Over 50% of World’s Poorest live in Nigeria, Four Others, says World Bank
BY FRANCIS EZEM
Nigeria’s rising poverty profile once again came to global attention, as she has been listed as one of the five countries in which half of the poorest people in the world live, according to a new study by the World Bank.
This report is coming less than four months after the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, reechoed earlier reports that Nigeria has taken over from India as world’s poverty capital, saying that most Nigerians live in extreme poverty as a result of the economic inequality in the country and many other African countries, an indication that the country’s level of poverty has worsened.
The report, entitled: ‘Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle’, said of the 736 million extreme poor in 2015, 368 million—half of the total—lived in just five countries, which it itemised in descending order to include India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.
Interestingly, three of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa and the other two are in South Asia, and they are deemed to be the most populous countries in their respective regions, which account for 85 percent of the world’s poor, the report says.
“They also happen to be the most populous countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions that together account for 85 percent (629 million) of the world’s poor.
“Therefore, to make significant continued progress towards the global target of reducing extreme poverty (those living on less than $1.90 a day) to less than 3 percent by 2030, large reductions in poverty in these five countries will be crucial,” the report stated.
Nigeria, the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa overtook India last year as the country with the highest number of extremely poor people, according to the Brookings Institution. The report had it that the number of Nigerians in extreme poverty increases by six people every minute.
The report went on to project that Nigeria had already overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extremely poor in early 2018, and that the Democratic Republic of Congo was at the number 2 spot.
The report said: “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.”
The Brookings report further said that by the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there would probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty than there is today.
THE Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, had while reacting to the reports last year said except proactive steps are taken to change the current trend, Nigeria may still remain the poverty capital of the world for many years to come.
His words: “If every country continues its present trajectory, by 2050, 80 per cent of all the poor people in the world will live on the African continent. But, that is not the frightening thing. One half of this 80 per cent will be in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two countries will account for 40 per cent of all the poor people in the world and Nigeria will therefore remain the poverty capital of the world.