february 14, 2005 04:43:22/BusinessDay
The rate of poverty incidence in Lagos increased nearly nine times from 6.27 per cent in 1996 to 53 per cent in 2004.
This is the high point of a draft report of the Nigeria Living Standard Survey 2003/2004 produced by the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS) in collaboration with the European Union (EU), World Bank and the Department of International Development.
Other states that also recorded increasing poverty rate include Jigawa, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Plateau, Ondo, Niger, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano and Bauchi.
While poverty is increasing in these states, it actually declined in most other states of the Federation, such as Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Osun and Oyo.
The survey, which was principally designed to provide national and sub-national statistics on poverty and a range of sectoral topics, defines poverty to mean not only the lack of income, but also the lack of access to health, education and other services.
The poverty report aims to provide a deeper analysis of poverty that will serve as a basis for monitoring and evaluating the performance of policies and national development programmes in relation to the living conditions of households.
It seems that the increased poverty rate in Lagos, in particular, has to do with the massive movement of people to the state from other parts of the country.
Another table in the report that describes distribution of states by poverty headcount using self-related lines showed that Lagos State habours 70.29 per cent of poor people and 29.76 per cent of non-poor. On per capita relative poverty by state, Lagos habours only 11.8 per cent gate poor.