This study examines the effect of the growth of total exports on poverty reduction in Nigeria for the period 1980 to 2010. Using the ordinary least squares (OLS), after correcting for stationarity and heteroskedasticity biases, the results show that the growth rate of total export value or earnings is positively significant to explain changes in the real gross domestic product per capita used as a proxy for poverty. Thus an increase in the total export value increases the real gross domestic product per capita and thus reduces poverty. The total export volume however is not significant. Separating the total export volume into oil and non-oil exports, non-oil export growth was found to have a positive effect on the real gross domestic product per capita while the effect of oil export growth is negative. However, both were insignificant. The study concludes that a diversification of Nigeriaâ€™s export from the predominantly oil exports to incorporate non-oil exports that have a higher export value going by the world market price is expedient.