REVIEW OF 2009/10 ABSOLUTE POVERTY RATES ACROSS NIGERIA
Poverty is multi-dimensional and no single indicator can capture all the aspects of poverty. We define poverty based on the availability of certain basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, sanitation facilities, pipe-borne water, education, good healthcare and access to information. Statistically however, we determine poverty based on income and/or consumption, which assigns numbers to living standards and makes it easier to calculate poverty. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) captures poverty rates across Nigeria with three different approaches – (1) Absolute Poverty Approach; (2) Relative Poverty Approach; and (3) Dollar per day. In presenting Absolute Poverty measurement, the cost of basic needs approach to measuring poverty is used with three key steps: (a) Food basic minimum needs required to satisfy daily needs. This caloric threshold is set at 3,000 calories per person per day. (b) Non-food needs and (c) Aggregation of food and non-food to derive the absolute poverty line. Absolute poverty is preferred internationally because it is easier to compare poverty rates across countries. Relative Poverty measurement on the other hand is based on household expenditures. Per capita expenditures that are less than two-thirds of the poverty line are considered to be poor, while those above are non-poor. Relative measure has been the NBS’ official poverty measure, but this will change to absolute measure, so we can compare Nigeria’s poverty rates with other countries’. Finally, Dollar per day sets poverty at US$2 a day or less and extreme poverty at US$1.25. This abstract report of a more comprehensive report, which will be released shortly, is focused on the revision of Absolute Poverty only.
Data source: National Bureau of Statistics