World Bank says Nigeria will take over India as the world capital for deaths of children under the age of five by 2021.
The apex bank made this known in its bi-annual economic update on Nigeria, noting that the country records the highest number of child malaria deaths anywhere in the world.
The Bretton Woods institution added that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children anywhere in the world, and 90 percent of these children are from northern Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s weak revenue mobilization has major implications for its growth and development, including for improving its dire social service delivery outcomes,” the World Bank 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 percent 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 percent of the population lived below poverty in 2017.
“With 9 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.”
The bank 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”.
“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.”
Based on 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.