World Bank has predicted that Nigeria’s per capita income could fall to its lowest level in 40 years this year, disclosing that the decline in crude oil prices had dramatically impacted government finances, the balance of payments, and remittances from Nigerians living abroad.

Speaking on Monday during a panel session at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (#NES26) organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, it’s country director for Nigeria, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, projected that the country was still recovering from the last oil price shock of 2014-2016 before the COVID-19 crisis hit the economy.

“The fact of the matter is that recovery was there but it was slow; it was only gathering pace,” he said.

Chaudhuri revealed that 15million young Nigerians came of working age between 2015 and 2019, but only about four million really found the kinds of jobs and opportunities they aspired for.

“Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’

“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago,” he disclosed.

According to data from the World Bank, Nigeria’s per capita which stood at $2,229.9 in 2019 was around $847.40 in 1980, hitting a record high of $3,222.69 in 2014 but fell to $1,968.56 in 2017.

Per capita is a measure of the amount of money earned per person in a nation or geographic region, and is calculated by dividing the country’s national income by its population

“This is absolutely a critical juncture, and I am very hopeful that given what the government has done, that this crisis will also provide an opportunity for that national consensus,” Chaudhuri added.