Nigeria has numerous resources spread across the 36 states in the country. However, the number of people living in poverty has risen over the years. And it has continued to rise daily with the insecurity problems now posing a threat to economic activities in several states. Here on Naijauto, we compiled a list of the top 20 poorest states in Nigeria to let you know the poverty level of the states. The data used to draw up the list was collected from the National Bureau of Statistics. The post also took a look at the state of roads in the listed states.
Let's see them.
Top 20 poorest states in Nigeria and their road conditions
1. Sokoto state
Sokoto state has been ranked as the poorest state in Nigeria after having a poverty level of 87.73% in 2019. Coming from the Northern region where poverty and insecurity are most severe, the state hasn't been able to attract foreign investors to enable it to generate revenue internally.
Sokoto is said to be the largest producer of onions, tomatoes, and other perishable goods; however, the abandoned road projects littering some parts of the state threatens the development of the state. The residents need easy access to places for the distribution of their goods and services.
Sokoto is the poorest state in Nigeria, with a poverty level of 87.73%!
2. Taraba state
Taraba state is a tropical state located in the North-Eastern part of the country. It shares a borderline with the Republic of Cameron. The state has almost the same poverty level as Sokoto state, having been placed at 87.72%. The main occupation here is agriculture with a focus on commercial farming.
During rainy seasons, the deplorable condition of roads in Jalingo is being exposed. Residents have always lamented on the negligence of the government on the provision of good roads which has affected the economic development of the state.
Taraba has almost the same poverty level as Sokoto state!
3. Jigawa state
The third poorest state in Nigeria is also coming from the Northern region. Jigawa shares a border with the Republic of Niger. Being one of the states with the largest population, the poverty level is 87.2%. The state has a semi-arid climate and depends largely on agriculture.
As part of the Nigerian government's effort to provide infrastructure for economic development, the Kurnya-Babura road at the shared border with Niger was approved for construction to promote business across borders.
Jigawa is among the states with the highest population and also one of the poorest states in the country!
4. Ebonyi state
With a poverty level of 79.76%, Ebonyi is the first state from the South-Eastern part of the country to make the list of the poorest states in Nigeria. It was created just 25 years ago. The majority of indigenes aren’t educated so the mainstay is agriculture. The state is the leading producer of rice in Nigeria.
When it comes to roads, Ebonyi is one of the states that can boast of having a good motorable road, as the state of roads has kept improving. The state government is focused on providing infrastructure for the development of the state.
Ebonyi is the poorest state in the South-Eastern part of the country!
5. Adamawa state
The incessant attacks from Boko Haram have posed a major threat to the economy of Adamawa state. With residents on the run for their safety, business is no longer as usual. This has placed them among Nigeria's poorest states. The poverty level is 75.41%.
Road networks in Adamawa state are said to be in poor condition and requiring rehabilitation. With floods washing away some highways, the state government came to the rescue in 2019 by flagging off the construction of some of the affected roads.
Insurgency attacks have posed a threat to the economy of Adamawa state!
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6. Zamfara state
Zamfara state is another state from the Northeast affected by ongoing attacks and abduction in the country. This has led to residents seeking safety in nearby towns, with many now struggling to earn a living. With many economic activities on standstill, the poverty level is now at 73.98%.
The state of the road in Zamfara is rated as being fair. There’re potholes here and there while some roads are impassable.
Zamfara state has a poverty level of 73.98%!
7. Yobe state
Yobe state is an agricultural state located in the Northeastern region. The state is the major supplier of livestock in the country, yet they are among the poorest states. The poverty level in Yobe state is placed at 72.34%.
There have been reports on the improvement of road conditions in the state. Earlier this year, the state government earmarked over $29 million for road and market project execution.
Yobe state happens to be the largest supplier of livestock and made the list of the poorest states in Nigeria!
8. Niger state
Niger state is the largest state in the country and it's in the middle belt region. Widespread illiteracy and climate shock affecting agriculture contribute to the poverty rate in the state. Also, the attacks of Boko Haram in some territories have affected economic activities thus bringing the poverty level to 66.11%.
The federal roads in Niger have been reported to be in deplorable states. Some of the roads need rehabilitation, complete reconstruction and others need maintenance.
Though it's the largest state in the country, Niger state is among the poorest!
9. Gombe state
Gombe state is also facing insecurity issues. It's located in the Northeastern part of the country where the insurgency has become the order of the day. And this has brought the poverty rate in the state to 62.31%.
Motorists in the state have lamented the horrible state of some roads in Gombe. Flood has swept away a larger part of the roads. This frustrates motorists while posing an economic loss to the state.
Gombe is among the poorest Northern states in the country!
10. Bauchi state
Bauchi state is one of the destination points for tourism, with the presence of the famous Yankari Game Reserve and Wikki Warm Springs. Sadly, the state is experiencing attacks and abduction from bandits. This alone has scared away tourists and investors. To that effect, the poverty rate in the state is 61.53%.
There have been road constructions in the state. There are reports that the state government has completed 10 roads while 19 others are at different stages of completion.
Bauchi is the 10th poorest state in the country!
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11. Enugu state
Enugu is the second Southeastern state to appear on the list of poorest states in Nigeria. The state is known for its robust industries. Though its internal generated revenue earned it a spot on the list of richest states in Nigeria, there's still a high poverty level of 58.13%.
Several roads in the state are in bad shape. Notwithstandingly, some roads in the state are still in good condition despite little patched work done on them.
Enugu made the list as the second poorest Southeastern state in Nigeria!
12. Nasarawa state
Nasarawa state is found in the North Central zone in Nigeria. Basically, it’s linking several states like Kogi, Benue, and Kaduna state. Despite being the major producer of salt consumed in the country, Nasarawa has a poverty rate of 57.3%.
There's a gradual process of road repairs, renewal, and construction in the state.
Nasarawa has a poverty rate of 57.3%!
13. Katsina state
Katsina state is situated in the Northwest part of the country. There have also been several attacks by bandits which has almost crippled economic activities in the state. We aren't surprised it's among the poorest states with a poverty level of 56.42%.
75% of people are said to be living in the rural area where the transport routes are in poor conditions. However, the state government has started to open rural roads to ease transportation for rural dwellers.
Several attacks by bandits are said to be crippling the economy of Katsina state!
14. Kano state
Kano is the most populous state in the country. It’s the centre of commerce, yet there's a poverty rate of 55.1% in the state. The northern state is facing inter-religious violence and terrorist attacks which have affected productivity.
Kano state has a good road network; however, lack of maintenance has always been a major challenge facing the government.
Kano is the most populous state in the country with a poverty level of 55.1%!
15. Plateau state
Being major exporters of tin and columbite wasn't enough to reduce the rate of poverty in Plateau state. The poverty level of 55.1% shows half of the populace can't afford life's basic needs. Surrounded by elevated hills, the state has the potentialities of becoming a tourist attraction that can boost its economy.
Several roads in the state aren't motorable. The state is said to have about 53 ongoing road projects which are expected to be nearing completion.
The poverty level of Plateau state shows half of the populace can't afford life's basic needs!
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16. Kebbi state
Kebbi state was carved out of Sokoto state and is known for the famous Arguing International Fishing Festival. The state made the list due to a poverty rate of 50.2%.
Reports say the state government has been constructing and rehabilitating roads covering 890 kilometres across the state.
Kebbi state is known for the renowned Arguing International Fishing Festival.!
17. Kaduna state
Kaduna is also among the poorest states in Nigeria. Well, data says the poverty rate is highest in the northern region. The state's poverty level is at 43.5%. Kaduna state is divided due to frequent ethnic and religious conflicts.
During the rainy season, roads leading to rural areas are flooded, thus preventing rural mobility. However, there are several road projects across the state.
Kaduna state has the highest poverty rate among Northern states that made the list!
The federal territory of the country has been captured among the poorest states as well. The poverty rate says 38.7% of residents are poor. You all know the cost of living in FCT is expensive, especially in the capital city.
Being the country's administrative and political capital, there are good road networks linking the various districts in the capital territory.
38.7% of Abuja residents are poor!
19. Cross River State
The first state from the South-South region to join the list is Cross River. The state is home to several tourist attractions but is it enough to alleviate poverty? The poverty level is 36.3%.
Some roads in the state are said to be in a deplorable condition, thereby affecting operations. Notwithstandingly, the government has targeted the completion of 300 kilometres road projects to promote economic activities.
Cross River is the first state from the South-South region to join the list of poorest states in Nigeria!
20. Benue state
Benue is among the states located in the North Central. It prides itself as the food basket of the nation, so we aren't expecting them to be on the list. But data says otherwise. The poverty rate in the state is 32.9%. The state is known to be plagued by deadly clashes between farmers and Fulani herders.
As much as Benue is blessed with many federal roads, they're in a bad state. This has made it difficult for farmers to transport their farm produce to other parts of the country.
Benue prides itself as the food basket of the nation yet is among the poorest states!
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Recap table: Top 20 poorest states in Nigeria
|Top 20 poorest states in Nigeria|
|19||Cross River State|
While there're richer states in the country, there’re also poorer states. The list of the top 20 poorest states in Nigeria is subject to change as economic activities improve.