No fewer than 133 million people representing 63 per cent of over 200 million Nigerians are living below poverty line, the Federal Government has declared.
The figure was presented during the launch of the Poverty Index (MPI) Survey yesterday in Abuja based on a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the National Social Safety-Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).
The survey, which sampled over 56,000 households across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, was conducted between November 2021 and February 2022.
It was discovered that 65 per cent of the poor, amounting to 86 million people, live in the North while 35 per cent, nearly 47 million live in the South.
According to the report: “Over half of the population of Nigeria are multidimensionally poor and cook with dung, wood or charcoal, rather than clean energy. High deprivations are also apparent nationally in sanitation, time to healthcare, food insecurity, and housing.”
Putting a further perspective on it, the report said: “In general, the incidence of monetary poverty is lower than the incidence of multidimensional poverty across most states.”
It said the North West has the highest number of people in poverty with 45.49m followed by North East 20.47m, North Central 20.19m, South South 19.66m, South West 16.27m and South East 10.85m.
On state profile, it said Kano has the highest number with 10.51m while the least is Abia with 1.12m people.
The report, which included the Child MPI stated that two-thirds 67.5 per cent of children (0–17) are multidimensionally poor and half, 51 per cent, of all poor people are children.
It added that the highest deprivations are in the indicator of child engagement, where over half of the poor children lack the intellectual stimulation pivotal to early childhood development.
“Child poverty is prevalent in rural areas, with almost 90% of rural children experiencing poverty. Across the geo-political zones, the child MPI shows higher poverty in the North-East and North-West (where 90% of children are poor) and lower poverty in the South-East and South-West (74% and 65.1% respectively). The incidence of Child MPI is above 50% in all States and greater than 95% in Bayelsa, Sokoto, Gombe and Kebbi.
In Nigeria, 40.1% of people are poor according to the 2018/19 national monetary poverty line, and 63% are multidimensionally poor according to the National MPI 2022.”
The Statistician General of the Federation/CEO of NBS, Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, noted that the MPI, which uses three dimensions (health, education and living standards), was upgraded to include a fourth dimension of work and shocks.
He said other variables such as food security, water reliability, underemployment, security shocks and school lag, were all added to reflect the current realities and priorities in Nigeria.
NBS added that in general, a disparity between north and south is evident in both the incidence and in the intensity of multidimensional poverty, with the North being poorer.
NBS, which said the composition of Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) varies across zones, stressed that nutritional deprivations contribute highest in the Northopaedic West but food insecurity contributes more strongly across the South.
According to the report, unemployment contributes contributes to MPI in South-South than in other zones, whereas security shocks contribute more in South – South, North Central and North East.
Multidimensional poverty, NBS said, is higher in rural areas, where 72% of people are poor.
It noted that approximately 70% of the population live in rural areas in Nigeria, stressing that rural areas are home to 80% of the poor.