Osun State has been ranked, as one of the States with the lowest poverty and inequality index in the country, according to the latest report from the Nigerian Living Standard Survey.
The report, which was computed between September 2018 and October 2019 by the National Bureau of Statistics (and published 4th May 2020), assessed the different indicators that contribute to poverty and inequality in the states of the Federation.
Osun State now has a poverty index of 8.52 percent, which is the state’s lowest index since return to democracy, and third in the federation only behind Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub; and Delta, an oil-producing state and one of the highest revenue earners from federal accounts.
The report, which declared 82.9 million Nigerians as poor according to national standard, said Lagos State has 4.50 percent poverty head count rate, while Delta State has 6.02 percent.
The new report, which according to NBS measured the prevalence of poverty in Nigeria and estimated a wide range of socio-economic indicators including benchmarking of the Sustainable Development Goals, puts Osun State below the urban poverty line average (18.0 percent) and the national poverty line average (40.1 percent).
Also, according to the new report, Osun State has assumed a good standing in terms of poverty gap index with 1.43 percent, and in terms of squared poverty gap index (showing severity) with 0.44 percent.
The Gini coefficient index, showing the degree of economic inequality across States, puts Osun at 25.1 percent, below the urban average of 31.9 percent and the national average of 35.1 percent, an index that projects the reality of a fair wealth distribution in the state.
Reacting to the report, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Professor Olalekan Yinusa, said “this is an indication of an all-round socio-economic improvement in the state in recent years, ranging from employment to access to education.
“This also gives credence to the efforts of the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led administration to reduce poverty to its barest, so that the state can indeed live up to its creed as the state of the virtuous”.
Yinusa added that based on the distribution of revenue to state governments by Federation Account Allocation Committee for the month of December 2019 but shared in January 2020, the total net amount of the Osun State is the least among the 36 states of the federation.
“This latest ranking therefore shows that the state government has been putting its meagre resources into judicious use,” he said.
In her reaction to the methodical submission of the National Bureau of Statistics, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation for Osun state, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, said the report was a testament to the significant progress that Osun had made in recent years and especially under the leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
She said that: “Osun has made significant progress in poverty reduction between now and previous surveys. It reduced from 44.6% in 2003-2004, to 37.5% in 2009-2010, and now to 8.52% in 2018-2019.”
Egbemode added that the payment of salaries of workers across the state had also put individuals and households in a safe zone. Egbemode said, “when the source of income is steady, it puts individuals or households on a pedestal of well-being that transcends the borderline of poverty, and by extension contributes to the strength of the state.”