Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a report monitoring poverty and inequality from September 2018 to October 2019, said 40% of people in the country lived below its poverty line of 137,430 naira ($381.75) per year. It signifies that it represents 82.9 million people of the most populaous country in Africa.
Nigeria is the top oil exporter in Africa, which has generated wealth related to crude sales that account for more than half of government revenue. But a failure to diversify the economy and build much needed transport and power infrastructure has retained growth and the spread of wealth beyond a rich elite.
Rapid population growth exceeds economic growth, which stands at around 2%. The United Nations (UN) estimates that Nigeria will have a population of 400 million ihnabitant by 2050.
Nigeria was already struggling to shake off the impact of a 2016 recession before the new coronavirus pandemic hit economies worldwide.
Nigeria is a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse federation which is formed by 36 autonomous states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Inequality in terms of income and opportunities has been progressing rapidly and has affected poverty reduction. The North-South divide has widened in recent years due to the Boko Haram insurgency and a lack of economic development in the northern part of the country.
Large pockets of Nigeria’s population still live in extreme poverty, without adequate access to basic services, and could benefit from more inclusive development policies. The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, of regional inequality, and of social and political unrest in the country.