Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nigeria - so wealthy, so poor

The world’s 20th poorest country apparently because most Nigerians (92 per cent) live below the poverty line as they subsist on less than two dollars (N320) a day. According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), no fewer than 33 million Nigerians are unemployed, many of them university graduates, while the 2010 Global Monitoring Report of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) puts the number of out of school children at over eight million. Infant mortality rate is 85.8 of 1000 live births, under-five mortality rate is 137.9 of live births, malnutrition prevalence is 41 per cent, insecurity rate is alarming, while life expectancy at birth is 48.1 years.

In 1960, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, about 15 per cent of the population was poor. This rose to 28 per cent in 1980. By 1985, it had risen to 46 per cent, dropping to 43 per cent in 1992. However, by 1996 the poverty incidence had gone up to 66 per cent before climbing further to the current rate of 92 per cent. This rise in poverty rate in the country has been inversely proportional to the petro-dollar wealth of the country; it seems Nigeria makes more money to get Nigerians poorer; the richer the country, the poorer the citizens.

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