MPI: NBS Pledges Continued Collaboration With Policymakers, CSOs, Others

By Sunday Etuka

As part of efforts to address the root causes of multidimensional poverty in Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has promised continued collaboration with policymakers, government agencies, development partners, and the civil society organizations (CSOs).

The Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NBS, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, made the pledge on Thursday in Abuja, at a One-Day High-Level Stakeholders Dialogue on Operationalising the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in Nigeria.

He said, “As the statutory producer and custodian of socio-economic data in Nigeria, we acknowledge the vital roles that you the stakeholders play in helping us to operationalize the MPI in Nigeria.

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“We will continue to engage with policymakers, government agencies, development partners, and civil society organizations to discuss the importance of the MPI and its implications for policy and program design”, Prince Adeniran said.

He added that the Bureau would also conduct awareness campaigns to inform the public at all levels about the MPI, its significance, and how it can be used to address poverty, while also advocating for the integration of MPI findings into national and regional development plans, ensuring that poverty reduction strategies are informed by robust data.
In Nigeria, 40.1% of people are poor according to the 2018/19 national monetary poverty line, and 63% are multidimensionally poor according to the National MPI released by the NBS in 2022.
While acknowledging that a technically competent, well-resourced, and technology-driven statistical system was pivotal to the effective operationalization of the MPI in Nigeria, Prince Adeniran noted that the NBS, as the coordinator of the National Statistical System (NSS), is committed to this quest, and will do all within its powers to ensure its success.

He affirmed that with the MPI, the policymakers now have access to valuable information that could inform them of the specific pattern of poverty and the specific factors that need to be tackled in their domain to reduce the incidence.

The NBS boss who stated that the operationalization of the MPI was well overdue, said, it goes beyond making the necessary data and evidence available, to designing targeted programs and policies to address the issues identified within the data.

“Only when these two things align (the data and the interventions) that we will begin to see meaningful and sustainable changes in the lives of the citizens confronted with poverty”, he added.

He appreciated the assistance and support from partners and collaborators such as UNDP, EU, Canadian High Commission, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), UN Women, and OPHI, saying “we look forward to further engagement as we look to institutionalize and operationalize the MPI in Nigeria, for the benefit and progress of our people”.

In his Goodwill Message, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Prince Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said, “the occasion marks a significant milestone in the nation’s efforts to integrate and domesticate the MPI into the nation’s policies, plans and budgets, both at national and sub-national levels in line with the nation’s national development priorities”.
He said, “a key objective of the MPI survey is for the data to be used by key stakeholders to improve budget allocations at Federal and State levels. The aim is to better prioritise sectors with the most deprivations and ensure the development and implementation of inclusive multi-sectoral budgets that address the needs of the most vulnerable members of the society.
“Thus, this Stakeholders’ Dialogue is hosted to deepen engagement with key stakeholders to operationalise the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in line with the Federal Government’s commitment and aspirations, as captured in the National Development Plan (2021-2025); and the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, as well as to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
“The Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAF-SDGs) is working closely with both the state and non-state actors to guarantee an inclusive, participatory and collaborative implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria”, he said.
Earlier, in her Goodwill Message, the UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong, said, the milestone was a testament to the Government of Nigeria’s unwavering commitment and tireless efforts in addressing the multifaceted women and girls.
She added that the MPI report serves as a crucial tool in identifying and addressing the root causes of poverty, going beyond income measures to encompass various dimensions of deprivation.
“As we progress beyond the report, we must emphasise the importance of incorporating a solid gender dimension into the MPI programming framework. Women and girls often face unique challenges and barriers that exacerbate their experiences of poverty.
“By integrating gender-specific indicators and analysis, we can ensure that the PMI report highlights the disparities and drives targeted interventions that uplift and empower women and girls.
“Additionally, the inclusivity of the PMI report is paramount. It is essential to consider the voices and experiences of marginalised groups, including women from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses.
“By making the PMI more inclusive, the government of Nigeria consults to develop comprehensive strategies that are integrated and aligned with the National Development Plan and leave no one behind, thereby advancing an equitable and just society”.
She, however, congratulated the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu and the Resident Representative, UNDP-Nigeria, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, on developing the report on the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in Nigeria.

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