The world Bank estimates that an additional 20 million Nigerians will be impoverished by 2022.
This is according to a senior economist at the organisation, Gloria Joseph-Raji.
She predicts an astronomical surge in Nigeria’s poverty figures, currently at around 83m.
She said: “So, with slower growth and fewer jobs, and then coupled with high inflation, our estimates are that the number of the poor will increase by about 15 to 20 million people by 2022 from the about 83 million people in 2019,” Ms. Joseph-Raji said at a virtual summit yesterday.
President Muhammadu Buhari has repeatedly assured of his administration’s lofty plans to lift 10m Nigerians out of poverty before in 10 years. Buhari is currently in his 6th year as president.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has also reiterated Mr. Buhari’s stance severally, the latest in late January, at the launch of a social security programme, which he said, was geared towards lifting 20 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next two years. a sharp increase from Buhari’s previous pronouncements of 10m in 10 years.
The World Bank official, however, explained that President Buhari’s ambitious federal policy was not feasible, having been hamstrung by the raging coronavirus pandemic and attendant economic disruptions.
“We actually consider Nigeria right now to be at a critical junction in the sense that the achievement of its development goal of lifting 100 million people out of poverty by 2030 was already challenging even before Covid-19 struck, and then Covid-19 has made this even more challenging and more urgent,” she noted.
Ms. Joseph-Raji advised the Buhari regime to adopt transparent and credible fiscal policies that will bolster the country’s ailing economy rather than stifle it.