By Ochiaka Ugwu
The Publisher and Editorial Director of O analytics Research and Development Initiative (ORADI), Prof. Ebere Onwiduwe has said that reducing inequality will drastically lessen poverty among the Nigerian populace.
Onwudiwe who made this known yesterday during a press conference on SDGs Monitor Journal quarterly Press Briefing on Income Inequality and Decent Works in Nigeria organized by O analytics Research and Development Initiative (ORADI) in Abuja said there are different kinds of inequality in Nigeria: by gender, disability, by class, by ethnicity, and opportunity.
“Our concern today is income inequality. Income inequality is positively related to poverty. If you want to fight poverty you must reduce inequality. As the World Bank says, you cannot end extreme poverty unless a government reverses the increasing inequality”.
Onwudiwe blamed bad governance and low economic growth as the main cause of income gap as it does not guarantee or promote equal opportunity.
He stressed the need to change the reality of wealth being excessively concentrated in the hands of a few saying that the system needs to change.
Also speaking, the Moderator of the program, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim while insisting that policy makers must listen to the outcome of the dialogue said there is every need to create jobs that must be decent.
President, Nigerian Economic Society, Prof. Sarah Anyanwu noted the need to meet the deadline of the SDGs especially the one that concerns reduction of inequality and building strong institutions.
A former Economic Adviser to the President, Prof. J. S. Odama stressed the need to make Directive Principle of State Policy workable to create social and economic conditions for citizens to lead a good life.
Prof. Jerome Afeikhena of the Igbinedion University said that we need to develop and strengthen human capital capacity as we are producing low quality human beings.
There were two research presentations by ORADI Consultants, while Prof. F.O. Ogwumike of University of Ibadan and J.T. Nwanakwere of (NISER) spoke on “Attainment of Decent Works and Inclusive Economic Growth Targets: A Preliminary Analysis of Nigeria’s Performance”, Doctors Joseph Ogebe of University of Ibadan and Adedeji Adeniran of the Centre for the Study of Economic of Africa (CSEA) spoke on “A Dynamic Assessment of Inequality in Nigeria.”