7 million Nigerians dropped below poverty line in 2020 – World Bank

The World Bank has said that Nigeria’s Development Update shows that seven million Nigerians plunged below the poverty line in 2020 due to inflation.

The global bank, in a statement on its website on Tuesday, said: “In 2020 the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8% than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2%).

“Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households,” the statement read in part. 

It said, as of April 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation.

“Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone”, it stated.

Earlier in February, a World Bank report had projected that an additional 20 million Nigerians could be impoverished by 2022 and predicts an astronomical surge in Nigeria’s 83 million poverty cycle.

“With slower growth and fewer jobs, and then coupled with high inflation, we estimate that the number of the poor will increase by about 15 to 20 million people by 2022, from the about 83 million people in 2019”, it further stated.

The World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, was quoted in the statement to have said, “While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential”.

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