The World Bank on Tuesday, said surging inflation and rising prices pushed an estimated 7 million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This comes barely 3 days after President Muhammadu Buhari claimed that his administration lifted 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years,
Buhari, in his June 12 Democracy Day speech, said, “in the last two years, we lifted 10.5 million people out of poverty – farmers, small-scale traders, artisans, market women and the like.”
But the World Bank in its Nigeria Development Update (NDU) released Tuesday, however, said about seven million Nigerians became poor in 2020, adding that Nigeria’s economic growth is being hindered by food inflation, heightened insecurity, unemployment and stalled reforms.
“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”
“As of April 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years.
”Food prices accounted for over 60 per cent of the total increase in inflation.
”Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone,” the statement reads in part.
Shubham Chaudhuri, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, 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 realize its development potential.”
Earlier in February, a World Bank report had projected that an additional 20 million Nigerians could be impoverished by 2022.