After recently overtaking India as the poverty capital, reports by global development institutions show that human capital spending in Nigeria is among the worst in the world.
Nigeria placed the bottom in a ranking of 157 nations in the second ever Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) index compiled by Development Finance International (DFI) and Oxfam. The CRI Index ranks the commitment of national governments to reducing the gap between rich and poor citizens by measuring three factors considered “critical” to reduce the gap: social spending, tax policies, and labor rights. For the second consecutive year, Nigeria ranked bottom of the index.
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The report says Nigeria’s social spending (mainly on health, education and social protection) is “shamefully low.” And this cannot be said to be false as Nigeria is home to the highest number of out-of-school children.
While the CRI index measures current realities, the World Bank’s first-ever Human Capital Index (HCI) predicts future expectations but it is just as grim: it ranks Nigeria 152nd out of the 157 countries.
Nigeria’s HCI (Human Capital Index) value of 0.34 (countries are scored between zero and one) is lower than the global average (pdf) of 0.57. It’s also lower than the regional average and the average for nations in Nigeria’s income bracket. As such, the report predicts that “a child born in Nigeria today will be 34% as productive when she grows up as she could be if she enjoyed complete education and full health.”
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Nigeria’s government under President Buhari has launched social intervention programs; Trader moni Loan, Cash Transfer Scheme to it poorest people. This, they hope will reverse Nigeria’s extreme poverty problem. The cash transfer scheme has been widely criticized, as a lot of people see it as an avenue for the corrupt people in government to siphon more money into their pockets.