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How Buhari should tackle poverty issues – Experts

By Cynthia Kama, Abuja

Cross section of economic experts on Tuesday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to assemble a team of versatile economists who are vast in policies and implementation to tackle issues of poverty and unemployment ravaging the country.

The experts, who converged on Abuja at a press briefing under aegis Nigerian Economic Society (NES) ahead of 60th Annual Conference, scheduled to hold 16th September this year, noted that it is hightime ministers, judicial officers, National Assembly members and other government functionaries came together to find lasting solutions to varying degrees of challenges facing the country.

Members of NES, speaking through their President, Prof. Tamunopriye Agioberebo who was represented by Professor of Economics, University of Abuja, Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, said they have been so much concerned about increasing rate of poverty and unemployment in Africa.

Prof. Anyanwu noted that this year’s conference with the theme: “Economic Policies and Quality of Life in Africa” has been structured in a way that will proffer solutions to numerous challenges facing the African countries particularly Nigeria.

SAHEL STANDARD reports that the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) was formed in 1957 by Nigerian scholars as a united platform for Nigerian Economists and allied Social Scientists to provide intellectual leadership in the process of understanding and managing economic, social and political changes in Nigeria.

The University Don expressed concerns on how quality of life has been a mirage in most African Countries, saying “the burgeoning rate of unemployment all largely serve to corroborate the argument of an existence of a huge and significant disconnect between growth rate of GDP per capita and the quality of life indicators.”

According to her, “The country’s low life expectancy at birth which averaged a mere 53 years between 2010 and 2017, low adult literacy rate, which averaged 66.9 per cent between 2010 and 2017, high and disturbingly rising incidence of poverty which averaged about 77.6 per cent between 2010 and 2017, the burgeoning rate of unemployment all largely serve to corroborate the argument of an existence of a huge and significant disconnect between growth rate of GDP per capita and the quality of life indicators.

“Sixty years down the line since the first Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society and with the African Development Bank’s renewed interest in rekindling the theoretical and empirical discourse on Quality of Life indicators, coupled with the Bank’s renewed interest in the practice of using Quality of Life indicators to evaluate the socio-economic outcomes of developmental policies, programmes and financing as encapsulated in the fifth of the Bank’s high five priority areas which is aptly captured as “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa”, some fifty years after Dudley Seers thesis on the Meaning of Development, the Nigerian Economic Society considers it appropriate to select as the theme of its 60th Annual Conference ECONOMIC POLICIES AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN AFRICA.”

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