The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that poverty levels in the nation have risen.
Statistician-General Yemi Kale on Monday presented the results of a 2010 study indicating that poverty had risen from 54 percent of Nigeria’s population in 2004 to 69 percent in 2010, or about 112 million Nigerians, a staggering figure when compared with the Nigeria’s estimated population of 163 million.
Kale said estimates show Nigerians may have gotten poorer in 2011.
“NBS estimates that this trend may have increased further in 2011 if the potential positive impacts of several anti-poverty and employment generation intervention programmes are not taken into account.” The Statistician-General stated.
The NBS survey showed that the Northern part of the country recorded the highest poverty rates.
North-West and North-East had poverty rates at 70 per cent and 69 per cent respectively while the South- West and South-East recorded the least poverty rate at 49.8 per cent.
Sokoto had the highest number of poor people in the country with 86.4 per cent of its population recorded as not enjoying good living standards while Niger State had the lowest poverty rate of 43.6 per cent by the end of 2010.
“Using the absolute poverty measure, 54.7 per cent of Nigerians were living in poverty in 2004 but this increased to 60.9 per cent or 99.284 million Nigerians in 2010. Kale said,
“The NBS adopts the relative poverty measurement for monitoring poverty trends in the country.” He added.
Relative poverty is the comparison of the living standards of people living in a given society within a specified period of time. It is the most acceptable poverty measurement which has been adopted by the NBS for many years.
Apart from the relative poverty index, other poverty measurement standards are absolute measure, which puts the country’s poverty rate at 99.284 million or 60.9 per cent; the dollar per day measure, which puts the poverty rate at 61.2 per cent; and the subjective poverty measure, which puts the poverty level at 93.9 per cent (93.9 percent of respondents had described themselves as poor).
All the four methods used in measuring poverty by the NBS pointed to the fact that there was disconnect between the country’s GDP growth rate of 7.75 per cent and the high poverty rate.
“It remains a paradox … that despite the fact that the Nigerian economy is growing, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year.” Kale said.