Poor Nigerians Expected to Reach 100 Million By 2022 – World Bank

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Poor Nigerians Expected to Reach 100 Million By 2022 – World Bank
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

The World Bank has estimated that the number of poor Nigerians would rise from the current 90 million to about 100 million by 2022 due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bank projects that about 11 million more Nigerians would plunge into poverty by 2022 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

It equally pegged the financial portfolio approved by its board for Nigeria at about $11.5bn.

This was disclosed during the bank’s Nigeria Development Update virtual event, themed, ‘Rising to the challenge: Nigeria’s COVID-19 response’.

According to Punch, an economist with the bank, Marco Hernandez, during his presentation said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, about two million Nigerians were expected to fall into poverty in 2020 as population growth outpaced economic growth.

“With the COVID-19, the recession is likely to push an additional 6.6 million Nigerians into poverty in 2020, bringing the total newly poor to 8.6 million this year,” Hernandez said

“This implies an increase in the total number of the poor in Nigeria from about 90 million in 2020 to about 100 million in 2022. Northern states are more likely to be affected.”

The bank outlined the factors to explain the increase in poverty to include having vulnerable employment, receiving fewer remittances, and being close to the poverty line among others.

The bank said Nigeria’s economy had been adversely affected by, noting that in 2020, it recorded its deepest quarterly contraction since the 1980s.

It stated that job quality in Nigeria had worsened with more workers engaged in precarious work in the agricultural sector.

The World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, while speaking on the portfolio size of the bank in Nigeria said, “There are three different ways of looking at the size of our portfolio.

“The first is how much concessional finance. If you look at how much our board has approved in terms of this financing, in the middle of 2018, is about $7bn.”

He added, “Since then and up till now, they’ve approved another $3bn in terms of financing. So, that brings us to $10bn and then with the $1.5bn that’s being considered in December, it will take it to somewhere around $11.5bn. That’s what the board has approved.”

He said the $1.5bn loans which Nigeria is expecting from the World Bank, was under consideration.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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