The International Monetary Fund (IMF), has estimated that 90 million Nigerians will slip into extreme poverty in 2021.
According to a survey carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2019, about 40 percent of the nation’s population (89.2 million Nigerians) were living in a state of poverty.
The count also supported a report released the previous year by Brookings Institution – stating that India had been overtaken by Nigeria as the world’s poverty capital.
While giving a report on Tuesday about the World Economic Outlook (WEO), IMF’s chief economist, Gita Gopinath had stated that Nigeria was amongst other oil-exporting countries who had suffered from the recent pandemic.
“Oil exporters and tourism-dependent economies are particularly hard hit and their prospects are severe given that oil prices have a subdued outlook and cross border travel is not expected to resume anytime soon.
“Even within countries, the burden of the crisis has been felt unequally across different groups. Workers with less education, youth and women have suffered disproportionate income losses. 90 million individuals are expected to enter extreme poverty over 2020/2021 reversing the trends of the past two decades,” she stated.
“Given the highly uncertain times we live in, financial stability needs to be ensured.
“Monetary policy should remain accommodative where inflation is not at risk but at the same time, paying close attention to containing the risks that will emerge with historically low interest rates and easing financial conditions.
“When pandemic measures are withdrawn, we are likely to see an increase in bankruptcy which could have an impact on fragile banking systems. Therefore, it is very important to prepare now to have special out-of-court restructuring frameworks to deal with the problem of rising non-performing loans,” Gopinath explained.