Nigeria Overtakes India In World’s Extreme Poverty Ranking

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Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, a new report by the World Poverty Clock has said.

According to the report, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, the highest number in the world.

India on the other hand, is witnessing a decline in its level of extreme poverty.

At the end of May (2018), the survey showed that Nigeria had an estimated 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared to India’s 73 million.

The report further stated that in Africa, D.R Congo may soon overtake India as number two, while Africa may be home to additional 3.2 million people living in extreme poverty by the end of 2018.

With the report, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to end extreme poverty by 2030 may be unattainable even as Africa faces major population increase.

According to the UN, By 2050 around 2.2 billion people could be added to the global population and more than half of that growth will come from Africa.

It also predicts that Nigeria will become the world’s third largest country by then.

The World Poverty Clock report further states that of the 10 countries on this extreme poverty list, only Ethiopia is on track to meet the United Nations’ SDG of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

It also says outside the top 10, only Ghana and Mauritania are on track with the target.

See the list of top 11 extremely poor countries below.

Nigeria leads with 86.9 million people and is closely followed by India with 73 million and D.R Congo with 60.9 million people.

Ethiopia is next with 23.9 million people, followed by Tanzania with 19.9 million.

Mozambique comes next with 17.8 million while Kenya has 14.7 million people living in extreme poverty.

The least four are Uganda, South Africa, South Sudan and Zambia with 14.2, 13.8, 11.4 and 9.5 million people respectively.

Clinton Says Poverty Fuels Crisis In Northern Nigeria

A former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, on Tuesday said that Nigeria must do more to alleviate the extreme poverty across the nation’s predominantly Muslim north in order to halt the wave of bombings, shootings and kidnappings by Islamic extremists there.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

Mr. Clinton, who disclosed this in Abeokuta at the 18th annual Thisday awards which was aimed at honouring the teaching profession, said poverty remains the main driver for the attacks and needs to be addressed by strong local and federal government programmes.

“You have to somehow bring economic opportunity to the people who don’t have it,” Mr. Clinton said.

“You have all these political problems – and now violence problems – that appear to be rooted in religious differences and the all the rhetoric of the Boko Harams and others, but the truth is the poverty rate in the North is three times of what it is in Lagos,” the former president said.

He pointed out that Nigeria, which earns billions of dollars from its oil industry and is a major supplier to the U.S., must not take a “divide the pie” approach toward attacking poverty. That appeared to be a subtle reference to the endemic corruption that envelopes government and private industry in the country.

“It’s a losing strategy,” Mr. Clinton said. “You have to figure out a way to have a strategy that will share prosperity.”

Poverty is endemic in Nigeria, and corrupt public officials have siphoned away billions in oil earnings since the country began exporting crude more than 50 years ago. Government statistics show that in Nigeria’s northwest and northeast, regions besieged by Islamic insurgents, about 75 percent of the people live in poverty.

The awards ceremony is an annual event organised by ThisDay newspaper and its publisher Nduka Obaigbena, who has invited Mr. Clinton several times to Nigeria, along with other celebrities. This year’s event was also attended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Youth Employment Will Eradicate Boko Haram – Borno Governor

The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has said that the “madness” occasioned by the activities of radical sect, Boko Haram in the state would “evaporate” once the youths are gainfully engaged.

The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima

Mr Shettima, who spoke on Tuesday at the signing of tripartite agreement for the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Entrepreneurship Development Centres (EDCs) in three geo-political zones, including the North-east, North-central and South-south zones, said he believed the insecurity and hardship in the state would be a thing of the past once it was able to create jobs and engage the youths.

The governor said, “We are going to partner with the CBN to see to the realisation of this very noble and lofty initiative of the central bank towards ameliorating poverty and creating employment opportunities in the northeast sub-region of the country.

“We are not going to disappoint you; we would fulfil our own part of the bargain of the EDC and create the enabling environment for the EDC in the North-east sub-region,” he assured.

“Believe me, beneath the mayhem of Boko Haram, beneath the madness, lies extreme poverty and joblessness and hopelessness of the people. Once we create jobs, once we engage the youths, believe me, this madness will evaporate,” the governor stated.

He said he believed the issue of Boko Haram would be a thing of the past within the next two years.