The State of Osun 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.

The State of Osun 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 Federation Accounts Allocation Committee.

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 the State of Osun below the urban poverty line average (18.0 percent) and the National poverty line average (40.1 percent).

Also, according to the new report, the State of Osun 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 further stated that based on the distribution of revenue allocation to State Government's by Federation Account Allocation Committee, for the month of December 2019 but shared in January 2020, the total net amount of the State of Osun 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 the State of Osun, Mrs Funke Egbemode said that the report was a testament to the significant progress that the State of Osun has made in recent years and especially under the leadership of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.

She stated 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 staff across the State has also put individuals and households in a safe zone and that  " 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."

While congratulating the people of the State on this poverty reduction milestone, Professor Yinusa assured that the State Government would  not rest on its oars in the battle against poverty in Osun. 

Between September 2018 and October 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics conducted the latest round of the Nigerian Living Standard Survey after a decade, which focused on increasing the understanding of living conditions of the Nigerian population.

It collected data on household and individual demographics, access to education, access to health and basic services, employment assets and income.

According to the report, an average of four out of 10 individuals in Nigeria have real per capital expenditures below N 137,430 per year, which transcends to the supposition that the monthly income of an individual in this category is less than N 11,500 while daily income level is N 383.03.

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