About 61 percent of oil-rich Nigeria’s citizens lived in absolute poverty in 2010, existing on less than $1 a day and unable to afford the bare necessities, a report by the National Statistics Bureau stated.
The NBS announced yesterday that the number of impoverished Nigerians “rose to 60.9 per cent in 2010, compared with 54.7 per cent in 2004″.
Statistician General of the NBS, Mr. Yemi Kale, said that even though the nation’s economy is growing, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty continues to grow every year in Africa’s most populous nation.
Kale explained that the fastest-growing industries in Nigeria – wholesale, retail and oil and gas – “are not significant employers of labour” and without the creation of new jobs, poverty is expected to climb even higher.
Mr. Kale estimates that this trend may increase further in the 2011 report if the potential positive impacts of several anti-poverty and employment generation intervention programmes are not taken into account.
He suggested boosting the agricultural sector, which the central bank estimates accounts for 42 percent of gross domestic product, will aid poverty alleviation in Africa’s top oil-producer.
The report further reveals that the northeast and northwest geo-political zones are the poorest regions in the country while the southwest, which hosts the commercial city of Lagos, has the lowest levels of poverty.
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