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Nigerians living in extreme poverty now 105 million

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The latest report by World Poverty Clock has shown that more Nigerians have been plunged into extreme poverty since November 2019.

The latest figure shows that over 105 million Nigerians now live in extreme poverty – from 98 million in October 2019. The figures represent 51% of the population.

Nigeria, according to the World Poverty Clock, has a total population of 205,323,520 people with 105,097,856 in extreme poverty representing 51 per cent of the population.

An individual is classified as living in extreme poverty if the person earns below $1.90 or N855 a day.

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The data further shows that there are more Nigerian males are in extreme poverty compared to their female counterparts.

About 53,133,553 million men are living below the poverty threshold, while women are 51,564,303.

The data showed that the standard rate of escape from poverty is 0.3 people per second but Nigeria falls short of – with -4.4 people escaping poverty per second.

Nigeria remains the poverty capital in the world in terms of the number of people but is below other countries in poverty in percentages. Niger has 72% of its population in extreme poverty, Madagascar has 77%, the Democratic Republic of Congo has 75%, Central African republican has 79%, while South Sudan has 80% of its population in extreme poverty.

The figure by World Poverty Clock, however, contradicts the latest figures on poverty released by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

NBS in May 2020 released its 2019 report on “Poverty and Inequality in Nigeria” and put the figure of Nigerians living in extreme poverty at 89.2 million. This represents 40.1 percent of Nigeria’s population.

Despite the poverty level, Nigeria’s information minister Lai Mohammed said no government in the country’s history has alleviated poverty like the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

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“No government in the history of this country has ever methodically and seriously put in place measures aimed at addressing poverty alleviation and creating jobs for youths like this Administration,” Mohammed said on Tuesday.

The minister said the government’s N-Power, Trader Moni, Farmer Moni, Market Moni targetted at lifting 10 million Nigerians out of poverty have empowered over two million youths.

Like many countries, Nigeria’s economy is still dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown which lasted for five months from March to August.

President Buhari said the compulsory business closure in the nation’s economic capital Lagos and capital city Abuja was in the best interest for the safety of citizens.

Buhari noted that business closures will cause alter the nation’s economy but urged business owners to see it as a sacrifice for the good of the country.

More than three months after reopening the economy, the country is yet to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 imposed lockdown and falls at risk of another recession, according to the state for budget and national planning minister Clem Agba.

“Is it likely that the (economic) growth in the third quarter will be negative or positive?, I think it is likely going to be negative considering the fact that the lockdown has just been lifted,” Agba said in August when Nigeria lifted the lockdown on businesses.

“But if we put on all our efforts, if we do what we have to do as Nigerians, then there will be room for recovery, it takes a joint effort, not only of government but all Nigerians to take our country serious, play our roles in order to ensure that we have quick recovery.”


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