The poverty rate in Egypt vs Nigeria: What Peter Obi Saw

The poverty rate in Egypt vs Nigeria: What Peter Obi Saw

  • The Labour Party candidate Peter Obi visited Egypt, one of the fast growing economies in Africa on a three day tour
  • Obi said he was going to understudy Egypt's planning, education, electricity and financial services during his trip
  • While Egypt is making giant strides in economy and poverty reduction, Nigeria's fortunes continues to dwindle

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi on June 14, 2022, said he was going to Egypt to study the country’s education, health, electricity, planning and financial services.

Reports say that Obi toured Egypt's power plants, and financial hubs and met with top educationists in the country.

Peter Obi, Egypt, Nigeria, Poverty reduction
Peter Obi visited Egypt
Source: Getty Images

In continuation of our in-country focus: Comparable economies in Africa, takes a look at Egypt’s move towards poverty reduction versus Nigeria’s.

Poverty reduction in Egypt vs poverty reduction in Nigeria

According to a recently published report by Statista, the German-based company specializing in market and consumer data, while Egypt is seeing a reduction in the poverty rate, Nigeria’s population of people in extreme poverty is exploding.

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The report, published as recently as June 17, 2022, says 23 per cent of poor people in the world live in Nigeria.

In 2018, about 32.7 per cent of Egyptians lived in poverty. By May 2022, the number has been cut down to about 27.9 per cent and is projected to reduce further to 27.3 per cent.

Egyp, Nigeria
Egypt is making progress in Poverty reduction
Source: UGC

Nigeria has however witnessed an explosion in the number of poor people in the last seven years.

In 2016, about 34.6 per cent of Nigerians lived in poverty and by May 2022, about 43 per cent of Nigerians lived in poverty.

A breakdown of the poverty index in Nigeria shows that there are more male poor people living in Nigeria than females. While 44.7 per cent of Nigerian men live in poverty, about 43.7 per cent of Nigerian women are poor.

According to Statista, as of 2022, the poverty rate was projected at 27.9 per cent in Egypt. This was nearly 0.7 percentage points less than the year before. Overall, from 2018 onwards, the poverty rate dropped to 29.2 per cent in 2019, before increasing again to about 32 per cent in 2020.

Explosion of poor people in Nigeria

Since 2020, projected poverty rates have followed a declining trend. They are expected to decrease further in 2023. The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic contributed to the increase of the poverty rate in 2020, the report said.

The Statista report went on to say that in 2022, an estimated population of 88.4 million people in Nigeria lived in extreme poverty.

The number of men living on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars a day in the country reached around 44.7 million, while the count was 43.7 million for women. Overall, 12.9 per cent of the global population in extreme poverty were found in Nigeria as of 2022.

Nigeria, Egypt, Poverty
Nigeria seeing explosion in poverty in the last 7 years
Source: UGC

Nigeria promises poverty reduction in 10 years

 Poverty rates in Egypt were higher in households with more individuals. In households with ten or more members, the rate was as high as 80.6 per cent in 2019/2020.

On the other hand, the poverty rate was significantly lower among households with one to three members, according to reports.

The Nigerian government promised to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next decade, but analysts have said the country lacks clear-cut goals for achieving that.

Why Peter Obi Went to Egypt and what the country is doing better than Nigeria

Recall that reported that one of the top contenders for 2023 presidency, Peter Obi announced on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 that he was going to Egypt to understudy the country’s power, education, planning and finance sectors.

Many have said the presidential candidate of the Labour Party should have rather been at Ekiti State where governorship election is due to hold on Saturday, June 18, 2022 and campaign for the party’s candidate.

Others said that Peter Obi’s decision to travel to Egypt is well-thought out considering the rebounding of the country’s economy in recent times.


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