An estimated 6.8 million Nigerians have slipped into extreme poverty in just 12 months, according to the World Poverty Clock.
It was first revealed in June 2018 that Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty across the world, with an estimated 86.9 million Nigerians measured to be living on less than $1.90 (N684) a day.
According to available data courtesy of the World Poverty Clock, a web tool produced by World Data Lab, that figure has increased to 93.7 million in June 2019.
4.5 Nigerians slip into extreme poverty every minute with 47.7% of Nigeria’s estimated 196.5 million people affected. This figure has risen from 44.2% of the total population that was recorded in June 2018.
In its assessment last year, the World Data Lab noted that the outlook for poverty alleviation in Nigeria is weak and that an estimated 120 million Nigerians are expected to slip into extreme poverty by 2030.
“If current economic trends persist, we forecast that between 2018 and 2030 real GDP growth (2.15% per annum) will be unable to keep up with population growth, resulting in average annual growth of GDP per capita of less than zero,” the organisation noted.
How Nigeria became the world’s poverty capital
World Poverty Clock provides real-time poverty estimates until 2030 for almost every country in the world, monitoring progress against ending extreme poverty which is the United Nation’s first sustainable development goal.
According to its methodology, the World Poverty Clock uses publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption, provided by various international organizations, most notably the UN, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
These organizations compile data provided to them by governments in each country. In the few cases when governments fail to provide data, the agency uses models to estimate poverty in affected countries. The agency’s data covers 99.7% of the world’s population.
For Nigeria, the general household survey (GHS) from 2012/2013 is used, rather than the harmonised Nigeria living standards survey, because it is more recent and believed to be of higher quality.
The agency notes that the challenges of estimating poverty in Nigeria stem from the fact that Nigeria is not a homogeneous country, especially with distinct differences in economic conditions between the south and the north. National averages conceal these differences and surveys are not sufficiently represented at the state level to draw firm conclusions.
The agency believes poverty has fallen over time along with economic growth in southern states, while it has been more stubborn in northern states but the differences cannot be factored into national level calculations.
Civil unrest and conflict in selected northern areas where terrorist group, Boko Haram, has been active are believed to contribute to the negative impact on poverty, even though there is insufficient data to quantify it.