The World Bank has estimated that 87% of all the poor people in Nigeria are in the north, the Cable reports.
In a report titled, ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’, the Bretton Wood institution said the south-south zone recorded the most significant drop in poverty between 2011 and 2016.
Comparing Nigeria to the rest of the West African region, the World Bank said poverty reduction has been less responsive to economic growth.
“Despite being a middle-income economy, Nigeria fares astonishingly poorly in poverty and human capital-related outcomes. The number of people living in extreme poverty has gone up from 2011 to 2016, and many more are vulnerable to falling into poverty, especially in the northern regions of the country.”
In the report, the World Bank said Nigeria spends 0.6% of its GDP on social safety net programmes which contrasts with the objectives of the economic recovery and growth plan and despite evidence that links cash transfer programs to improved human capital.
“Instead, successive governments have aimed to provide benefits to the population in the form of lower fuel prices, which can directly affect welfare through savings in the purchase of fuel, as well as bring indirect benefits through lower costs of transportation,” it said.
“However, while this is certainly a very valid objective, the regressive nature demands that subsidies be better targeted.60 International experience shows that fuel subsidies not only constitute a significant drain on fiscal resources of the three tiers of government but are also inherently regressive, allowing larger and richer consumers to capture most of the benefits.”
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