Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most people in extreme poverty. For context, India has 5 times the population of Nigeria. According to World Bank standards, living in extreme poverty is living on less than $1.90 (N680) per day. People living in extreme poverty are unable to meet even the barest minimal needs for survival.
In 2015, the UN set up the Sustainable Development Goals, and the first of them is to “eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030”. However to achieve this globally, 90 people need to leave poverty every minute to eradicate poverty totally by 2030; and to achieve this in Africa, 57 people have to leave every minute; and in Nigeria, 12 people per minute.
As you can imagine, this is not the case. In fact the opposite is the case. On the average, 9 people are entering extreme poverty every minute, and Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo are both responsible for the 9. And individually, Nigeria has about 7 people going into poverty every minute.
For Nigeria, this is due to many reasons, first of all, population. Nigeria’s population is growing faster than its economy. Between 1990 and 2013, Nigeria’s population increased by 81 percent. And by 2050, according to the UN, Nigeria will be third most populous country in the world. Only behind India and China.
And while poverty is billed to wildly increase in 2018, the IMF projects Nigeria’s GDP to rise by only 0.8 percent in 2018, after the 2016 recession slowed down the economy. Nigeria’s 2018 record budget (which President Buhari stood for 69 minutes to present, this was news for some reason) is running on a deficit, and will be funded by much borrowing with government debts already on the rise.
On the contrary, in recent times, Nigeria’s recent dwindling oil wealth due to the global oil price reduction, with oil being the mainstay of its economy, meant its oil-dependent GDP was affected too. The country’s economy was hit hard by the recent recession in the country.
This is not unexpected though. High rate of unemployment, corruption, the lack of basic amenities, difficulty in doing business and now, millions living in poverty? It’s just another Friday in Nigeria.