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New online atlas sheds light on inequality in Nigeria

UK: A researcher at the University of Sheffield has created a new online atlas (www.nigerianlgaclassification.com) which depicts the socio-demographic, economic and environmental information of Nigeria.

The new website aims to provide spatial dimensions of local level inequality in the country and will be particularly useful for tracking and tackling the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other important policy programmes. The atlas includes over 100 maps, charts and visuals, which will, for the first time, make it possible to view at a glance, areas in which students are likely to be dissatisfied with the quality of teaching in school, the extent to which people fear crime in different areas, and areas which provide satisfactory health service.

Compiled by Dr Adegbola Ojo, while studying for a PhD at the University´s Department of Geography, the atlas was launched on the 50th anniversary of Nigeria´s independence from British Colonial rule. Since the country emerged as a sovereign state in 1960, the task of providing the public with timely and relevant socio-demographic, economic and environmental information about their residential areas at the Local Government Area (LGA) level has been very challenging. This lack of local spatial information reinforces the perpetuation of longstanding inequalities and uneven development in the country.

The main findings from the atlas include:
– More than 70 per cent of children within Toiling Country Dwellings and Middle-class Country Dwellings are unlikely to be enrolled in school.
– Out of every 100 households in most areas, there are less than 10 where females own either a land or a home.
– The pattern of inequality among women who receive assistance from doctors during child birth suggests that almost half of the country´s potential mothers will have to relocate from their current residences to other areas for a state of national equilibrium to be attained.

Source: University of Sheffield