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Wealth of 5 richest Nigerians could rid country of poverty

ECONOMIC DISPARITY: Nigeria

ACCORDING TO a new Oxfam report, the 5 richest men in Nigeria could bring nearly all Nigerians out of extreme poverty for one year.

The report provides a picture of the current state of poverty and economic inequality in Nigeria, by identifying the main drivers of this situation and presents some policy solutions.

Oxfam Nigeria's Good Governance Programme Coordinator Celestine Okwudili Odo describes the level of inequality as "obscene": "Extreme inequality is exacerbating poverty, undermining the economy, and fermenting social unrest. Nigerian leaders must be more determined in tackling this terrible problem."

Nigerian government officials such as Minister of State for Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed criticised the "language, tone and style" of the document, according to the BBC. She also questioned the goals and methodology of the report.

Inequality is growing in the populous West African nation, with more than half of its people living in extreme poverty, according to the report. The number living below the poverty line has grown from 69 million in 2004 to 112 million in 2010.

Nigerian government officials such as Minister of State for Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed criticized the "language, tone and style" of the document, according to the BBC. She also questioned the goals and methodology of the report.

Inequality is growing in the populous West African nation, with more than half of its people living in extreme poverty, according to the report. The number living below the poverty line has grown from 69 million in 2004 to 112 million in 2010.

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