Thursday, 8 March 2012

ACN Press Release

ACN raises alarm over worsening poverty level in Nigeria 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. ''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. 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. Alhaji Lai Mohammed National Publicity Secretary Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Lagos, March 8th 2012

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