Only economic growth can defuse poverty time bomb in Nigeria , Bloomberg said in an editorial on Sunday.
The New York – based international news agency , which described President Muhammadu Buhari ’ s record over the last four years as discouraging, wondered whether he “ is up to the task ” of reviving the economy .
According to the editorial , one of humanity ’ s most hopeful developments in recent decades has been the dramatic drop in extreme poverty .
It noted that in the year 2000 , some 1 . 4 billion people lived at or below the global poverty line of $ 1 . 90 a day, adding , “ Today , the number is about 600 million .
This remarkable change is mainly due to growth in China and India . Much of sub – Saharan Africa , particularly Nigeria , has failed to share in the success. ”
“ A decade ago , Nigeria had far fewer people in extreme poverty than either China or India ; today , according to data compiled by the World Data Lab , it has more than both combined .
The count stands at more than 90 million , and has risen both in absolute terms and as a share of the total. ”
Nigeria ’ s young and fast-growing population is projected by the United Nations to double in size by 2050, making it the world ’ s third – biggest , according to Bloomberg.
It said , “Even assuming that the proportion of Nigerians living in extreme poverty stops rising as quickly as it has in recent years, it ’ s on course to remain extraordinarily high for the foreseeable future .
“ Nigeria’ s success or failure in confronting extreme poverty will be pivotal for the rest of Africa , too — partly because of its huge population but also because of its outsize influence over its neighbours .
The government led by President Muhammadu Buhari , recently re – elected to a second and final four – year term, bears a grave responsibility . ”
According to the editorial , economic growth has barely recovered following the 2014 crash in the price of oil, which remains Nigeria’ s biggest export and source of government revenue.
It said , “Per capita gross domestic product is less than it was when he (Buhari ) took office .
Joblessness has more than tripled. Efforts to spur agriculture and other non – oil parts of the economy have failed . Foreign direct investment has fallen by more than half since 2010. ”