Seven million Nigerians fall into extreme poverty in 13 months2mins read

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The number of extremely poor Nigerians has risen to 94, 212 064 million, data from the World Poverty Clock shows.

The figure implies that virtually half of Nigeria’s population now live in extreme poverty.

As Nigeria faces a major population boom—it is estimated by the United Nations in a 2017 report that it would become the world’s third-largest country by 2050—it’s a problem likely to worsen.

The latest figure shows that an additional seven million Nigerians have since fallen under the poverty line.

Also, the 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index in July of this year indicated that the multidimensionally poor Nigerians rate increased from 86 million to 98 million between 2007 and 2017.

The report which was released by United Nations Development Programme and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, noted that in Nigeria, even though the proportion of people who are multi-dimensionally poor has remained constant at just over 50 per cent over the past decade (up to 2017), the actual number of people who are multi-dimensionally poor increased from 86 million to 98 million over the same period.

Nigeria population according to the Poverty Clock currently stands at 197, 543 429 million, making 47.7% of the country population in extreme poverty.

The country is considered the world capital of poverty.

The World Poverty Clock is a tool to monitor progress against poverty globally.

It uses publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption, provided by various international organisations, most notably the United Nations, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

The World Poverty Clock had in June of 2018 named Nigeria the poverty capital of the world when it revealed that Nigeria had 87 million people living in poverty.

But the Buhari-led government had rejected the report when it was published by the organisation, insisting that it had created jobs especially in the area of agriculture and reduced poverty.

Former British Prime Minister, Theresa May, however, reiterated the statistics during her visit to South Africa in  August 2018.

May during the visit said Africa is home to a majority of the world’s fragile states, and a quarter of the world’s displaced people.


She added that Africa has the highest number of poor people in the world, stating that 87 million Nigerians were living below the poverty line of $1 and 90 cents per day.

“Much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy, yet 87 million Nigerians live below $1 and 90 cents a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world,” the UK prime minister said.

The World Poverty Clock, which was created by Vienna-based World Data Lab on the 13th of February 2019, revealed that 91.16 million Nigerians were now living below a dollar a day.

A report by Brookings Institution in the same year, said Nigeria has now taken over as the nation with the highest number of extremely poor people, overtaking India which use to hold the position with a population of 1.324 billion people as against Nigeria’s 194 million.

Nigeria is moving upward in global poverty rankings Credit: Brooking Institute, June 19, 2018

The report said then that the number of Nigerians in extreme poverty increases by six people every minute.

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.

Already, Africans account for about two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor. If current trends persist, they 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.

The International Monetary Fund Chairman Christine Lagarde in March of 2018, said Nigerians are getting poorer and that “coherent and comprehensive” economic reforms are urgent.


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