Despite mounting poverty, government claims Nigerians


The Goodluck Jonathan administration is confident the living standard of Nigerians immensely improved between December last year and now, despite a devastating fuel price hike that skyrocketed living cost, and sparked street protest early this year.

Since increasing petrol price from N65 to N97 in January, prices of goods and services have soared by as much as 50 per cent or more, leaving Nigerians to pay more while their earnings remained largely the same.

Four months into the new price regime, analysts have said the country’s poverty level has leapt forward while the gap between the poor and the rich has widened.

But citing a report of the Islamic Development Bank on Wednesday, Minister of state for finance, Haruna Ngama, said Nigeria’s economy was performing superbly and had translated to improved conditions of living for the population.

“The standard of living of the people in Nigeria has actually improved as a result of the GDP growth rate,” the minister said after the weekly federal executive council meeting in Abuja.


“As at December, 2011,” he added, “with our income per capita growing from $1,200 to $1,400, this has actually moved us from low income country to Middle Lower income country, as per World Bank classification.”


The IDB rating placed Nigeria as the third fastest economy in the world ahead of China and Mongolia, with gross domestic products (GDP) growing at 7.68 per cent, 8.4 per cent and 14.9 per cent respectively.


The rating had been tabled before the council meeting which President Jonathan chaired, the minister said.


Mr. Ngama said the rating was a “significant development” as it does not only show the growing investors’ confidence in Nigeria, but also indicative of Nigeria being on track to achieving its Vision 20:2020 aspirations to emerge as one of the world’s top 20 economies in the next eight years.


He also said in line with the projections of the IDB, the rating is even truer against the background that the economies of most of the 56-member countries competing with Nigeria are not moving at a faster rate, meaning that Nigeria is soon to become the fastest growing economy in the world.


“Today in council, I presented a report on the presentation made at the 37th annual general meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB),” he told reporters at the end of the meeting in Abuja. “The bank has 56-member countries and at its annual general meeting, each country is expected to present a report on the economic development in the country.


“The aim is to educate ourselves about what is happening in our countries.

“In the case of Nigeria, our report was actually the best. For the year, for the quarter, which ended on 31st December, 2011, only about 46 countries have actually submitted their data, and Nigeria was third in terms of GDP growth. We recorded a GDP growth of 7.68 per cent in real terms, and this is largely due to growth in the non-oil sector.


“The previous year 2010, the GDP growth was 8.4 per cent, but last year, it dropped to 7.68 per cent, because we had a negative growth in the oil sector. So, it means that the non- oil sector is actually resilient and strong enough to carry the economy forward with or without the oil sector.


“This actually placed us as the third fastest growing economy in the world, the first being Mongolia with 14.9 per cent real growth rate, then China with 8.4 per cent in real GDP growth rate, followed by Nigeria with 7.68 per cent.


“But the more important story out of it is that as a nation, we have our vision 202020. We have the objective of having one of the world’s strongest economy by the year 20:2020. All the other countries apart from China that are ahead of Nigeria are growing at a slower rate than Nigeria. When those ahead of us are growing slower, it means that in the next eight years, we will achieve our objective of being one of the strongest economies in the world.


“As at last December, our total GDP was more that N10trillion and that is a growth that is unprecedented despite our challenges.”



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  • Dede

    I seriously wonder how the calculate this GDP thing, families are tightening their belts n the govt is seeing something else

    • Lanre

      It’s all statistics. You can juggle figures anyhow to achieve your aim. Don’t let them deceive you. Because Dangote’s companies make $1b selling Sugar and Cement in Nigeria does not mean Lanre can afford Gari which costs =N=500.00 per kongo against =N=300.00 I used to spend. Because Chinwe and Nike buy Blackberry Mobiles from foreign exchange sent by Demola does not mean that Busari – the Okadaman can afford affordable health care.
      Because the Government budgets =N200b for infrastructure does not mean that senior officers in ministries do not divert same into the private sector (through corruption) to finance private housing estates and private businesses.
      Dede, Ignore all this IMF, Islamic Development Bank, World Bank yeye statistics. In conclusion your own reckoning of your standard of living is the most accurate.

  • Think Again

    Well, the term poverty is out of question when it comes to Living Standards of Nigerians. That we have people who are very poor doesn’t mean that the whole country is poor. That’s just the fact. There are people who are poorer in America. There are people who cannot afford a dinner at KFC in America and Europe among a host of other countries. So to me, Nigeria is not poor as branded by those whites.

    Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country’s standard of living; GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income.

    As at 2011, Nigeria has GDP – Total $415.132 billion with – Per capital $2,589. This means that with our population of about 170 million people, each person is entitled to $2,589 if our $415.132 billion were to be shared among us. So tell me why can we say we are poor.

    • Lanre

      Think Again. Where did you get your GDP Figures from? And please who is even using America or Europe as standard. The question is: when you wake up in the morning are you sure you will not die before the end of the day? I don’t like circular/circuitous argument. In Nigeria, a 50 year old is likely to die before the end of the day compared to a 78 year old in America. That is a measure of living standards, not who is eating chicken in South-Africa-Franchised-KFC in Nigeria or NAFDAC expired mamaput kitchen in Ajegunle.

    • Ampol

      Think again can you tell nigerians that the common man has seen on ground? BIGG LIE can u compare US and Naija ? Even Kenya Brazil Belente China talk less of Ranki ya dade US? THINK TWICE

  • smsaleem

    !NO COMMENT !!

  • albarika

    Vodoo economics! thats what they trade in. I will never pity Nigerians they deserve what they are getting from their neo-colonialist leaders.

  • Msbukar56

    Incredible, this is a country at its lowest ebb in terms of security, power supply, unemployment and lack of basic infrastructure he’d some upside down economic experts would want us to believe that we are better than all the other countries apart from china in terms of growth. So how are we growing? On less if they mean backwards. What are we producing in this country apart from crooks; men and women who steal Billions and when found guilty they pay back a portion and they are set free.

    If we are to experiance positive change we must first admit that we are bad and we need to do something radical, then commence the right action.

    For now manny of us do not believe this lies. Government should try something else

  • Seundeji

    There is no relationship between economic growth and standard of living as far as Nigeria situation is concerned. In 2008, we have 10.3% growth rate, but did poverty situation reduce? did government create jobs? what has changed since then. Backward Nigerian ruling class churning out fake statistics as a pretense for his economic failures. Only time will tell, if military coup or revolution will not happen. Idiotic political class.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    President Jonathan and his gangsters of corrupt FGN officials are living in the space not in Nigeria as he flies about in presidential jets with his wife and family while Nigerian motorists die daily in our death trap roads.
    Inflation skyrockets,hope is lost,power outages continue,unemployment is growing while president Jonathan and his corrupt ridden supporters and aides cook up strange-reports of developmental success.
    Nothing works anymore in public sectors as educational quality deteriorates and president Jonathan and his lying cabals cooked up false success report that did not reflect in the lives of Nigerians