AERC-CPPA Stakeholder Engagement with Foundations and Development Partners on Public Policy Implications of Aggregate Income and Wealth Inequality in Nigeria
On January 31, 2019, the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives (CPPA) supported by a dissemination grant from the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) held a dissemination seminar on the “Public Policy Implications of Wealth and Income Inequality in Nigeria. The aim of the seminar was to drill down the importance of health and education as a peaceful alternative to addressing the despondency from widening wealth inequality in a growing economy. These were research findings of a study funded by the Ford foundation as part of a dialogue series on the 21st century challenges of African economies. Other themes within the wider conversation on 21st century challenges in Nigeria include population, education, youth and institutions. This event, however, focused on the implications of rising inequality and the search for an active response from the government through public policy.
The findings were presented by Professor Melvin Ayogu, Senior Fellow-in-Residence at CPPA. He emphasized that investment in health and education was essential in raising productivity and enhancing intergenerational mobility, both of which are the means to reducing the growing inequality gap. This view was reiterated by Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group annual meeting that held in Bali, Indonesia in October 2018. Mr. Kim had encouraged Nigeria and other African countries to prioritize investment in human capital as opposed to the traditional approach which prioritized investment in hard infrastructure. Central to the discussion was the linking of the quality of governance to welfare standing of citizens across peer African countries while challenging the audience to suggest ways to get government to take notice and act in a manner that provides widespread benefit particularly to the less wealthy segments of the polity.
In attendance were representatives from non-governmental organizations, foundations and development partners such as T.Y.Danjuma foundation, Bassey Andah Foundation, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation and a host of others.