According to a statement released by the anti-poverty agency, ActionAid Nigeria said that the conclusion is too simplistic and the result misleading especially to policy makers.
In a statement issued by the organisation, Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria noted that the conclusions of the poll are too simplistic and did not consider the multi-dimensional approach to the definition of poverty.
He said, “the conclusions of the poll trivialised the true situation of poverty in the country and reduced it to responses from very few Nigerians with certain levels of privileges. He further stated that, “the methodology of the poll is flawed and the report is misleading especially to policy makers”.
He further stated, “the report is not only misleading, we are shocked that NOI could use a poll exercise to insult the poor citizens and cavalierly wave people’s suffering, misery and trepidation”.
According to Abdu, “the poll interviewed selected adults who own mobile phones and did not profile respondents in other ways such as occupation, gender, age and specific location. He said, “while it is a fact that there are over one hundred million active GSM lines in the country, the actual population of phone users has not been established given the fact that several people own more than two active mobile lines”.
Abdu said, "it is ridiculous to state that most Nigerians now eat in canteens”. He further noted that the concept of eating in canteens, restaurants or local food joints is entirely foreign to many Nigerians. He said, “the items listed as being eaten by the respondents including bread, rice, spaghetti and noodles are out of reach for most rural and urban poor in the country.
“The staple food in most Nigerian homes is mainly local food crops such as grains, made up of millet, sorghum and cowpeas in the North and tubers such as yam, cocoyam in the South”.
The Director of the anti-poverty agency further stated that the report has quoted old National Bureau of Statistics report, which was subsequently withdrawn. According to him, “the national poverty rate has remained static since 2004 and has not increased by 10% as claimed by the NOI report”.
He said, “the NOI report questions the method of applying Purchasing Power Parity rather than calculate directly using the USD/Naira exchange rate when in fact this internationally applied method is tailored per country using Consumer Price Indices (CPIs) and gives greater accuracy and local grounding to the $1.25 per day measurement per country”.
“The NOI Polls’ conclusion is not internally coherent”, he said. “If the national average spent on food each day is N713, this would add up to N 21,390 per month. If 52% of the population are living below the minimum wage of N18,000 per month (a figure cited in the report), how can the average adult be spending more than that just on food? What about their other basic needs such as healthcare, education and care for dependants?” Abdu asks.
The anti- poverty agency head said, “NOI should avoid politicising poverty. These statistics are about people who have been abused, debased and violated by the state - through policies that continue to exclude them and violate their fundamental human rights”.
He therefore urged the NOI Polls to review its methodologies and consider a more robust approach to arriving at the level of poverty in Nigeria.