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According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s per capita income (PCI) has remained constant for more than 40 years.
The PCI is calculated by dividing a country’s GDP by its total population. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s GDP stood at more than $514 billion in the middle of 2021. It is the highest on the continent, followed by Egypt ($39 billion) and South Africa ($329 billion), respectively.
However, Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank country director for Nigeria, claims that successive administrations in the country have done little to improve the PCI.
In contrast, Seychelles has the highest PCI in Africa of $25,699 while that of Nigeria is just $2,052, according to figures obtained from the World Bank.
This means that the living standard, LS in countries such as Seychelles, Gabon and Algeria is higher than that of Nigeria.
The Living Standard Survey, LSS is used for measuring poverty and living standards in the country and is used to estimate a wide range of socio-economic indicators including benchmarking of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit, NES, Chaudhuri said those that have governed the country for more than four decades has not done much to increase the PCI, which he said has remained at the same level as 1981.
Nigeria’s PCI in 1981 was $2,180.2 and $2,097 in 2020, according to World Bank figures.
“Nigeria today has real per capita income that was the same as 40 years — in 1981. This means someone whose growth has been stunted.
“I heard the honourable minister talking about the medium term development plan, which has all the right ingredients. It will take time to get (the country) back to its full potential — it can’t happen overnight,” the World Bank chief said.
He advised the government to end the subsidy regime on petrol and channel such resources to improving other critical sectors such as provision of infrastructure, education and health care services.
“Nigeria is at a point in time where some critical decisions need to be made. It’s almost like the immediate treatment to halt further decline.
“I think the urgency of doing something now is because the time is going in terms of retaining the hope of young Nigerians in the future and potential of Nigeria.