The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of deliberately misrepresenting global hunger and poverty figures to smear the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that contrary to PDP’s disinformation, the 2020 Global Hunger Index that the party cited in its recent effort to deride the President, was Nigeria’s best showing since 2000 when tracking of hunger at global, regional and national levels began.
“We found it laughable that PDP opted to use Nigeria’s 98th ranking on the most recent Global Hunger Index to mock the Buhari administration in what is clearly a classic case of cherry-picking.
“What the former ruling party does not want people to know is that the 29.2 points Nigeria recorded in 2020, as seen on www.globalhungerindex.org, is far better than what Nigeria scored in the three previous reports released in 2000, 2006 and 2012 which incidentally were within the PDP years in power at the centre.
“Nigerians should note that 0-19 is viewed as low risk while a score of 50 upwards is extremely alarming, so for the avoidance doubt, Nigeria’s situation in 2000 was considered alarming at 40.6 but recorded some improvement in 2006 at 34.1 and 32.0 in 2012. All these at a time a barrel of crude oil was selling at an average of $100, and spending $5bn annually on food imports.
“But PDP preferred to be silent on the 11 points improvement in the Buhari years just to give a wrong impression of a dire situation under a government that has in five years cut down food imports by more than $3bn annually.
“It should interest Nigerians to know that the country had a better percentage improvement between 2012 and 2020 than a number of countries on the .ndex, including Rwanda.
“So, against this backdrop, we are confident to say that when next the Global Hunger Index is published, Nigeria would witness a better showing on the back of programmes such as Anchor Borrowers which have ramped up local production of rice and wheat, amongst others, as well as the post-covid interventions”.
BMO also noted that the former ruling party always seeks to twist facts on the country’s poverty numbers with the way it bandies the 83.9 million figure of Nigerians living under the poverty threshold.
“Ever since the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) issued its most recent data on the number of poor people in the country, PDP has been using it to create a wrong impression.
“But what the party’s leadership seems to have forgotten, and perhaps do not want to be mentioned, is that the figure is a far cry from the 112million that NBS and the World Bank revealed in 2012 as the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty. To make it easier to understand the mess the party created at the time, 67 per cent of Nigeria’s 167 million population, at that time, were living on less than $1 a day!
“We want to remind PDP that it was at a time the country’s oil receipts were quite high but there was no real effort to alleviate poverty beyond the sharing of tricycles.
“But, under the Buhari administration, there has been a progressive decline in the number of poor people as acknowledged by the World Bank which attributed it to the social intervention initiatives under the National Social Intervention Programme (NSIP) which it once described as the largest and most ambitious welfare scheme in Sub Saharan Africa”.
BMO also reassured Nigerians that President Buhari remains committed to his project of laying the groundwork for taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.