Poverty has become a major development problem in Nigeria. The World Poverty Clock report released in 2018 shows Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most extreme poor people in the world. The struggle to lift more citizens out of extreme poverty is an indictment on successive Nigerian governments which have mismanaged the country’s vast oil resources through incompetence and corruption. This development already threatens the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which targets ending extreme poverty by 2030.
The 86.9 million Nigerians now living in extreme poverty represents nearly 50% of its estimated 200 million population. As Nigeria faces a major population boom, it is projected to become the world’s third largest country by 2050 and its problem will likely worsen. Poverty and hunger have remained high in rural areas, remote communities and among female –headed households and these cut across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9 percent in the South West to 74.3 percent in North West and North East. The Niger Delta is where almost all of Nigeria’s oil comes from, but the region remains one of the poorest in the country. The situation has become worse with the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic.
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