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Nigeria’s Poverty

D 5 décembre 2017     H 12:06     A     C 0 messages

By February 2018 Nigeria will overtake India as the country with the most people in extreme poverty. Nigeria’s mean household income per capita is $1168, as compared to India’s $1759. However, this wouldn’t be an accurate measure of the welfare of the average Nigerian. What would be accurate to measure the economic growth as compared to its growing population will be the wealth distribution. More wealth is concentrated with the elites, despite the country’s oil wealth, than among the people. Those who have access to this oil wealth through politics have been the major recipients of the wealth. The high rate of unemployment, endemic corruption, the lack of basic social amenities for millions of people, the difficulty in doing business and the millions living in poverty are all consequences of the huge inequality in Nigeria.

It is estimated that Nigeria currently has 82 million of its 180 million people living in extreme poverty, representing 42.4 percent of the country’s population.

Living in extreme poverty as defined by the World Bank is living under $1.90 per day. People living in extreme poverty are unable to meet their minimal needs for survival. The first goal of the Sustainable Development Goals, set by the UN in 2015 is to “eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030”. To achieve that globally, by putting it into numbers, 90 people need to leave poverty every minute to eradicate poverty totally by 2030. However, there is a shortage of about 9.5 million people globally per year. Presently, The World Poverty Clock, which monitors live estimates of global extreme poverty predicts that for the 2030 SDG target to be met in Africa, 57 people have to leave extreme poverty every minute. However, that is not the case, as on the average, 9 people rather than leaving, enter extreme poverty every minute. Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo are both responsible for the 9. Nigeria needs 11.9 people per minute to escape extreme poverty, but presently has a deficit of 6.8 people every minute, i.e. 6.8 people enter into poverty every minute.

Nigeria’s population is growing faster than its economy. Between 1990 and 2013, Nigeria’s population increased by 81 percent. By 2050, going by the speed of its present population growth rate, Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world. By passing the 400 million mark, it will be taking over from the U.S.A. and be only behind China and India.

The State of World Population (SWOP) Report, 2017, launched by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has placed Nigeria among countries with high rate of unintended pregnancies, with about 4million cases annually. The report has blamed the situation on limited access to family planning which, it says, does not only harm women’s health, but also restrict their ability to move towards financial independence. In Nigeria, the employment rate of men and women in urban area are of the ratio 42:37 per cent while the employment ratio of men to women in the rural area is 63:58 percent.

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