The World Bank disclosed in a new report that the North accounted for 87% of poor people in the whole of Nigeria in 2016.
The report titled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’, released on January 28, 2020, was described as a ‘detailed analysis of the social protection sector’ in the country.The report noted that social protection measures implemented by the government in Nigeria had not been able to address the high level of poverty, as well as the negative impact of conflicts and natural disasters.
In the comprehensive report, obtained by one of our correspondents, the World Bank observed that although Nigeria was a richly endowed country, it had a larger proportion of the world’s extreme poor than any other nation.
The report further noted that most of the poor in Nigeria were found in the Northern part of the country.
The North-West, specifically, was described as home to almost half of all the poor in the country.
Nigeria’s President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, (retd.), is from Katsina, a state in the North-West, which like other parts of the North, has produced a larger proportion of Nigerian leaders.
Looking at inequality in the country, the report said, “Nigeria experiences high inequality along geographic lines, with poverty mostly concentrated in the North and in rural areas.
“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing, especially in the North-West zone.
“Almost half of all the poor lived in the North-West and the North accounts for 87 per cent of all the poor in the country in 2016.”
“Poverty rates in the southern zones were around 12 per cent with little variation across zones. The South-South zone saw the most significant drop in poverty from 2011-2016.
“Poverty was significantly higher in rural areas of the country in 2016. An estimated 64 per cent of all poor lived in rural areas and 52 per cent of the rural population lived below the poverty line in 2016. In contrast, the poverty rate in urban areas remained stable at 16 per cent between 2011 and 2016.”
Painting the picture of a relatively prosperous South and an impoverished North, the report stated, “Regionally, the North lags far behind the South in every human capital outcome. People in the Northern regions are also more vulnerable to falling into poverty.
The report established a link between poverty in the North and the Boko Haram insurgency. According to the World Bank, most of the youth recruited by Boko Haram are jobless, a development which made them more prone to radicalisation.