Nigeria is now ranking as the top country with the largest number of people living with extreme poverty according to the World Poverty Clock report compiled by Brookings Institute. Nigeria has overtaken India which currently has 71.5 million (5.3 per cent) Indians living below the poverty line.
The findings show that 86.9 million Nigerians (about half of the country’s population) live on less than $1.90 a day. In addition, Africa accounts for nearly two-thirds of the over 643 million people living in poverty globally. Unfortunately, poverty levels in Africa are expected to surge.
“By the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living with extreme poverty than there is today,” the report notes.
Poverty in Nigeria
Nigeria is grappling with poverty in spite of being the largest oil producer on the continent. In 2016, the country went into recession due to a drop in oil prices and oil production.
Although the oil prices are on the rise and the country is on the path to economic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is of the opinion that “more needs to be done to reduce unemployment and address poverty.”
Compared to India, poverty in Nigeria is increasing by about six people each minute while poverty in India is declining.
Nigeria could be the third largest country in the world by 2050, a situation that could worsen its poverty levels.
Poverty in Africa
Other countries on the top ten list as of June 2018 include DRC with 60.9 million people living in extreme poverty, Ethiopia with 23.9 million, Tanzania with 19.9 million, Mozambique with 17.8 million, and Kenya with 14.7 million.
Out of the ten countries on this list, Ethiopia is the only country on track to meet the United Nations sustainable development goal of ending poverty by 2030 according to the report.
“The task of ending extreme poverty by 2030 is becoming inexorably harder because we are running out of time. We should celebrate our achievements, but increasingly sound the alarm that not enough is being done, especially in Africa,” states the report.