Discuss the concept of poverty as one of the cardinal objectives of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) with particular reference to Nigerian economy


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Poverty is a multidimensional concept that seeks to measure levels of deprivation encountered by a person, household or community. Although most of the literature focuses on indicators of deprivation such as income, food, access to housing and so on, the choice of indicators to measure levels of deprivation can often be arbitrary and hence may not reflect a full-scale measure of unmet basic needs in different social contexts. This discrepancy leads to concepts such as poverty, social exclusion and vulnerability being used interchangeably in development discourse. While allowing for variations in indicators of unmet basic needs, poverty is generally considered to be a measure of deprivation of the basic needs that a person, household or community requires to have a basic standard of living. Deprivation can be measured either in terms of a lack of resources (e.g income, assets), capabilities (e.g skills, knowledge, and technology) or both.
Poverty can be defined objectively and applied consistently only in terms of the concept of relative deprivation. That is the theme of this book. The term is understood objectively rather than subjectively. Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or are at least widely encouraged or approved, in the societies to which they belong. Their resources are so seriously below those commanded by the average individual or family that they are, in effect, excluded from ordinary living patterns, customs and activities.
The consequences of adopting this definition will be illustrated to bring out its meaning. For example, research studies might find more poverty, according to this definition, in certain wealthy than in certain less wealthy societies, although the poor in the former might be better off, according to some criteria, than the poor in the latter. Again, despite continued economic growth over a period of years, the proportion of the population of an advanced industrial society which is found to be in poverty might rise. Certainly some of the assumptions that are currently made in comparing and contrasting the more developed with the less developed societies, and in judging progress in overcoming poverty in affluent societies, would have to be revised. In the United States, for example, the assumption that the prevalence of poverty has been steadily reduced since 1959 may have to be abandoned, principally because the definition upon which prevalence is measured is rooted in the conceptions of a particular moment of history and not sufficiently related to the needs and demands of a changing society. The U S government adopted a standard which was misconceived, but showed, for example, that the number of people in poverty declined from 22.4 per cent (or 39.5 million) in 1959 to 12.5 per cent (or 25.6 million) in 1971 , and 11.6 per cent (or 24-3 million) in 1974.1 Students of income distribution in the United States were coming to appreciate by the late 1970s that the standard was seriously misleading.

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