Nigeria: Around 54% of Nigerian Children Suffer From Multidimensional Poverty – Report

No less than 54 per cent of children in Nigeria are ‘multidimensionally poor’ even as 47.4 per cent of children face monetary poverty, while 24.56 per cent of children face extreme poverty in the country.

Three reports that were prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with UNICEF and launched in Abuja by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo confirmed the development.

The reports are “The Situation Analysis of Children in Nigeria”, the “Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis in Nigeria”, and “Monetary Child Poverty in Nigeria”.

From the reports, Nigeria would need roughly N1 trillion to lift children out of poverty.

The Situation Analysis indicates that the 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.

According to a statement by UNICEF, the Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis using the Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis approach reveals that approximately 54 per cent of children in Nigeria are multidimensionally poor by facing at least three deprivations across seven dimensions of child rights including nutrition, healthcare, education, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and information.

The statement noted that Multidimensional poverty in children is more prevalent in the rural (65.7 per cent) than in urban areas (28.4 per cent). There are also high state disparities ranging from 14.5 per cent (Lagos) to 81.5 per cent (Sokoto).

According to the statement, the monetary child poverty report shows that 47.4 per cent of children face monetary poverty by living in households with an expenditure of less than N376.5 a day – which is the national poverty line. “Slight differences are observed between boys (47.98 per cent) and girls (46.8 per cent) while there are high geographical and state disparities (from 6.5 per cent in Lagos to 91.4 per cent in Sokoto).”

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

The Situation Analysis indicates that the 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.

In response, 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.”

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. 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.

“It is clear that we need 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,” Hawkins noted.

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