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40% Nigerians living below poverty line, World Bank report reveals

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A report released on Wednesday by the World Bank has revealed that 4 out of every 10 Nigerians, translating to a whopping 40%, are living below the National Poverty line.

This revelation which was contained in a press release with the title “A better future for all Nigerians: Nigeria Poverty Assessment 2022,” indicted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of not doing much to lift a majority of the poor masses out of poverty.

The World Bank report cited “sluggish growth, low human capital, labor market weaknesses, and exposure to shocks” as key indicators holding Nigeria’s poverty reduction back.

The report, according to the World Bank, represents the culmination of its engagement on poverty – and inequality- relevant data and analytics in Nigeria in the past two years.

“The survey draws primarily on the 2018/19 Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS), which provided Nigeria’s first official poverty numbers in almost a decade, as well as the Nigeria COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (NLPS).”

According to the report which brings together the latest evidence on the profile and drivers of poverty in Nigeria, “as many as 4 in 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty line.”

“Many Nigerians, especially in the country’s north, also lack education and access to basic infrastructure, such as electricity, safe drinking water, and improved sanitation,” the report also noted.

It went on to suggest “at least three types of deep, long-term reforms to foster and sustain pro-poor growth and raise Nigerians out of poverty.

“These include: (1) macroeconomic reforms (including fiscal, trade, and exchange rate policy); (2) policies to boost the productivity of farm and non-farm household enterprises; and (3) improving access to electricity, water, and sanitation while bolstering information and communication technologies.

“These reforms together could help diversify the economy, invigorate structural transformation, create good, productive jobs, and support social protection programs as well as other redistributive government policies,” it added.

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South African serial rapist gets four life imprisonment terms

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A South African serial rapist and killer, Philani Justice Nkosi, has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms by a Mpumalanga High Court for rape and murder.

The court also sentenced the 35-year-old to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering one of his victims who recognised him.

Nkosi was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of one count of murder, three counts of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, who expressed satisfaction with the sentence, said Nkosi committed the offences between 2014 and 2018 in Bhuga Trust and Halfway Trust in KaBokweni.

“In one incident which stands out, the accused attacked a 12-year-old victim while she was on the way to the local shop. He dragged her to the nearby bush, raped and strangled her to death,” Nyuswa said.

“He also raped another woman in March 2016, stabbed and robbed her of cash.

“The accused continued with his crime spree until December 2018 when he raped an adult woman who was on her way home from work.

“The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was subsequently arrested and linked to other crimes through DNA,” Nyuswa said.

Nkosi who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, claimed the two rape survivors were prostitutes and that the deceased was his girlfriend.

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Tanzanian court sentences 11 people to death for killing South African conservationist

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A Tanzanian High Court has sentenced 11 people to death after they were found guilty of killing a South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter, who was murdered in Dar es Salaam in 2017.

The convicts include nine Tanzanians and two citizens of neighbouring Burundi.

The victim was a renowned anti-poaching activist who was singled out by the convicts for disrupting their illegal poaching activities, according to prosecutors while testifying in court on Friday.

State prosecutors told Judge Leila Mgonya that the 51-year-old Lotter who was based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the East African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam when the taxi he was travelling in was ambushed and though the exact motive for his killing is still unknown, his colleagues believe he was singled out for his work on protecting elephants, local media reports.

While handing down the death sentences, Judge Mgonya said there was compelling evidence that linked the 11 to the two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder on which they were charged

“Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing. The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them,” the judge said.

Tanzania is one of the worst hit African countries in terms of elephant poaching, with a data released early this year noting that more than 66,000 elephants have been lost in the last 10 years due to the activities of illegal poachers.

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