Nigeria: Lessons for Nigeria As China Declares 'Complete Victory' Against Poverty

(File photo) pic to illustrate poverty in Africa.
25 February 2021

China's President Xi Jinping has declared "complete victory" in his government's effort to eradicate rural poverty, lifting the income of nearly 100 million people over the past eight year, a development Nigerian experts have described as a challenge and a lesson to Nigeria and other African countries on reforms.

The Chinese leader made the announcement at a ceremony in Beijing to mark what has been described as a signature initiative of his tenure.

Reports said the government is also trying to frame the economic achievement as Xi's gift to the nation as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party in July.

Over the last eight years, an estimated 98.99 million people in the countryside have been lifted out of extreme poverty, according to officials.

All of China's 832 impoverished counties and 128,000 of its villages have also been removed from the poverty list.

Nigeria and other African countries have a lot of lessons to learn on how to reform and manage an economy as the Chinese have done, experts have said.

Nigeria is grappling with a high rate of poverty as nearly 100 million of its estimated 200 million population, is said to be living below one dollar per day, making Nigeria the poverty capital of the world according to the World Poverty Clock and other international agencies.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP yesterday, the Executive Director of Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative, Livingstone Wechie, an expert and researcher in international constitutional law and development, said Nigeria needs to restructure its polity in order to enable it build a thriving economy that can compete with the rest of the world.

He said "Nigeria must have a defined development agenda, touching on our respective sectors, especially if it has to do with financial sector, economic sector as it concerns our resources, to build capacity for our citizens and grow our economy," stressing that is the only thing that can save us from the debilitating poverty in the country.

The trajectory of Chinese economic success was reportedly anchored on disciplined, enlightened and dedicated leadership of the Communist Party of China, such that since the launch of the reform and opening up in the late 1970s, 770 million poor rural residents have overcome privation based on China's current poverty line.

Beijing defines poverty as income levels at or below the rural poverty line of 4,000 Chinese yuan ($619) or less per year, up from 2,625 yuan ($406) in 2012, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

In comparison, the World Bank poverty line is pegged at $693.5. China also said that it has contributed more than 70 percent of global poverty reduction over the same period.

In a policy pronouncement on Sunday, China pledged to stick with its poverty alleviation policies, while making some adjustments for a five-year transition towards what Beijing calls "rural revitalisation".

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