The population of poor Nigerians has increased from 86 million to 98 million between 2007 and 2017, according to the 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The figure represents 13.9% increment within a decade.
The report was released in New York on Thursday, July 12, by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
According to the report, the proportion of people who “are multi-dimensionally poor” had remained constant at just over 50% over the past decade up to 2017.
It further explained that the global MPI highlighted inequalities at the global, regional, national, sub-national and even household level.
This year’s MPI results showed that more than two-thirds of the multi-dimensionally poor, 886 million people, live in middle-income countries, while a further 440 million live in low-income countries, the report states.
In both groups, data show simple national averages can hide enormous inequality in patterns of poverty within countries.
Focusing on Nigeria, the report said even though the national average showed that around 50% of Nigerians were multi-dimensionally poor, state and local government levels would reveal a completely different scenario.
“In Nigeria, even though the proportion of people who are multi-dimensionally poor has remained constant at just over 50% over the past decade (up to 2017), the actual number of people who are multi-dimensionally poor increased from 86 million to 98 million over the same period.
“Also, important to note is that when compared to the national poverty line which measures income/consumption, a larger proportion of Nigerians (51% are multi-dimensionally poor than those that are income poor (46%),” the report states.
According to the UNDP, the MPI is the product of the incidence and the intensity of multidimensional poverty, and both are important aspects, noting that any reduction in intensity reduces MPI even if incidence remains unchanged and reflects progress towards moving people out of poverty.
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Buhari disclosed this in his opening speech at the inaugural Democracy Day celebration on Wednesday, June 12, in Abuja.
The president said his administration would ensure rapid and positive growth in the economy to move Nigeria away from poverty.