World Bank in the study of poverty in Nigeria have produced a report which documented that Northern Nigeria accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country and South 12 percent. The detailed, researched and analyzed report was titled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ was released in first quarter of 2020.
According to the report, “Nigeria experiences high inequality along geographic lines, with poverty mostly concentrated in the North and in rural areas. Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing , especially in the North-West zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the North-West and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016. Poverty rates in the southern zones were around 12 percent with little variation across zones. The South-South zone saw the most significant drop in poverty from 2011-2016. Poverty was significantly higher in rural areas of the country in 2016. An estimated 64 percent of all poor lived in rural areas and 52 percent of the rural population lived below the poverty line in 2016. In contrast, the poverty rate in urban areas remained stable at 16 percent between 2011 and 2016.”
The report in the detailed analysis drew a wide scope of poverty with its causative tendencies and ramification grounded on “lack of basic infrastructure, poor social service delivery outcomes, weak resilience in the agriculture sector, stagnating productivity in the farm and non-farm sectors, mismatches between youth aspirations and employment opportunities available in the economy, poor education and health services utilization, weak governance, climate change, and conflict have contributed significantly to the poverty situation in the country. Both location and the demographic structure of the household also play a significant role in defining a person’s poverty status. The risk of being poor is higher in the north irrespective of individual or household characteristics, perhaps indicative of fewer economic opportunities. Individuals with higher education have significantly lower chances of being poor, which reflects higher household incomes.”
It further illustrates that “Persons living in households with more children and elderly persons are also more likely to be poor because the earnings of the few working-age adults are needed to support the many dependents. Recent literature also suggests that female headed households have a higher likelihood of being poor in Nigeria. Empirical evidence from the correlates of transient poverty shows that farming household head with secondary and tertiary education, access to credit, and larger farm size decreased transitory poverty. On the other hand, larger household size and dependency ratio, and exposure to flood and pest infestation increased transitory poverty. Analysis of the new NLSS (to be available in October 2019) will provide opportunities for more precise and contemporary assessment of determinants of poverty and vulnerability in Nigeria. “
“Nigeria suffers from very poor human capital outcomes, particularly among the poor. Data from the Human Capital Index (HCI), which measures the amount of human capital a child born today can expect to attain by the age of 18, shows that a child born in Nigeria today can expect to be only 34 percent as productive when she grows up compared to if she enjoyed complete education and full health. Nigeria’s HCI is lower than the average for its region and income group, and lower than what would be predicted for its income level. Nigeria’s poor human capital outcomes dim the prospects of sustained growth and poverty reduction in the country, with some studies suggesting that between 10 and 30 percent of per capita income differences between countries can be attributed to human capital.”