Nigerians living in “extreme poverty” growing by 6 people per minute

A new article authored by Homi Kharas, Interim Vice President and Director – Global Economy and Development, Kristofer Hamel, Chief Operating Officer – World Data Lab and Martin Hofer, Research Analyst – World Data Lab has disclosed the number Nigerians living in extreme poverty is growing by six persons every minute.

The report also notes that Nigeria has already overtaken India as the country with the highest number of extremely poor people. This is despite the fact that India has 1.324 billion people while Nigeria has a population of just about 200 million people.

The number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty crossed the 83 million mark in 2018, surpassing India’s number of extremely poor at 73 million. This means that almost one of out every two persons living in Nigeria is now living in extreme poverty.

“According to our projections, Nigeria has already overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor in early 2018, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon take over the number 2 spot (Figure 1 below). At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall. In fact, by the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty than there are today.”

The report explains that “Africans account for about two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor and that If current trends persist, Africa will account for nine-tenths by 2030.

“Fourteen out of 18 countries in the world—where the number of extreme poor is rising—are in Africa.”

In a recent report, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted that the country’s GDP per capital will continue to decline over the next eight years plunging the country further down the poverty ladder. The major challenge has been the lack of political will by the government to initiate critical reforms that will free critical assets and propel economic growth.

An article to be published by BusinessDay today shows how significant borrowings in the last three years has failed to spur economic growth. This mainly because the borrowing has not been supported by critical reforms in key sectors of the economy say analysts.