The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed that about 100 million Nigerians are poor out of a population of 168 million people. In a report released Monday, it said that those who can afford only the bare essentials of food, shelter and clothing – rose to 60.9 per cent in 2010, compared with 54.7 per cent in 2004.
Although Nigeria’s economy is projected to continue growing, poverty is likely to get worse as the gap between rich and poor in the country continues to widen. “It remains a paradox … that despite the fact that the Nigerian economy is growing, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year,” Statistician General Yemi Kale told reporters in the capital Abuja. NBS estimates that this trend may have increased further in 2011 if the potential positive impacts of several anti-poverty and employment generation intervention programmes are not taken into account,” Kale said.