OXFAM International has warned that 25% of the world’s poorest people may live in Nigeria by 2030 as no fewer than 94.47m Nigerians live below the extreme poverty line according to the latest findings contained in the recently-published World Poverty Clock.
Launched in Berlin in 2017 and funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Poverty Clock seeks to address a gap in development data around social progress indicators, starting with poverty numbers and tries to align them with economic and demographic indicators like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and population. It provides real-time poverty data across countries, using data publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption, provided by international organisations like the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Speaking in Abuja today at Oxfam’s programme quality review and planning meeting with the theme On the Road To Becoming an Influencing Hub. Oxfam’s Nigeria country director Constant Tchona, decried that this number of people live below the benchmark of N684 per day. While describing the burden as pathetic, he noted that Nigerian government was aware of the rate of poverty in the land.
Mr Tchona said: “The number of people that live below extreme poverty level as of April was 91,501,377, making Nigeria the World Capital of Poverty. As if that was not bad enough, at the moment, six months later, the number has jumped up to 94,470,535 people.
“What this means is that we have added 2,969,158 people more into extreme poverty. By comparison, this number is more than the population of Gambia and Cape Verde combined.
“At the current rate, Nigeria is not only off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) but many now believe that up to 25% of the world’s extreme poor will live in Nigeria by 2030. Nigeria total population is 200,963,599 people according to the Worldometer and is to become the world’s third-largest country by 2050.”
He quoted President Muhammadu Buhari’s intention to lift 100m Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years and set them on the path to prosperity to fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory and place it among the World’s Great Nations. According to Mr Tchona, if this is achieved, Nigeria will shock the world to achieve the SDGs.
“Now the question is what is the role of the citizens and how that role will be played in supporting both elected and appointed officials in achieving this lofty goal. What could be the role of international NGO’s like Oxfam on that journey?” Mr Tchona asked.