By Emeke Alexander
A human rights group known as, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), has disagreed with the recent rating of Delta State by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as the second least poor state in the country.
The NBS on May 4, 2020, released the long-awaited Nigeria Poverty and Inequality Survey Report 2019 and ranked Delta State as the second least poor state in the country after Lagos State.
In his analysis of the NBS latest Poverty Index Report, the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, expressed dismay over the report describing it as misleading and fake since it does not reflect the economic realities in the state.
The human rights activist opined that majority of the people particularly those who live in the riverine parts of Delta State still live below the poverty line which is less than N450.00 per day, stressing that the state cannot be rated the second richest in the country, when most of the people are jobless and have turned themselves into corporate beggars, hanging around ATMs, market places, shopping malls, streets and communities, looking for daily food.
Comrade Mulade who applauded the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okwa for his Prosperity for All Deltans Initiative that has contributed to the lowering of the poverty bar in the state, charged him to create more jobs and design capacity building and sustainable economic empowerment programmes for women and youths desirous of becoming self-reliant.
The National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, May 4, 2020, released the long-awaited Nigeria Poverty and Inequality Survey Report 2019 and ranked Delta State as the second least poor State in Nigeria. By this latest Poverty Index Report, the Bureau has ranked Delta State second after Lagos among the States with low poverty rate, stating that 40.1 per cent of Nigeria’s population is poor.
The NBS Report puts the population of Nigerians that are poor at 40.1 percent, with an average of four out of 10 Nigerians real per capita expenditures below N137, 430 per year; which implies that the monthly per capital income in this category is less than N11, 500, while income per day is N383.03.
The Report rates Lagos State poverty line at 4.50 per cent head count, with Delta State trailing closely at 6.02 per cent.