Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi 11, says Nigeria may remained the poverty capital of the world beyond 2050 if the country continues with its present trajectory.
Speaking at his honorary induction into Sigma Club, at the University of Ibadan over the weekend, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said he gathered from the just concluded UN General Assembly that current projections show that Africa will be home to 80 percent of the world’s poorest people.
“That is not the frightening thing. One half of this 80 per cent will be in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two countries will account for 40 per cent of all the poor people in the world and Nigeria will therefore remain the poverty capital of the world.”
“In 1960, the per capital income in Nigeria was higher than what it was in South Korea, and China. My father was the first ambassador of Nigeria to China in 1972.
“In 1972, he had to go to Hong Kong every two weeks to buy essential commodities because they were not available in Beijing. He could not find milk, sugar and cornflakes in Beijing; he had to go to Hong Kong in 1972, not 100 years ago.
“In 1974, when Deng Xiaoping started opening up in China, there were 700 million Chinese living in extreme poverty. Today, that number is down to only 30 million people in one generation. In 1974, China had only 8million university graduates.
“Today, China has more than 300 million university graduates, more than the entire population of the United States of America. Yet, China did not have direct foreign investments; in fact China stopped it.
“We talk about miracles, ancient miracles. I don’t like the word miracles because miracles are associated with angels with wings that you do not see, coming from the sky. The Chinese are human beings like us and they did it.
Earlier in 2018, Nigeria overtook India to become the poverty capital of the world. According to British Prime Minister Theresa May, 87 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line.