• Sunday, February 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Extreme poverty in Nigeria reduced by seven percent in 2023– World Bank

Extreme poverty in Nigeria reduced by seven percent in 2023– World Bank

The World Bank estimates that there has been a seven percent reduction in extreme poverty in Nigeria and Tanzania due to improved access to internet coverage over the past three years.

In its new brief titled, “Digital transformation drives development in Africa’, the World Bank noted that the exposure has also led to an increase of eight percent in labour force participation and wage employment.

Read also: Nigeria, others to suffer increased poverty, food insecurity in 2023 – World Bank

“In 2023, a World Bank flagship report found that in Nigeria and Tanzania, extreme poverty declined by about seven percent after three or more years of exposure to internet coverage, while labour force participation and wage employment increased by up to eight per cent,” the World Bank revealed.

Andrew Dabalen, World Bank’s chief economist for Africa, said, “The minimal usage of mobile internet is a lost opportunity for inclusive growth in Africa. Closing the uptake gap would increase the continent’s potential to create jobs for its growing population and boost economic recovery in a highly digitalised world.”

Additionally, the brief highlights that over the past five years (2016-2021), sub-Saharan Africa experienced an extraordinary 115 per cent increase in internet users, a change that has been instrumental in spurring economic growth, fostering innovation, and creating job opportunities.

The brief showed that, “The region’s digital infrastructure coverage, access, and quality still lag behind other regions. At the end of 2021, while 84 percent of people in SSA lived in areas where 3G service was available, and 63 percent had access to 4G mobile coverage, only 22 percent were using mobile internet services.

“The gap between coverage and usage is similarly large for broadband, with 61 percent of people in sub-Saharan Africa living within the broadband range but not using it.”

Meanwhile, the World Poverty Clock estimates that at least 71 million Nigerians are extremely poor.

With the seven percent decline in the extreme poverty index, there are now approximately 66 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty.