‘Inflation could push 6 million Nigerians into poverty’ – World Bank Report

Says urgent policy action needed to curb Covid-19 impact on citizens

The World Bank has revealed that the increase in prices that occurred between June 2020 and June 2021 could push about six million Nigerians into abject poverty.

This was disclosed by the Bank in a new report titled: ‘Covid-19 in Nigeria: Frontline Data and Pathways for Policy’.

The report read: “The rise in prices witnessed between June 2020 and June 2021 alone could push another six million Nigerians into poverty, with urban areas being disproportionately affected. This underscores the need for short-term policies to support welfare.

“The simple simulations suggest that the share of Nigerians living below the national poverty line could have increased from 40.1 percent to 42.8 percent due to the food price inflation witnessed between June 2020 and June 2021”.

In the new report, the World Bank said, “Immediate policy action is needed to curb the long-run impacts of the Covid-19 crisis on the lives and livelihoods of Nigerian households”.

The report also disclosed that poorer Nigerians were more willing to get Covid-19 vaccination unlike richer Nigerians, which further showed that the poor were more concerned about contracting the virus.

The report also disclosed that some Nigerians did not have access to soap and water to maintain good hygiene during the pandemic.

The report further disclosed that there has been low coverage of social protection programmes during the Covid-19 crisis in Nigeria, adding that just 4% of households had received support from social safety net programmes in the form of direct cash transfers from federal, State, or local government between March, 2020 and March, 2021.

It stated that the pandemic has hit countries with a health and economic shock whose effects would be felt far into the future, and in countries like Nigeria, the pandemic has continued to affect health outcomes, human-capital accumulation, household poverty and coping strategies, as well as labour-market dynamics.

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