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We Can’t Successfully Fight Poverty, Hunger In Nigeria Without Needs Assessment – Omokungbe

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Founder and Executive Director of PROMAD, an Abuja-based civic-tech non-profit organisation, Daisi Omokungbe has warned that Nigeria cannot win the war against poverty and hunger without conducting needs assessment.

Omokungbe said the practice of making the government annual budget without quality needs assessment to harness citizens’ voices is responsible for the high poverty rate in the country.

He added that the country will fight poverty and make better policy decisions based on the evidence of the needs of the common men and women in tandem with government strategic directions for Nigeria.

He gave in warning while reacting to the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The NBS report which was launched on Thursday indicated that there are 133 million Nigerians who are dimensionally poor, a figure that NBS said represents 63 per cent of the country’s population.

According to NBS, over half of the population who are multidimensionally poor cook with dung, wood or charcoal, rather than clean energy, adding that high deprivations are also apparent in sanitation, time to healthcare, food insecurity, and housing.

“Multidimensional poverty is higher in rural areas, where 72 percent of people are poor, compared to 42 percent of people in urban areas. Approximately 70 percent of Nigeria’s population lives in rural areas, yet these areas are home to 80 percent of poor people; the intensity of rural poverty is also higher: 42 percent in rural areas compared to 37 percent in urban areas” NBS had said in the report.

The PROMAD boss expressed his organisation willingness and determination to collaborate with government agencies, development partners and donor-oriented organizations collate the pressing needs of communities and make them available for streamlining into budget yearly.

“We are willing to partner with government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as donor-oriented organizations to get the priorities of communities into the budget annually”, he said.

Omokungbe also said that his organisation is already building a civic-tech solution through its Grassroots Advocacy Project (GRAP) which would drive the documentation of community and citizens’ needs to ensure the needs of the Nigerian masses dictates budgetary allocations in critical sectors.

He further noted that the apparent lack of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Healthcare, Food Security and Housing, amongst others are all pieces of evidence that the government budgets, both at the national and subnational over the years have not been meeting the needs of the masses at the grassroots and urban cities.

“This report should worry all the true lovers of Nigeria and the masses if we are to achieve true growth and development”, he stressed.

He added that it is more worrisome that the country’s poverty index has even surpassed the World Bank’s projection of 91.5 million for the year 2022.

The PROMAD founder, however pointed out that although the Federal and some State governments have made improvements by adopting Open Government Partnerships (OGP) for budget framework and fiscal accountability, yet that efforts, according to him, must be made to build frameworks that incorporate needs assessment surveys before making annual budgets.


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