ASAP WEST AFRICA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO RETHINK SOCIAL POLICIES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY

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Panelists at the virtual panel discussion organized by Academics Stand Against Poverty, (ASAP) West Africa on 13 June 2020 called on the government to reformulate social policies to combat the scourge of poverty in Nigeria. The theme of the panel discussion titled “Rethinking Social Policies in the fight against poverty: A Post-COVID Analysis focused on discussions aimed at proffering recommendations to the government towards addressing poverty and its attendant consequences post-COVID 19. Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Olalekan Fadeyi, the programs and policy director at the International Centre for Development Initiatives, London emphasized the need for government to provide social security safety nets in order to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses.Mr. Fadeyi identified corruption and the failure of the government to address the challenges posed by social diversities when formulating policies as obstacles in the fight against poverty. Also at the meeting, Mr. Adedeji Olusanya, a project manager with years of experience at the Bank of Agriculture alluded to the fact that the nation lacks the accurate data of people who are poor in the country. He elucidated that inaccurate statistics hampers government policies on poverty, as this makes it difficult for the government to adequately address and cater for the needs of most people who are poor. A lawyer and founder of Ibrahim Yeku foundation, Mr. Ibrahim Yeku while stressing that successive governments have over the years formulated policies to combat poverty, highlighted that policy somersault and inconsistencies hinder the efficiency of government policies in eradicating poverty. He, therefore, admonished politicians to embrace the approach of policy continuity regardless of political party affiliations intraparty differences. Mr. Olusanya recommended that government should ensure that it has accurate data of citizens living in poverty as a guide for policy formulation and implementation. In formulating social policies on poverty, Mr. Fadeyi advised the government to always adopt an integrated approach hinged on social diversities, including gender. The coordinator of ASAP West Africa, Mr. Oluwaseun Olanrewaju stated that poverty is complex and multidimensional, hence the need to consistently engage in robust discussions in order to influence social policies aimed at eradicating poverty. The organization is currently working towards making the panel discussion a monthly event.

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