About 133 million Nigerians live in multidimensional poverty

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About 133 million Nigerians, or 63 percent of the overall population of the most populous African country, are multi-dimensionally poor, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Thursday.

In its 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report, the NBS said 65 percent of the poor live in the north, while 35 percent live in the south. Poverty levels across states vary significantly, with the incidence of multidimensional poverty ranging from a low of 27 percent in the southwest state of Ondo to a high of 91 percent in the northwest state of Sokoto.

The MPI has a total of 15 indicators grouped within four dimensions of health, education, living standards, and work and security shocks. A household is considered poor if they are deprived in more than one dimension, or the equivalent share (26 percent) of the weighted indicators measured in the MPI.

According to the NBS, over half of the population who are multi-dimensionally poor cook with dung, wood, or charcoal, rather than cleaner energy, while high deprivations are also apparent in sanitation, time to healthcare, food insecurity and housing.

Multidimensional poverty is higher in rural areas, where 72 percent of the people are poor, compared to 42 percent of people in urban areas, the NBS noted.

“Approximately 70 percent of Nigeria’s population live in rural areas, yet these areas are home to 80 percent of poor people,” the statistics office said.

The report said the incidence of monetary poverty is lower than the incidence of multidimensional poverty in the country. A 2019 poverty report by the NBS highlighted about 40 percent of the total population, or almost 83 million people, live below the country’s poverty line of 137,430 naira (about 381 U.S. dollars) per year. Enditem

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