A committed world of good governance at the federal, state and local government levels, have been identified as a panacea towards poverty reduction in Nigeria.
This is the submission of the Director- General, West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management, Professor Akpan Ekpo, at the distinguished annual lecture for participants at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
He noted that the absence of committed leadership in the country is a great concern, while political will is both a necessary and sufficient condition for institutional mechanisms for poverty reduction.
The renowned economist stated that, “a committed world of good governance can reduce global poverty to the barest minimum.
“The solution does not lie within the frameworks but within concrete action that portrays the exercise of good governance at the federal state and local government levels.
“In the absence of good governance, no nation can effectively design and implement sustainable poverty reduction programmes.”
He however suggested that the way forward is for government to formulate and implement an economic blue-print that stresses sustained growth and inclusive development with specific strategies and programmes targeted at the poor.
“This must be accompanied with a robust monitoring and evaluation framework,” he said.
Reflecting on the complexity of the issue of poverty and its alleviation, Professor Ekpo posited that all hands must be on deck with non-governmental organisations, complementing government efforts.
“Globalization of society is not helping matters in this regard. It is also necessary for civil society and the private business communities to join efforts with those of government, more than ever before, to contribute to poverty alleviation in ways that reflect their interests and capabilities because utilizing non-governmental channels would help broaden the scope of government contributions to poverty reduction.
“In this regard, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should focus not only on individual projects, but also engage in more general analysis and proposals to government for promoting workable approaches to poverty reduction,” Ekpo added.