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High Food Prices Could Push 6m Nigerians Into Poverty – World Bank

The World Bank has stated that the rise in the price of food could force additional six million Nigerians into poverty — calling on the government’s attention for short-term policies to support welfare.

This was contained the World Bank latest report titled ‘COVID-19 in Nigeria: Frontline Data and Pathways for Policy’.

The World Bank had stated in June that an estimated 7 million Nigerians were pushed into poverty in 2020 as a result of rising prices alone — without considering the direct impacts of COVID-19.

Using the Nigeria COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey (NLPS), the report takes a look at the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on human capital, livelihoods, and welfare of Nigerian households.

The NLPS marks a successful cooperation between Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the data production and methods team at the World Bank.

The World Bank lamented that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought Nigerian households’ food security under threat.

“The rise in prices witnessed between June 2020 and June 2021 alone could push another six million Nigerians into poverty, with urban areas being disproportionately affected. This underscores the need for short-term policies to support welfare,” the report reads.

“The simple simulations suggest that the share of Nigerians living below the national poverty line could have increased from 40.1 percent to 42.8 percent due to the food price inflation witnessed between June 2020 and June 2021.

“This means about 5.6 million additional Nigerians would be living in poverty. While food price inflation would decrease purchasing power and raise poverty across Nigeria, it appears that urban areas could be disproportionately affected.

“In 2018/19, about 16 percent of poor Nigerians were urban dwellers. Yet among those who would be newly impoverished by the increase in food prices between June 2020 and June 2021, around 27 percent would be from urban areas.

“Nevertheless, poverty in Nigeria is set to remain a primarily rural phenomenon, with or without rising food prices.”