The World Poverty Clock shows Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the most people living in extreme poverty. To understand context, it is important to note that India’s population in seven times that of Nigeria. The struggle to lift citizens out of extreme poverty stems from Nigeria’s mismanagement of oil riches alongside corruption and civil unrest.
Nearly 90 million people in Nigeria are living in extreme poverty, approximately half of the country’s total population. Nigeria faces a major population boom and is anticipated to become the third most populous country in the world by 2050. This being said, the problem is likely to worsen.
Nigeria has the fastest growing economy in Africa thanks to strong exports and increasing foreign investment. The country’s GDP has grown by an average of 7% over the past decade reaching a peak in 2017 at 568.5 billion USD.
Nigeria as a nation is subject to vast amounts of corruption. Due to the country’s size and ethnic diversity, the federal government offers state and local governments considerable autonomy. Local economies are responsible for over 50% of government revenues as well as responsibility for providing public services.
This lack of regulation and monitoring has allowed for rampant corruption. Resources which could pay toward public services or be directed toward investment are being misappropriated. Due to corruption, poverty reduction programs receive no funding and have failed to offer needed remedy to the country. Therefore, Nigerian corruption and poverty are interrelated and encourage one another.
Corruption in Nigeria also stems from their affluent oil industry. The industry has significantly increased the economic inequality gap. Even though the country is the leading oil producer in Africa, few Nigerian citizens have benefitted from the trade. Majority of revenue is divided between politicians and oil executives. Not to mention, fighting for control over the oils sands has caused increasing instability in the Niger Delta.
Throughout its history, Nigeria has experienced much ethnic conflict. Between 1966 and 1999, the country was ruled by a series of successful military coups. In 1999 the country was finally returned to a civilian state. However, since its return to a civilian state, militant ethnic and religious groups have surfaced and become markedly more violent. While the roots of the violence do lie in poverty and economic competition, the violence only perpetuates the problems of poverty.
Boko Haram is a radical Islamic Terrorist group which occupies much of the northern border of Nigeria. In the local Hausa dialect, Boko Haram means “Western Education is Forbidden”. Originally, the terrorist group was called the “Taliban of Nigeria” due to their religious similarities as held by the Taliban. Due to the remarkable insecurity as brought forth by Boko Haram, approximately 60% of children in North East Nigeria are unable to attend school. This lack of education only further encourages poverty in Nigeria.We are social! follow us on: