Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, February 17, 2012

Prosperity and poverty

Jeremy Weate published the chart below and pointed me to the article at the beyondbrics blog at Financial Times.

It seems that the threats from terrorism and corruption are not the only obstacles to the Nigerian government (and maybe regime).

Poverty statistics in Nigeria

Nigeria: investment vs inequality
On Sunday, the FT reported that electricity tariffs in Nigeria were set to increase by up to 88 per cent, with most customers seeing a 50 per cent hike in their bills. A survey released on Monday, meanwhile, finds that the proportion of Nigerians living in absolute poverty rose to 60.9 per cent in 2010 – in spite of strong growth in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigeria currently sells power at one of the cheapest rates in Africa. Yet in spite of its large reserves of natural gas, the country’s electricity supply is among the world’s worst. Half of the 160m population lack have no access to electricity and its per capita consumption is just 3 per cent of that of South Africa, the continent’s only larger economy…

The FT reported that Bart Nnaji, the minister of power, said in an interview in Abuja: “We are making sure that the urban poor and rural dwellers be provided a subsidy so that they don’t see a significant increase in tariff… The rest should be able to pay for it.”

The government’s confidence could be undermined, however, after a report from Nigeria’s national bureau of statistics revealed that the proportion of Nigerians living in absolute poverty – that is, those who can afford only food, shelter and clothing – jumped to 60.9 per cent in 2010 from 54.7 per cent in 2004. Of a population of 167m, 100m live on less than a dollar a day…

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