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ACN raises alarm over worsening poverty level in Nigeria



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The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has raised the alarm over the
worsening poverty in Nigeria, warning that the PDP-led federal government must act quickly to reverse the
situation to avoid plunging the country
into a worse social crisis than it is already experiencing.

In a statement issued in Ilorin on Thursday by its National Publicity
Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party
said while the government continues to beat its chest over a supposed
economic growth year in year out,
it has shut its eyes to the paradox of a worsening poverty among
Nigerians, as attested to recently by the
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the bureau, the percentage of Nigerians living in poverty
has risen from 54.7% in 2004 to 60.9% in
2010, translating to 112 million Nigerians living in poverty, despite
a 7.6 gross domestic product GDP) growth
in the country’s economy.

”We have always warned that economic growth in itself is meaningless
if it does not translate to better life
for millions of our citizens living in poverty. We hate to say it, but
the revelation by the NBS has proven that this
is true.

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”We have also consistently alerted the nation to the fact that the
PDP-led federal government is clueless on how
to ensure that economic policies impact positively on the people by
helping to generate wealth and create jobs.
This, sadly, has also turned out to be prescient.

”By hook or crook, the PDP has ruled Nigeria since the country’s
return to democratic rule in 1999. While the statistics
given by the NBS reflect the situation from 2004 to 2010, we have no
scintilla of doubt that if the figures from 1999
to the present were considered, the poverty level has more than
doubled under this do-nothing PDP in the past 12 years.

”And instead of getting out of the hole into which it has dug itself,
the so-called biggest party in the whole world has
continued to dig deeper, thereby pushing more and more Nigerians into
poverty. When the effects of the recent ill-advised
fuel subsidy removal are taken into consideration, the figure of
Nigerians living in poverty must really be staggering.
This is a time bomb waiting to explode,” ACN said.

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The party said it was particularly revealing that the poverty level in
the two regions worst hit by the activities of the Boko Haram
sect – the North-west and the North-east – recorded the highest
poverty rates during the period under review by the NBS.

”There is no better indication of the correlation between poverty and
social disorder than what the statistics have revealed,”
it said..

”While nothing in the world justifies the continuous maiming and
killing of innocent people by Boko Haram, we cannot run away
from the fact that the high poverty rates in the north have provided
a fertile recruiting ground for the Boko Haram dead-enders.
And unless this situation is reversed and our growing number of
jobless youths are gainfully employed, Nigeria may sooner
than later become engulfed in a social crisis of unimaginable
proportion, even as the PDP-led federal government continues
to engage in wasteful spending and mindless corruption,” ACN warned.

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