The World Bank has warned that the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty may increase by over 30million by 2030 if the government fails to revive economic growth and create jobs.
According to the World Bank, if it happens, Nigeria would be home to 25% of the world’s poorest people.
“The cost of inaction is significant. 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,” the bank said.
The World Bank also warned that Nigeria could also fall back into recession if crude oil prices drop by 25% from the current $61 per barrel.
“Economic and demographic projections highlight the urgent need for reform.
“With population growth (estimated at 2.6 per cent) outpacing economic growth in a context of weak job creation, per capita income is falling. Today, an estimated 100 million Nigerians live on less than $1.90 per day.
“Close to 80 per cent of poor households are in northern Nigeria, while employment creation and income gains have been concentrated on central and southern Nigeria,” the World Bank reveals in its 2019 Nigeria Economic Update Report.
The Bank noted that the projected growth rate of 2.1% in 2020 and 2021 compared to an annual population growth rate of 2.6% “is vulnerable to external and domestic risks, including geopolitical and trade tensions that may affect inflows of private investment.”
“Nigeria has the opportunity to advance reforms to mitigate these risks amid growing public demand for greater economic opportunities,” the World Bank said.
The World Bank urged President Muhammadu Buhari to increase domestic revenue, remove trade restrictions, remove expensive fuel subsidies, reduce lending to targeted sectors that crowd out banks, and improve the predictability of economic policy, saying that failure to take action would see more Nigerians falling into extreme poverty.
Nigeria is currently the world’s headquarter for extreme poverty as about 50% of Nigeria’s 200million people live in poverty (that is about a 100million extremely poor Nigerians).
In 2018, Nigeria over took India as the country with the largest number of poor people.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.