Out of 98 million poor Nigerians, 10 northern states harbour 68m- Report

By Hassan Zaggi

Out of the estimated 98 million poor Nigerians in the 36 states of the country, 10 northern states account for 68 million (70 per cent), the 2018 National Health Demographic Survey (NHDS), has disclosed.

While making a presentation on ‘Nigeria’s Progress towards the SDGs: Why Nigeria may not meet the SDGs’, at a two-day media dialogue in Port Harcourt, an Independent Development Consultant to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Davis Omotola, called for urgent measures to be put in place for Nigeria to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The two-day dialogue on data driven reporting was organized by UNICEF in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

The breakdown of the states with the high population of poor people in the country, according to the report include Kano has 9.8m, Katsina 8.9m; Bauchi 7.6m, Borno 7.5m, Jigawa 7m, Zamfara 6.5.

The others, according to the report, include Kaduna with 6.2m, Niger 5m, Yobe 4.8 and Sokoto 4.7.

The expert disclosed that an average of 14,794 new entrants get into Nigeria’s labour market on a daily basis.

This is even as in 2018, 5.4 million new entrants entered the labour market, unfortunately, however, only 500,000 jobs were created in that year.

He further revealed that Nigeria’s 200 million population projection in 2019 may hit 410 million by 2050 at the current rate if control measures are not put in place.

The expert regretted that only 46 per cent of Nigerians live above 1.9 dollars per day with the country having an estimated 98 million poor persons.

Dr. Omotola disclosed that for Nigeria to achieve the SDGs, it needs a whooping investment of US$ 350 billion, lamenting that the current estimate of public sector gap is put at US $100 billion

He enumerated some barriers to achieving SDGs to include policy implementation ineffectiveness and coverage, budgetary challenge and prioritization, security and socio-political challenges, the insecurity on individuals and institutions provide a unfavorable business environment for internal and foreign investors

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