The Sokoto State government has kicked against the recent ranking by the National Bureau of Statistics as the poorest state in the federation.
Arzika Bodinga, the Permanent Secretary, Sokoto Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, expressed his displeasure at a one-day Workshop on Dissemination of the 2021 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey/ National Immunisation Coverage Survey 2021, on Tuesday, in Sokoto.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that 133 million about 63 per cent of Nigerians are suffering from multidimensional poverty, with children constituting more than half of the poor people in the country.
“We are pleading for more serious scrutiny on the figure, and rankings, I dare the agency to come up with data of any person found dead on account of hunger along township streets including rural areas across the state.
”Go to the Specialist Hospital, Usmanu Danfodio University Teaching Hospital all in Sokoto and monitor how our people trooped in to donate blood.
”Welfare of citizens is not compatible with the related figure and we will continue to push for more positive results.
”We facilitated the enactment of food and nutrition policies, the Conditional Cash Transfers Scheme, Water and Sanitation Health facilities and many social protection policies,” he added.
The permanent secretary urged the relevant authorities to cross-check their findings, and shun political infiltrations, foul play and other short changes that might subjunctive in the findings.
However, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Hajia Aisha Dantsoho, called for immediate action to reverse the situation.
Dantsoho said authorities needed to copy from other states how they go about handling their activities to overcome such challenges.
The presented documents, she said, would serve as a parameter to such surveys and other considerations to achieve results.
A Lead facilitator, Dr Danjuma Almustapha, presented documents and measures undertaken to achieve the MICS/NICS 2021.
Almustapha presented comparative results of Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states, and led participants into discussion mostly centred on the need for officials to redouble efforts on the implementation of policies.
NAN reports that the NBS disclosed this in its 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index indicating that 86 million poor people live in the North while 47 million live in the South.
In the least-poor zone, the South West, the MPI of 0.151 shows that poor people experience 15 per cent of possible deprivations, while in North East and North West, the MPI of 0.324 shows they experience over 32 per cent of possible deprivations.
According to the report, poverty levels across states vary significantly, with the incidence of multidimensional poverty ranging from a low of 27 per cent in Ondo to a high of 91 per cent in Sokoto state.
NAN reports that a breakdown of the dimensions of poverty used for the MPI includes: Nutrition, Food insecurity, Time to healthcare, School attendance, Years of schooling and School lag.
Others are Water, Water reliability, Sanitation, Housing materials, Cooking fuel, Assets, Unemployment, Underemployment, Security shock and others.