25% of World’s poorest people will be living in Nigeria in the next decade if policymakers do not revive the economy and lift employment, the world bank has warned.
Nigeria Africa’s biggest economy is expected to expand 2.1% in 2020 and 2021, the bank said in its Nigeria Economic Update report published Monday. This is below the nation’s 2.6% growth rate.
World bank’s report urged President Muhammad Buhari to remove trade restrictions, improve the predictability of economic policy and increase domestic revenue. It also called on the government to reduce central bank lending to targeted sectors that crowd out banks and remove expensive fuel subsidies.
“The cost of inaction is significant,” the bank said. “Under a business-as-usual scenario, where Nigeria maintains the current pace of growth and employment levels, by 2030 the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty could increase by more than 30 million.”
World Bank said half of Nigeria’s 200 million population lives in poverty. Last year, Nigeria overtook India as the country with the largest number of people in extreme poverty.
Nigeria’s economy is still recovering from its first annual contraction in 25 years in 2016 that resulted from a collapse in crude prices. The country could slide back into recession if crude prices fall by 25% to $50 a barrel, the bank said.