Poverty: NBS’ 133m figure exceeds World Bank’s projection for 2022 – ActionAid

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has observed that that the current number of 133million poor Nigerians by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) far exceeds the World Bank’s projection for the country in 2022.

The Country Director, Ene Obi in a press release issued in Abuja said the latest findings differ from the World Bank’s, which stated that poverty reduction stayed the same under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and projected that 95.1 million Nigerians would become poor in 2022.

She said the CEO of NBS and Statistician-General of the Federation, Semiu Adeniran, said this was the first time the NBS would conduct a multidimensional poverty survey in Nigeria.

She further explained that according to NBS report, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kebbi, Gombe, Yobe, Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara and Ebonyi states were the top ten poorest States in Nigeria.

Sokoto leads the poorest states in Nigeria with 90.5 per cent followed by Bayelsa with 88.5 per cent. Gombe also stands at 86.2 per cent, Jigawa 84.3 per cent, and Plateau state with 84 per cent. The report noted that out of 65 per cent of poor Nigerians, about 86 million, are in the North, and 35 per cent, about 47 million, poor people live in the South.

According to her, ActionAid observed that out of over 200 million Nigerians, 63% which represents 133 million are living in multidimensional poverty adding that the level of poverty is higher in rural areas, where 72 per cent of people are poor, compared to 42 per cent in urban areas.

She said 65 per cent of poor people i.e., 86 million live in the North, while 35 per cent, nearly 47 million live in the South.

“29% of all school-aged children are not attending school. 94% of these out-of-school children are poor.6 out of 10 girls aged 12–17 is poor, among those in child marriages, approximately 8 out of 10 are poor,” she said.

She urged President Muhammadu Buhari to create as a matter of urgency, a separate agriculture emergency fund outside the 2023 agriculture budget to avert Nigeria’s looming food crisis.

She said: “This food and nutrition insecurity is caused by the insurgency, armed banditry, and farmers-herders clashes, and when you add floods across the country that has ravaged farmlands and livelihoods and our high post-harvest losses is about N3.5 trillion annually.”

She further called on governments at all levels, to reinvigorate Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to make the economy robust. “Local government Areas must also be given a new lease of life because the state Governors currently emasculate them,” she said.

She said Nigeria must invest more in youth engagements in information communication & technology and other areas where the nation is doing well to revamp the critical dimensions of health, education, agriculture, and public infrastructure.