British Prime Minister, Theresa May has lamented extreme poverty and rising economic inequality in Nigeria.
According to her, no fewer than 87 million of Nigeria’s citizens live below $1.90 a day, making the most populous African nation home to the poorest people in the world.
May made this known while speaking in South Africa where she met President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday, ahead of a visit to meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.
She said, “In 2018, five of the world’s fastest-growing economies are African. The continent’s total GDP could well double between 2015 and 2030. By 2050, a quarter of the world’s population and a quarter of the world’s consumers will live here. From the Western Cape to the Mediterranean come stories of increasing stability, growth, innovation and hope.
“South Africa, for so long blighted by the evils of Apartheid, is free, democratic and home to one of the continent’s largest economies. In Cote D’Ivoire, United Nations peacekeepers have gone home and GDP is growing three times faster than in Europe. And Ethiopia – for a generation of British people often associated only with famine – is fast becoming an industrialised nation, creating a huge number of jobs and establishing itself as a global destination for investment.
“Yet, in a situation familiar to nations around the world, progress has not been uniform. As well as emergent democracies and growing economies, Africa is home to the majority of the world’s fragile states and a quarter of the world’s displaced people. Extremist groups such as Boko Haram and al Shabab are killing thousands. Africa’s ocean economy – three times the size of its landmass – is under threat from plastic waste and other pollution.
“Most of the world’s poorest people are Africans. And increasing wealth has brought rising inequality, both between and within nations. For example, much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy. Yet 87 million Nigerians live on less than $1.90 a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world.”