The World Bank has disclosed that four million Nigerians were pushed into poverty in the first six months of this year, with another 7.1 million more expected to join the poverty trap if fuel subsidy removal isn’t managed well.
The institution made the disclosure in Abuja, during the launch of the Nigeria Development Update (NDU).
Dissecting the NDU, the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the report, Alex Sienaert, said four million more Nigerians were pushed into poverty in the first half of 2023.
“Without compensation, many households could be pushed into poverty by higher petrol prices and forced to resort to coping mechanisms with long-term adverse consequences, such as not sending children to school, or not going to health facilities to seek preventative healthcare.” the world Bank report stated
To build on the immediate, major reforms, and seize the opportunity to rise to its potential, Nigeria still has other urgent choices to make.”
“In the first part of 2023, Nigeria’s economic growth weakened, and real gross domestic product (GDP) growth fell from 3.3 per cent in 2022 to 2.4 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q1 2023.
“The challenging global economic context has put pressure on Nigeria’s economy. However, domestic policies play the major role in determining Nigeria’s economic performance and resilience to further external shocks.
“The previous mix of fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate policies, including the naira redesign program, did not deliver the desired improvements in growth, inflation and economic resilience.
“The new government has recognised the need to chart a new course and has already made a start on critical reforms, such as the elimination of the petrol subsidy and reforms in the FX market.
“With the petrol subsidy removal, the government is projected to achieve fiscal savings of approximately N2 trillion in 2023, equivalent to 0.9 per cent of GDP.