In a recent report by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 40 per cent of the poorest people in the world will be from Nigeria and DR Congo by 2050 unless measures are taken to stem the economic tides of both countries.
As contained in the 2018 goalkeepers report released recently, the foundation stressed that out of a projected population of 429 million by 2050, Nigeria will have 152 million people in extreme poverty if it continues to lack of quality investments in human capital to tally with the increasing growths in population.
The annual report which was produced with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, monitors the progress being made by the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs). Earlier in 2018, the Brookings Institution reported that Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of poor people in the globe, having an overwhelming number of 87 million of its citizens in extreme poverty.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had also held in March, 2018 that Nigerians are getting poorer due to the lack of coherent and comprehensive economic reforms. With an estimated population of 198 million and currently the seventh most populous country in the world, Nigeria stands out of the two countries mentioned because of its immense human capital and economic potentials.
The goalkeepers report said while more than a billion in the world have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty since 2000, “extreme poverty is becoming heavily concentrated in sub-Sahara African countries.” “By 2050, that’s where 86 per cent of the extremely poor people in the world are projected to live. The challenge is that within Africa, poverty is concentrating in just a handful of very fast-growing countries. “By 2050, for example, more than 40 percent of the extremely poor people in the world will live in just two countries: Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. Even within these countries, poverty is still concentrating in certain areas.”
The foundation, which has as one of its core objectives, to address global poverty, stressed that adequate investment would need to be made in young people especially in areas of education, health and human capital development. “Investing in young people’s health and education is the best way for a country to unlock productivity and innovation; cut poverty, create opportunities and generate prosperity,” the report added.