World Bank cuts Nigeria's poverty rate to 33.1%

The World Bank Tuesday said there had been positive economic trend as well as significant progress made towards poverty eradication in the country.

It said in its second edition of the Nigeria Economic Report (NER) which was launched in Abuja that going by the recent rebasing of the economy as well as analysis from the new General Household Surveys (GHS) conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) with the support of the Bank, new poverty estimates in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 should be within the range of 35.2 per cent and 33.1 per cent respectively.

Although the previous NBS Harmonised Nigeria Living Standards Survey (HNLSS) 2009/2010, which took a larger study sample into account had estimated poverty rate at 62.6 percent, the Breton woods institution said it had strong reasons to believe that "consumption was seriously underestimated in the large HNLSS household survey in 2009/2010."

It stated that an analysis of a panel survey data (GHS) of 5000 households for 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 provided "evidence that consumption is likely higher than previously estimated from the HNLSS survey."

Furthermore, the new GHS analysis put rural poverty at 46.3 per cent and 44.9 per cent in 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 respectively compared to 69.1 per cent and 51.2 per cent respectively in the HNLSS 2009/2010 estimates by the NBS.

The World Bank estimates further suggested that the number of poor Nigerians remained at 58 million adding that more than half of the figure are located in the North- east or North- west. Specifically, it noted:" Poverty rates range from 16 per cent in the South- West to 52 per cent in the North-East. While the South and North central experienced declines in the poverty rate between 2010/2011 and 2012/2013, the poverty rate increased almost unchanged in the North West."