A new report by Aid agency, Oxfam has ranked Nigeria, Singapore, and India among countries widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor. In its index report highlighting those countries doing least to bridge the divide ranked South Korea, Georgia, and Indonesia among countries trying to reduce inequality through its policies on special spending, tax and labour rights.
According to the report, Nigeria has an unenviable distinction of being at the bottom of the index for the second year in a row. Describing Nigeria’s social spending on Health, education and social protection as “shamefully low”, the report noted that this is reflected in poor social outcomes for its citizens.
“One in 10 children in Nigeria does not reach their fifth birthday, and more than 10 million children do not go to school while sixty per cent of these are girls. The minimum wage has not increased since 2011 and social spending has stagnated.”
This report is coming few weeks after McKinsey Global Institute, a research arm of McKinsey and Company, ranked Nigeria and 10 other emerging countries among the non-outperforming economies. The report by the renowned institute examined the long-term economic track record of 71 developing economies and identified China and India as the leading outperformers.
Recall that last month, HSBC released a report on the country’s economic outlook, in the report titled Nigeria, Papering Over The Cracks, the bank stated that while higher oil prices had boosted Nigeria’s external position and provided a veneer of macro stability, the economy’s oil dependency and structural shortcomings are evident in a tepid pace of growth and fiscal fault.
The report by Oxfam further put to question the sincerity of the Buhari-led administration in tackling issues of unemployment and infrastructural development in the country. The Social Intervention Program of his administration has yielded no positive result.
Oxfam, however, warned that world leaders risk failing on their pledge to reduce inequality by 2030 and urged them to develop plans to close the gap which should be founded on progressive taxation and clamping down on tax dodging.
Oxfam was founded in 1942 and it is a group of 20 independent charity organisations focusing on alleviating global poverty.