The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, said in its latest report that the number of citizens in extreme poverty now stood at an estimated 102 million.
NECA said the figure represented 50% of estimated Nigeria’s population of about 205 million and a 10% point rise against the 40% number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in October 2019.
The World Bank had in June 2020, predicted that there would be 95.7 million Nigerians living below the poverty line by 2022, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bank defined extreme poverty as living on less than $1.90 a day, adding that it was likely to affect between 9.1% and 9.4% of the world’s population in 2020.
According to the latest annual report by NECA , “the total number of people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria now stands at 15% of the total number of people living in extreme poverty world-wide.”
Acting President, NECA, Taiwo Adeniyi reportedly said “with COVID-19, the figure could only be imagined. It is practically impossible to separate unemployment from poverty.
“The longer people stay out of employment or any reasonable means of income, the higher the rate of poverty.
“Two years after it was reported that Nigeria had surpassed India as the nation with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty across the world, the country’s poverty ranking continues to surge.”
Adeniyi continued: “the World Poverty Clock, a web tool based on World Data Lab’s global poverty model, estimated in June 2018 that 86.9 million Nigerians are living on less than $1.90 a day.
“That number has increased by over 15 million in the past two years, according to new figures published by the World Data Lab on May 26, 2020.”
The NBS in its report on poverty and inequality from September 2018 to October 2019, had said “40% or 82.9 million Nigerians live below poverty line of N137,430 ($381.75) a year.
“In Nigeria, 40.1% of the total population was classified as poor. In other words, on average, four out of 10 individuals in Nigeria have real per capita expenditures below N137,430 ($352) per year.”
The NBS said it did not include Borno, the state worst hit by the decade-long Boko Haram armed uprising, because many areas there were not safe to reach.
According to the report, “52% of people in rural areas live in poverty, compared with 18% in urban parts of the country.
“The highest poverty levels were in the northwest state of Sokoto, where 87.7% of people live under the poverty line compared with 4.5% in commercial hub Lagos state, which had the lowest rate.” (With additional reports from THE WILL)