Despite political rhetorics, domestic indices and government pronouncement, the economic future of Nigeria is looking gloomy. According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nigeria and Congo will account for 40% of the world’s extremely poor people.
In the 2018 goalkeepers report released, yesterday, the foundation said by 2050, Nigeria will have 152 million people in extreme poverty, out of a projected population of 429 million.
It blamed this on the lack of investment in human capital to correspond with the increasing population growth. Nigeria is currently the seventh most populous country in the world with an estimated population of 198 million. The annual report, produced in partnership with Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, IHME, at University of Washington, tracks progress being made on the United Nations sustainable development goals, SDGs. In June, Brookings Institution reported that Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of poor people, with 87 million of its citizens in extreme poverty. International Monetary Fund, IMF, had also said in March that Nigerians are getting poorer due to the lack of coherent and comprehensive economic reforms. The goalkeepers report said while more than a billion in the world have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty since 2000, “extreme poverty is becoming heavily concentrated in sub-Sahara African countries.” “By 2050, that’s where 86 per cent of the extremely poor people in the world are projected to live. The challenge is that within Africa, poverty is concentrating in just a handful of very fast-growing countries. “By 2050, for example, more than 40 percent of the extremely poor people in the world will live in just two countries: Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. Even within these countries, poverty is still concentrating in certain areas.” The foundation said to address the poverty crisis, adequate investment would need to be made in young people, especially in areas of education, health and human capital development. “Investing in young people’s health and education is the best way for a country to unlock productivity and innovation; cut poverty, create opportunities and generate prosperity,”