Updated: Apr 5
Currently, over 90 million Nigerians – roughly half of the country’s population live in extreme poverty. Most of the people in this category depend on less than $1.90 (N740) a day for survival. The biggest concern however is whether the poorest Nigerians have any chance at escaping poverty in their lifetime.
The World Data Lab estimates that the number of those in poverty will increase by 22% by 2030. Dr. Zuhumnan Dapel, an economist and a fellow at the Center for Global Development, in his recent research critically analyzed the chances Nigeria’s poor have in escaping poverty in their lifetime.
By making reference to major data-sets, including national household survey and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Life Tables between 1980 and 2010, Dr. Dapel was able to find a pattern suggesting that a large percentage of the Nigerian population currently living below the poverty line are at risk of living in poverty throughout their lifetime.
Below are some inferences drawn from Dr. Dapel's research:
1. 91% of Nigerians living in poverty may spend the rest of their lives in this situation.
2. About a decade ago, it took the poor approximately 46.2 years to escape poverty.
3. The poor have not experienced significant growth in average living standards, despite some moderate rise in economic growth (measured by GDP) over the past two decades.
4. This suggests that the nation’s economic growth has not demonstrated any potential of helping the poor break free from poverty.
5. If it takes about 46 years to grow people out of poverty and the average life expectancy of Nigerians is 53 years, many could spend their entire lives in poverty.
6. The need to enforce policies that will not only lead to a rise in GDP, but will also boost the income of the poor (GDP per capita) is important in order to tackle this existing problem.
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Author Credit: Ima-Abasi Joseph Pius