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World Bank Report: 87 % per cent of all poor people in Nigeria are in the North

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A report by the World Bank has estimated that 87 percent of the poorest people in Nigeria are in the North. It also stated that the country hosts more of the world’s extreme poor than any other country.

In the report titled Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria, the Bretton Wood institution stated that Nigeria’s multidimensionally poor are disproportionately concentrated in the northern regions of the country, hammering that most reside in the northwest region.

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing, especially in the North-West zone. Almost half of all the poor live in the North-West and the North accounts for 87 per cent of all the poor in the country in 2016,” the report read in part.

For the past five years, Nigeria has been governed by President Muhammadu Buhari, who hails from Duara, Kastina, a state located in the northwest region of the country.

Like some other northern states, the region has produced a large portion of Nigerian leaders over time but this has done anything to improve the state of living and survival in the region.

Marred with insecurity and lack to basic necessities, as highlighted in the World Bank report, the North is home to the poorest people in the country, plagued with multidimensional poverty.

The ICIR tried reaching out to the president’s spokespersons, Garba Shehu and Femi Adeshina as at the time of filing this report and neither of them responded to calls and messages sent to their mobile phones.

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Meanwhile, the report identified weak governance, lack of basic infrastructure, poor quality of education, and poor social service delivery, as some of the reasons for the high level of poverty in Nigeria.

“Poverty remains high in Nigeria due to its dire social service delivery outcomes and lack of basic infrastructure,” the report stated.

It warned that the high level of extreme poverty and the low levels of human capital in Nigeria poses grave consequences likely to extend beyond its borders, if not addressed.

However, in comparison, the report revealed that the poverty rate in the South-south and South-west regions were relatively low.

“Poverty rates in the southern zones were around 12 per cent with little variation across zones. The South-south zone saw the most significant drop in poverty from 2011-2016,” the report revealed.

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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