Poverty in Nigeria: a multidimensional approach

This paper uses a multidimensional approach to measure the level of poverty in Nigeria and its distribution across zones and states. It examines the contribution of wellbeing indicators to average poverty, and offers a tool to assist at various stages of project planning. The study finds the following: (i) Poverty in Nigeria is high, averaging 52 percent, whether defined by income or by a combination of income and nonincome factors. This could be explained by the structure of growth and by the lack of pro-poor spending policies. (ii) Three geopolitical zones in the north – North East, North West, and North Central – account for most of Nigeria’s poverty. (iii) Higher average deprivation in some states could be explained by variations in service delivery. (iv) State-level variations in average deprivation are the greatest in education, dwelling, energy, and toilet facilities. Conversely, average deprivation is the highest but variations across states the lowest in employment, income, sanitation and access to water. This implies that a combination of both state and federal poverty reduction policies are required. (v) Households attach more weight to education, energy, and employment, implying that interventions in these areas could significantly reduce poverty in Nigeria.

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