By 2021, Africa’s giant, Nigeria, will be crowned world’s capital for death of infants under the age of five, overtaking India, the latest bi-annual economic report of the World Bank’s Bretton Woods Institution has said.
The report seen by TheCable, said Nigeria records the highest number of child malaria deaths anywhere in the world. It also said Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children anywhere in the world, and that 90 per cent of these children are from Northern Nigeria.
“Nigeria will overtake India in 2021 as the country with the most under-five deaths in the world. More children die of malaria in Nigeria than in any other country in the world,” the report said.
According to the current World Bank figures, India, with a population of 1.3 billion recorded 989,000 under-five deaths in 2017, while Nigeria, with 196 million citizens, recorded 714,000 deaths in the same year.
Earlier in the year, Nigeria overtook India as the world’s poverty capital possessing the highest number of people living in extreme poverty anywhere in the world.
According to the report, Nigeria’s weak revenue mobilisation has major implications for its growth and development, including for improving its dire social service delivery outcomes.
The report said: “Poverty remains high in Nigeria and access to basic social services is not universal. In 2016, the World Bank estimated poverty at 38.8 per cent of the population using the national poverty line. But by the international poverty line of PPP-corrected $1.90 per capita per day, an estimated 49.2 per cent of the population lived below poverty in 2017.”
The World Bank report, however, stated that with nine million children out of school, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children of primary school age in the world, with over 90 per- cent of them in the North.
It said: “Vaccination coverage rates in Nigeria have changed little over the last 25 years, in sharp contrast to other West African countries which have made more rapid progress even though they started from higher levels.”