The number of Nigerians living below the poverty threshold have increased from 91.5 million to 94.5 million in six months, according to the International Country Director of Oxfam (Nigeria), Constant Tchona.
While raising concern over the spate of poverty in Nigeria at the Quality Review and Planning meeting which held in Abuja, Tchona said not less than three million people are now extremely poor in the country.
The figure of the extremely poor Nigerians by comparison, according to Tchona, is more than the population of the Gambia and Cape Verde combined.
Tchona said, “On April 8, 2019, when we met here for the last quality review workshop, I quoted some numbers from the World Poverty Clock. This was how many people in Nigeria live in extreme poverty, below the benchmark of $1.90 a day, or N684 a day.”
“Back in April, the number of people below poverty line was 91,500, 000. Now, it’s about 94,500,000 people, if you check the World Poverty Clock.
"What that means is that in six months, we have added three million people into extreme poverty.
"Why is that the reason? Is the work we are doing making any impact? If it does, is it fast enough? This is why we are here to look at how we can make fast impact."
In order to address insecurity in Nigeria, which he said is one of the consequences of inequality, the Oxfam Director called on the Federal Government to close the inequality gap between the rich and less privileged class.
Tchona further said Nigeria is off the track to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that it is of general belief that up to 25 percent of the world’s extreme poor will live in Nigeria by 2030.
During a national address in June, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to uplift 100 million Nigerians from poverty over the course of the next 10 years.