Poverty rate is on the decline globally. The global average poverty rate currently stands at about 10% and is decreasing. Almost all countries are recording a falling rate of poverty.
Nigeria, along with a few African countries – among them Niger, Angola, DRC, Chad, CAR, South Sudan, Somalia along with Venezuela, are the only exceptions. Poverty rates in these countries are increasing.
Poverty rate in Nigeria is at an incredible 44.2%!! And we have just overtaken India to become the country with the highest number of people in extreme poverty (India’s population is 1.3 billion).
Now, the poverty rate is not uniformly distributed across the country. It is concentrated in parts of the Northwest and the Northeast, where some states have poverty rates of up to 80%.
The reason for this is not difficult to see: “Female literacy is seen as the key to raising living standards for the next generation. For example, a newborn child is far likelier to survive if its mother is well-educated. In Nigeria we see a stark contrast between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south. In some northern states less than 5% of women can read and write, whereas in some Igbo areas more than 90% are literate”. – BBC.
Outdated cultural practices and attitudes including polygamy, almajirci, the lower status of women and the girl child should be aggressively attacked by especially the North if there is going to be any chance of fighting this growing poverty.