National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday said 40.1 per cent of the country’s population live in abject poverty.
According to NBS report, over 82.9 million Nigerians lived below its poverty line of N137,430 per year, Using a benchmark exchange rate of N360/$1, this translates to N376.50 per day.
This was contained in a report titled “the Nigerian Living Standards Survey (NLSS)” in the country about poverty and inequality and samples data from September 2018 to October 2019.
The bureau said between September 2018 and October 2019, it conducted the latest round of the Nigerian Living Standards Survey after 10 years.
“In Nigeria, 40.1 percent of total population were classified as poor. In other words, on average 4 out of 10 individuals in Nigeria has real per capita expenditures below N137,430 per year,” it said.
It said while the NLSS 2018-19 included households from Borno, that sample was not representative of the whole state since only households from “accessible” (safe-to visit) areas were interviewed.
“Thus, the Borno sample is considered non-random and non-representative,” the bureau added.
A total of nearly 8 million people need humanitarian assistance across Borno and two neighbouring states affected by the insurgency, according to the United Nations.
The NBS said it had changed its methodology for its study, so the figures could not be compared with previous reports on the same subject covering 2003-2004 and 2009-2010.
“The 2019 study is accordingly treated as a base study and any comparisons with previous poverty studies should be treated with caution,” stated the report.
The statistics body said 52 percent of people in rural areas live in poverty, compared with 18 percent in urban parts of the country.
It said the highest poverty levels were in the Northwestern state of Sokoto, where 87.7 percent of people live under the poverty line compared with 4.5 percent in commercial capital of Lagos state which had the lowest rate.
In the East, Ebonyi State has the highest rate of poverty, making it the fourth in the country with 79.9 percent.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is below 50 percent, with 38.7 percent of Nigerians residing in the country’s capital, qualifying as poor.
Even as the top oil exporter in Africa, which accounts for more than half of government revenue and the country’s foreign reserve, the country has not been able to diversify the economy and build much needed transport and power infrastructure, which many have pegged would improve its revenue and hell prevent it from the shocks of the oil market.
With overpopulation on the brink, and population expected to double to 400 million in the next thirty years, the country has now come under a new pandemic that is threatening its revenue source.
The survey for the data showed that it used a sample size of 22,110 households, focusing on increasing household and individual demographics (age, gender, marital status, among others), access to education, health and basic services, employment, assets, and income.