Oxfam is a world-wide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty. It is an international Confederation of 20 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries.
Mr. Iftikhar Nizami, Country Director of Oxfam in Nigeria notified this at a National Policy Conference on Inequality organized by Oxfam in partnership with Human and Environmental Development in Agriculture (HEDA).
The conference was necessitated as Nigeria was presently among the list of 30 countries where inequality was at its worst, says Oxfam.
Mr. Nizami stated, "Although Nigeria's economy had experienced some level of growth in the last decade, the gap between the rich and the poor has however continued to grow wider."
"To combat the high levels of inequality in Nigeria, there is an urgent need for political and business leaders to build a profoundly different economy one that puts the needs of people (particularly women and youth) first, he further added.
While addressing the seminar he stated, "Oxfam urges the evolution of economic thinking away from an all-consuming faith in GDP-measured growth, to a more human economy that recognizes the well-being of all. lt is time to focus directly on reducing inequality and eliminating poverty, in ways that lead to economic prosperity for all. It is possible. The target of reducing extreme poverty rates by half was met five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.
A human economy makes reducing inequality and the elimination of poverty the absolute goal for economic policy making, as these are the most significant barriers to achieving sustainable, inclusive growth in Nigeria can be made possible by Federal and State Governments through economic policy, taxation policy and social spending.
A human economy approach to an industrial strategy for Africa would invest in economic activities based primarily on their ability to rapidly reduce poverty in most countries across Africa, this would mean the prioritization of agriculture.
The Nigerian government must strive to increase its tax to GDP ratio which is currently at six percent. Federal and state governments should prioritize the eradication of tax evasion as over 75 per cent of Nigerian businesses do not pay tax," he added.
Oxfam in Nigeria stresses on:
- Economic justice and improving livelihoods.
- Gender justice and female leadership.
- Good governance and the Niger Delta.
- Disaster risk reduction and responding to humanitarian crises.