82.9m Nigerians Living in Poverty–NBS

May 4, 2020
82.9m Nigerians Living in Poverty--NBS

By Adedapo Adesanya

Over 80 million Nigerians are living in poverty, latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown on Monday.

According to the country’s official statistical authority, a total of 82.9 million Nigerians, representing about 40 percent, live in Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.

This was contained in a report titled “the Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS)” in the country about poverty and inequality and samples data from September 2018 to October 2019.

The survey is used to measure prevalence of poverty and to estimate a wide range of socio-economic indicators including bench-marking of the Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the NBS report, 82.9 million Nigerians live below its poverty line of N137,430 ($381.75) per year. Using a benchmark exchange rate of N360/$1, this translates to N376.50 per day.

“In Nigeria, 40.1 percent of total population were classified as poor. In other words, on average 4 out of 10 individuals in Nigeria has real per capita expenditures below N137,430 per year,” it said.

The statistics office said it did not include Borno, the state worst hit by the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency, because many areas there were not safe to reach.

A total of nearly 8 million people need humanitarian assistance across Borno and two neighbouring states affected by the insurgency, according to the United Nations.

The NBS said it had changed its methodology for its study, so the figures could not be compared with previous reports on the same subject covering 2003-2004 and 2009-2010.

“The 2019 study is accordingly treated as a base study and any comparisons with previous poverty studies should be treated with caution,” stated the report.

The statistics body said 52 percent of people in rural areas live in poverty, compared with 18 percent in urban parts of the country.

It said the highest poverty levels were in the Northwestern state of Sokoto, where 87.7 percent of people live under the poverty line compared with 4.5 percent in commercial capital of Lagos state which had the lowest rate.

In the East, Ebonyi State has the highest rate of poverty, making it the fourth in the country with 79.9 percent.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is below 50 percent, with 38.7 percent of Nigerians residing in the country’s capital, qualifying as poor.

Even as the top oil exporter in Africa, which accounts for more than half of government revenue and the country’s foreign reserve, the country has not been able to diversify the economy and build much needed transport and power infrastructure, which many have pegged would improve its revenue and hell prevent it from the shocks of the oil market.

With overpopulation on the brink, and population expected to double to 400 million in the next thirty years, the country has now come under a new pandemic that is threatening its revenue source.

The survey for the data showed that it used a  sample size of 22,110 households, focusing on increasing household and individual demographics (age, gender, marital status, among others), access to education, health and basic services, employment, assets, and income.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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