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World Bank Report highlights acute Leadership Failure in Nigeria

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A recent report published by World Bank has highlighted acute leadership failure in Nigeria. Of the countries surveyed and listed in the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals report, in a 23-year period between 1990 and 2013, only Nigeria failed to lift its citizens out of extreme poverty. Instead, 35 million Nigerians have sunk into extreme poverty that is those living with under $1.9 a day.

The report, which tracks the progress countries are making to meet sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations, showed that the number of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria stood at 51 million in 1990 and by 2013 had risen to 86 million.

In the same period, China lifted 731 million of its citizen out of poverty: extremely poor Chinese were 756 million in 1990 and by 2013, they had dropped to 25 million. India took its number of extremely poor from 338 million down to 218 million; Indonesia went from 104 million extremely poor to 25 million; Pakistan went from 62 to 12 million; Bangladesh went from 45 to 18 million; Brazil went from 39 to 10 million; Ethiopia went from 29 to 20 million; Mexico went from 9 to 4 million; and Russia has reduced its extremely poor figure from 3 to mere 40,000.

People Living with Extreme PovertyPeople Living with Extreme Poverty

(Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2017)

Even though the rise in the number of extremely poor Nigerians may be related to a population surge in the country, it is far from sufficient to explain the situation. The records show that Nigeria’s population increased from 96 million in 1990 to 174 million in 2013.

Over the period, all 10 of the biggest countries in the World Bank’s report, except Russia, recorded population increase as well. In  fact the largest population increase happened in Ethiopia, 96% increase, while Nigeria’s population increased by 81% over the period under review.

Balloon representation of People Living with Extreme Poverty 2013Balloon representation of People Living with Extreme Poverty 2013

As one of the largest producers of oil and gas in world, Nigeria’s poverty and underdevelopment can best be described by the failure of successive governments to ensure equitable distribution of it’s wealth.

Corruption to the scale of outright looting of public funds by government officials and their cronies, to the tune of billions of dollars, has left the country impoverished. The sheer amount of cash that has been uncovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the help of whistle-blowers, is evidence of how brazen these looters have been over the years.


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