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Nigeria boasts oil, suffers poverty

16 May 2013, 11:22Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - Most Nigerians wallow in abject poverty despite the country's high ranking among the leading producers of oil in the world.

Figures suggest 75 percent, or 120 million in a population of 160 million, of Africa's most populous country live on an average of US$2 per day.

Nigeria's National Co-ordinator of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Alhaji Mukhtar Tafawa Balewa, disclosed the figures this week while addressing members of Centre for Creative and Leadership Development.

"If the figure is a yardstick upon which poverty is measured, then we are in a very dire situation,” he said.

Balewa however noted the government's effort to address poverty and unemployment in the country but said this should be complemented by other stakeholders.

"Government alone cannot solve the problem of poverty in this country. Everybody has to be involved, especially rich individuals.

"Multinationals also have a role to play," Balewa said.

Nigeria generates billions of revenue from oil annually.

However, allegations of gross misappropriation of funds, and corrupt government officials have been singled out as the major stumbling block for fair and equal economic distribution in Nigeria.

- CAJ News

Tags oil poverty

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