Poverty more pronounced in northern Nigeria – World Bank

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The World Bank on Tuesday estimated that 87 percent of all the poor people in Nigeria resides in the northern part of the country. In a report titled: “Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria,” the World Bank compared

Nigeria with the rest of the West African region, saying poverty reduction has been less responsive to economic growth.

The south-south part of the country, according to the Bretton Wood institution, recorded the most significant drop in poverty between 2011 and 2016.

It said Nigeria spends 0.6 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on social safety net programmes which contrasts with the objectives of the economic recovery and growth plan and despite evidence that links cash transfer programs to improve human capital. It said: “Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016.

“Poverty rates in the southern zones were around 12 percent with little variation across zones. The south-south zone saw the most significant drop in poverty from 2011-2016. Poverty was significantly higher in rural areas of the country in 2016. “An estimated 64 percent of all poor lived in rural areas and 52 percent of the rural population lived below the poverty line in 2016. In contrast, the poverty rate in urban areas remained stable at 16 percent between 2011 and 2016.” “Despite being a middle-income economy, Nigeria fares astonishingly poorly in poverty and human capital-related outcomes. “The number of people living in extreme poverty has gone up from 2011 to 2016, and many more are vulnerable to falling into poverty, especially in the northern regions of the country.”