Nigeria misses poverty reduction target, per capita income growth at 0.7%
By Jeph Ajobaju, Chief Copy Editor
Muhammadu Buhari himself has admitted his best is not good enough and is daily crowing to return to his ranch in Daura, despite successes ascribed to him by the liars around him who are only protecting their own quarry from the pillaging of Nigeria.
Buhari’s failure is underscored by the latest World Bank report which says Nigeria missed 2022 poverty reduction target, even with Information Minister Lai Mohammed bragging last week Abuja feeds 10 million poor children daily and has doled out N5,000 cash to 1.63 million households.
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The World Bank Group said estimated per capita income growth of 0.7 per cent for Nigeria and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2022 is insufficient to meet the goals of poverty reduction and shared prosperity in the medium to long term.
The Bank reiterated in its new report titled, “Africa’s Pulse: An analysis of issues shaping Africa’s economic future,” that poverty reduction trends, which were already derailed by the pandemic, have slowed further.
The pandemic has induced a lasting impact on long-term growth, it added, affecting particularly the poorest people and increasing extreme poverty.
In its view, the weak rebound of the Nigerian economy in the aftermath of the pandemic along with the setback from rising inflation is not sufficient to undo job and income losses induced by the pandemic.
“Rising inflation is weighing on economic activity in Sub-Sahara. The upward trend in inflation following the post-pandemic period was exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, soaring to record highs in many countries,” the report said.
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“The escalation of the war has fueled a rise in commodity prices, particularly food and energy prices. High pass-through of food and fuel prices to consumer prices has caused headline inflation to spike.”
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Inflation weighs on economic activity
The World Bank warned rising inflation is weighing on economic activity in Nigeria and post-pandemic upward trend in inflation is exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, per The PUNCH.
“The escalation of the war has fueled a rise in commodity prices, particularly food and energy prices. High pass-through of food and fuel prices to consumer prices has caused headline inflation to spike.
“The fiscal space to mount effective responses today is gone because of high levels of debt across Sub-Saharan African countries, rising borrowing costs, and depleted public savings.”
The report comes after an earlier one by the World Bank titled, “A Better Future for All Nigerians: Nigeria Poverty Assessment 2022”, which canvassed for urgent deep structural reforms to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
It cited sluggish growth, low human capital, labor market weaknesses, and exposure to shocks as some of the factors militating against Nigeria’s poverty reduction effort.
The report brings together the latest evidence of the profile and drivers of poverty in Nigeria, which shows four in 10 citizens live below the national poverty line.
It corroborates a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which said 62.9 per cent of Nigerians – 133 million – are multidimensionally poor.
The figure jumps from the projection of the World Bank earlier this year which placed 95 million Nigerians under the poverty line.