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How inflation may push 91m Nigerians below poverty line, by World Bank

*The Bank says 42 percent of the current estimated 213,145,112 Nigerian population means about 91million consumers may have been pushed below the national poverty line in a year due to inflationary spiral

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The World Bank, in a new report titled, ‘COVID-19 in Nigeria: Frontline Data and Pathways for Policy,’ has said that the general increase in food prices between June 2020 and June 2021 may have increased the percentage of Nigerian consumers living below the national poverty line from 40.1 percent to 42.8 percent.

Likewise, the current population of Nigeria is 213,145,112 as of Wednesday, November 17, 2021, according to Worldometer.

ConsumerConnect gathered that by implication, 42 percent of the current population means about 91 million consumers may have been pushed below the national poverty line in a year due to inflation in the country.

The World Bank report stated: “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 simple simulations suggest that the share of Nigerians living below the national poverty line could have increased from 40.1 percent (85 million) to 42.8 percent (91 million), due to the food price inflation witnessed between June 2020 and June 2021.”

Nigerians’ attitude to COVID-19 vaccinations

The Bank further noted in the latest report, that  poorer Nigerians were more willing to be vaccinated unlike richer Nigerians, which also indicated the poor were more concerned about contracting the virus than the wealthy.

It also said: “Poorer Nigerians are more willing than richer Nigerians to be vaccinated. About 98 percent of respondents in the poorest consumption quintile reported that they would agree to be vaccinated, compared to 74 percent of those in the richest consumption quintile.

“As such, the differences between rich and poor respondents in their willingness to be vaccinated echo similar differences in their respective levels of concern about contracting COVID-19.”

Some Nigerians, the report said, did not have access to soap and water to maintain good hygiene during the pandemic.

“The most easily accessible COVID-19 preventative measure is washing one’s hands with soap and water; however, insufficient access to soap and water for washing was a barrier for some households.

“As of June 2020, 24 percent of households reported having insufficient soap, and 7 percent reported having insufficient water for washing hands.

“Yet, access to hygiene-related basic needs increased between June 2020 and November 2020, with the share of households having insufficient soap to wash hands in the last seven days declining from 24 percent to 11 percent,” stated the World Bank report.

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