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Poverty Capital of Nigeria: Sokoto, Bayelsa Takes Lead

The poverty rate in Nigeria continues to climb according to the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) that shows a high rate of people living in penury in Sokoto and Bayelsa. 

The report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that included Jigawa State, revealed a combined total of 14.18 million people living in poverty.  

The national poverty index was most heavily influenced by aspects including healthcare, food insecurity, education, nutrition, and access to cooking fuel. Over 50% of Nigerians, according to the NBS, are multidimensionally poor and lack access to cooking fuel.

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Breakdown of the data

Over 86 million Nigerians, translating to over 65% of the country’s poor, reside in the North of the country, whereas only 35% which are 47 million people live in the south.

With a multidimensional poverty index of 0.302, there are an estimated 105.98 million poor individuals in Nigeria living in rural areas in Sokoto and most states in the country, compared to 26.94 million poor people living in urban areas, who have an MPI of 0.155.

Furthermore, the MPI of the North-West area was most affected by nutritional deprivation, while the South was most affected by food insecurity. 

The South-South region saw the largest contribution from unemployment, while the MPI in the South-South, North Central, and security shocks impacted North East.

With a multidimensional poverty index of 0.409 and 5.81 million impoverished people, in Nigeria, Sokoto State topped the list. Bayelsa State, which has an index of 0.401 and 2.61 million poor people, came in second place behind the state.

Jigawa State, with an MPI of 0.385 and a population of 5.76 million, is third on the list. Kebbi had an MPI of 0.385, Gombe had 0.38, Yobe had 0.37, and Plateau with 0.365 are other places on the list with the poorest poverty index.

On the other hand, Ondo State had the lowest MPI of 0.095 and only 1.3 million individuals who were multidimensionally poor. 

Lagos and Abia States came in second and third, with 0.101 each. They also have different numbers of poor individuals. Particularly, Lagos State has 4.22 million residents while Abia has 0.12 million.

World Bank prediction 

According to World Bank estimates, there were 89 million poor people worldwide in 2020, accounting for 42% of the population, up from 40.1% in 2018/2019 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the World Bank predicts that by the end of 2022, the number of poor people in the nation based on living standards might reach 95.1 million, as a result of growing living expenses plagued by a 17-year high inflation rate, staff layoffs, and a general economic slowdown.

The high cost of living in Nigeria has caused many more Nigerians to slip below the poverty line and has further expanded the gap between the rich and the poor.

The CBN increased the monetary policy rate three times in an effort to slow the rate of inflation this year, but prices have continued to rise.

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