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Coronavirus worsened Nigeria’s status as world’s poverty capital: Osinbajo

The Nigerian vice-president recommends plugging the infrastructure deficit as a key way out of the country’s poverty crisis.

• October 6, 2020
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said the raging coronavirus pandemic has worsened Nigeria’s status as the world’s poverty capital.

The Nigerian vice-president said boosting education infrastructure as a key way out of the crisis. 

“Our nation has millions of extremely poor people, Covid-19 pandemic has worsened unemployment & poverty,” Mr. Osinbajo said at a two-day retreat of the executive and legislature in Abuja. The vice-president’s media aide Laolu Akande posted the comments on Twitter. 

The coronavirus pandemic disrupted early education shortly after Nigeria’s first case was diagnosed in February. President Muhammadu Buhari later ordered all schools shut in March, and they have only been asked to reopen later this month.

“We have huge deficits in infrastructure, many children out of school. We’ll be callous & irresponsible if we don’t come together”, Mr. Osinbajo said.

Nigeria’s education system at all levels has been in a deplorable state for decades. University teachers have been on strike for several months, and there is still no clear indication that they will return to work anytime soon.

Unicef estimates over 10.5 million Nigerian children of school age to be out of school, a crisis the government has been unable to slow down despite many sustainable development goals and other instruments adopted since 2000.

Nigeria is currently rated as the country with the highest number of poor people in the world, surpassing India that has nearly seven times its population.

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