Policy challenges to reducing poverty in Nigeria

Seminar Room 3
Oxford Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, OX1 3TB

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is optimistic it can establish a system where 100 million people will have been supported to exit extreme poverty by 2030. The speakers will share how the government has used data to inform the project design of the Rapid Response Register at the peak of the COVID pandemic; how it continues to strengthen the National Social Register, a database of the poor and vulnerable, for targeted programmes; how the FGN’s Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) deployed a multisectoral response to COVID, and results to date; and lastly, how it partners with OPHI to conduct a subnational MPI survey to capture the impact of COVID, and to establish a new multidimensional poverty database to influence national planning and resource allocation, and ultimately accelerate the achievement of SDG 1: End extreme poverty in all its forms.

Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu
Ambassador (Dr) Adeyemi Dipeolu is Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters in the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.  His work and interests have evolved around diplomacy, economic development, trade, industrial policy, the negotiation of economic agreements and strategic management.

Dr Dipeolu obtained his B.Sc. degree in Economics from the University of Ife where he won the National Award and UAC of Nigeria Higher Education Award. He attended the Oxford University Foreign Service Programme as a Chevening Scholar and graduated with all round distinction. He obtained his M.Phil degree in the Economics and Politics of Development with distinction from the University of Cambridge where he also won the Jennings Prize for outstanding performance.  He obtained his doctorate degree in Economics from the University of South Africa.

Dr Dipeolu joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in July 1980 and was appointed Ambassador in 2011. In the course of his career, he served in the Economic Affairs and the African Affairs Directorates in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as in Nigerian diplomatic missions in Caracas, Addis Ababa, Pretoria and Geneva.  He was also Special Assistant (Economic Cooperation and Policy) to the Chief of Staff to the President from 1999–2003. Ambassador Dipeolu was seconded to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in 2005 as Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre and subsequently served as Chief of Staff to the Executive Secretary. Thereafter, he was appointed Director of the Capacity Development Division which was responsible for the provision of advisory services to ECA member States in macroeconomic policy, trade and industrial policy, development planning and negotiation of natural resource contracts.

Dr Simon B. Harry
Dr Simon B. Harry was appointed the Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive of the National Bureau of Statistics by President Muhammadu Buhari on 26 August, 2021. He is a multi-disciplinary Statistician whose vast experience in various facets of statistical operations in the Nigerian Statistical System (NSS) spanned over two decades. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Economics with a Second-Class Upper Division (2.1) from the famous Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, a Post Graduate Diploma Degree in Statistics (PGDS) from the University of Ibadan, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Economics from the University of Abuja.

Mr Iorwa Apera
Mr Iorwa Apera is currently the National Coordinator, National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is an accomplished development professional with over 30 years of extensive technical and managerial experience and has successfully led several programmes in government, local and international non-governmental organizations.

Mr Apera is a graduate of Actuarial Science (Business Administration) from Ahmadu Bello University and Master of Business Administration (Marketing), Benue State University; and a Master of Science Degree in Leading and Management in Healthcare Organizations University of Plymouth UK.

He is a dedicated and enthusiastic professional, with proven ability to design and manage large-scale projects across diverse sectors including health, HIV/AIDS, OVC, Agribusiness, Oil and Gas, Social Protection, Governance etc. He is highly skilled in programme/project design, start-ups and implementation, organizational development, awards and financial systems management. He also has several publications and abstracts authored and co-authored by him, which has been presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

Mr Apera sits on a number of boards of organizations including Center for Population Health Initiatives, Center for Food Technology and Research Benue State University, amongst others.

Ms Sola Afolayan
Sola Afolayan is an Oxford graduate with an MBA from Said Business School. She is one of the leading voices advocating for the application of Multi-dimensional Index (MPI) in understanding grassroots poverty in Nigeria. As the National Coordinator for the MPI, she delivers this in her role at the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) under the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.

Likewise, she provides technical support on Behavioural Economics and insights into the choice architecture of beneficiaries of projects in the 2020 Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan – the COVID response emergency plan.

Ms Afolayan is Founder at SHE (Social Impact, Healthcare, Education) Foundation – an NGO that works with data labs, economists, social enterprises, innovators and civil societies to provide evidence-based subnational data for policy change that will lead to sustainable economic wealth.