NIGERIA has been described as a deeply divided society wracked by a plurality of ethnic and religious regional identities that had tended to define the country’s political existence according to a recent United Nations (UN) report.
Just released by the UN, the Common Country Analysis (CCA) report revealed a deeply divided society on the basis of the plurality of ethnic, religious and regional identities that has tended to define the country’s political existence. It also painted a gloomy picture, with most of the development and social indices in the country registering at levels unacceptable.
Revealed during a consultative meeting on the formulation of the UN Development Assistance Framework for the southeast geo-political zone, the report observed that for decades, different segments of Nigeria’s population had, at different times, expressed feelings of marginalisation. It recalled they have been short –changed, dominated, oppressed, threatened, or even targeted for elimination.
Read out in Awka, the report read: “Nigeria, with a population of over 75m, is the most populous nation in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world. Her population will be approximately 200m by 2019 and over 400m by 2050, becoming one of the top five populous countries in the world.
“Nigeria is one of the poorest and most unequal countries in the world, with over 80m or 64% of her population living below poverty line. The situation has not changed over the decades, but is increasing as poverty and hunger have remained high in rural areas, remote communities and among female –headed households and these cut across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9% in the southwest to 74.3% in northwest and northeast.”
It added that in Nigeria, 37% of children under five years old were stunted, 18% wasted, 29% underweight and overall, only 10% of children aged six to 23 months are fed appropriately based on recommended infant and young children feeding practices. Also, youth unemployment which is 42% in 2016 is very high, creating poverty, helplessness, despair and easy target for crime and terrorism.
According to the report, over 10m children of school age are out of schools with no knowledge and skills. Also, it revealed that Nigeria’s economy is currently in a recession and it is estimated that government revenues have fallen by as much as 33%, which has further resulted in the contraction of the gross domestic product by 0.36% in the first three months of 2016.