UNICEF says 54 % of Nigerian Children Suffer Extreme Poverty  

The United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), has said that 54 percent of children in Nigeria are multidimensionally poor.

This is contained in three new reports published by UNICEF, Friday.

The reports which were launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are -The Situation Analysis of Children in Nigeria, the Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis in Nigeria, and Monetary Child Poverty in Nigeria prepared by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with UNICEF.

According to UNICEF, the Multidimensional Child Poverty Analysis using the Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis approach reveals that approximately 54 percent of children in Nigeria are multidimensionally poor.

It also said the children face at least three deprivations across seven dimensions of child rights including nutrition, healthcare, education, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and information.

The report found that multidimensional poverty in children is more prevalent in the rural with a 65.7 percent prevalence while urban areas had a 28.4 percent prevalence. There are also high state disparities ranging from 14.5 percent in Lagos to 81.5 percent in Sokoto.

“The monetary child poverty report shows that 47.4 percent of children face monetary poverty by living in households with expenditure less than N376.5 a day – national poverty line. Slight differences are observed between boys (47.98 %) and girls (46.8 %) while there are high geographical and state disparities (from 6.5% in Lagos to 91.4% in Sokoto).

“In Nigeria, according to the report, 24.56% of children face extreme poverty by living in households that spend less than $1.90 a day.

“The analysis indicates that the country would need as roughly as 1 trillion naira to lift children out of poverty.

“The Situation Analysis indicates that child poverty rate is highest among children aged 16– 17 years and least among children aged 0–5 years. It notes that children are most affected by poverty because they are vulnerable and that poverty has long-term impacts on the well-being of children, even into adulthood.

“Data is critical for effective budgeting and decision making – and the data from these surveys together paint a picture of the situation for children and families in Nigeria,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. 

“We still have a long way to go towards ensuring the well-being of children and families in Nigeria, with persistent multi-dimensional poverty being a crucial obstacle. 

“The findings of these reports will help guide the federal and state governments as they plan their budgets – providing evidence of where more funds need to be allocated and wisely spent.

“An analysis of the reports indicates the need for improved social protection measures to ensure that children are protected from risks, along with an expansion of access to much-needed social services. 

Whether looking at poverty from a monetary or non-monetary point of view, the data show that children are more likely to live in poverty than other groups.

“It is clear that we need to pay special attention to planning and programming for children, based on the policy recommendations and calls to action contained in the reports,” Peter Hawkins noted.

“The data they provide offer a clear direction and key actions necessary for the realization of children’s rights in Nigeria”, UNICEF stated.

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