ongoing efforts against the scourge of Drugs.

Poverty figures are now part of the government’s propaganda machinery. Candidates in the elections point to what they describe as unacceptable levels of poverty and move forward by declaring that poverty reduction is among their fundamental goals and objectives. This is a global context. The number of poor people, positively impacted or lifted out of poverty thanks to government policies and actions, has become an image booster for civil servants, aspirants to high office and the administrations they represent. According to a recent observer, they use such numbers, tell stories that suit their purposes by stirring the minds of the poor, who are still in the majority, anyway.

Let’s read the following data: The North West and South West geopolitical zones lead in voter registration with 22,672,373 and 18,332,191 eligible voters, the still-encrypted information package from the Electoral Commission showed. Independent National Commission (INEC).

An update released recently showed that 96,303,016 people had registered before the suspension of voter registration on July 31. In 2019, the commission registered 84,004,084 voters. INEC data from 2022 indicated an increase of 12,298,944 registrations ahead of the 2023 general election.

The North West, made up of seven states (Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara), has 22,672,373 eligible voters. The South West region comprising Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti follows closely behind with a total of 18,332,191 voters. The Center-North comes third with 15,680,438 registered voters, slightly above the South-South with 15,299,374. The North-East currently has 12,820,363 registered voters. The Southeast has 11,498,277 eligible voters. There are indications that the registry is being cleaned up as the 12,298,944 records have not been validated. Despite this, the North West will still be ahead of the pack.

And so the problem with democracy is this: the multidimensional poverty survey, which sampled more than 56,000 households in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT, conducted between November 2021 and February 2022, finds that 65% of the poor, 86 million people, live in the North, while 35%, or nearly 47 million, live in the South. The report identified Sokoto State (North West) as having the highest level of poverty of all states at 91%, while Ondo has the lowest at 27%. It is consistent that the region with the highest level of poverty, the North West, also has the highest number of registered voters. Their votes and those of South West cannot be ignored or ignored. So the multidimensional poor have hope: their votes will determine who becomes Nigeria’s next president, who could, like Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, specialize in lifting millions out of poverty through policies public.


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