The World Bank has projected that the impact of the COVID-19 will cause an increase in the number of poor Nigerians from the current 90 million to about 100 million 2022.
The bank disclosed during its Nigeria Development Update Virtual event, which had the theme ‘Rising to the challenge: Nigeria’s COVID-19 response’ that about 11 million more Nigerians were expected to fall into poverty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It further stated that the financing portfolio approved by its board for Nigeria is about $11.5bn.
In his presentation at the event, an economist with the bank, Marco Hernandez stated that before COVID-19 pandemic, about two million Nigerians were expected to fall into poverty in 2020 as population growth outpaced economic growth. He is of the opinion that with COVID-19, the recession is likely to push an additional 6.6 million Nigerians into poverty in 2020, bringing the total newly poor to 8.6 million this year.
“This implies an increase in the total number of poor in Nigeria from about 90 million in 2020 to about 100 million in 2022. Northern states are more likely to be affected.” He said.
The bank cited vulnerable employment, receiving fewer remittances and being close to the poverty line as some of the factors responsible for the increase in poverty.
It said Nigeria’s economy had been hit hard by COVID-19, adding that in 2020, it recorded its deepest quarterly contraction since the 1980s.
According to the bank, job quality in Nigeria had worsened with more workers engaged in precarious work in the agricultural sector. In terms of the portfolio size of the bank in Nigeria, the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri said, “There are actually three different ways of looking at the size of our portfolio. The first is how much concessional finance. If you look at how much our board has approved in terms of this financing, at the middle of 2018, is about $7bn.”
He added, “Since then and up till now, they have approved another $3bn in terms of financing. So, that brings us to $10bn and then with the $1.5bn that’s being considered in December, it will take it to somewhere around $11.5bn. That’s what the board has approved.”
Chaudhuri revealed that the $1.5bn loan which Nigeria is expecting from the World Bank
On the $1.5bn loan facility which Nigeria is expecting from the World Bank was still in the works.