Nigeria is a naturally blessed country but apparently appears to be a in a state of “hunger in the midst of plenty”. A larger part of the citizenry is ravaged by poverty. People are seen struggling to meet their basic needs. The heavy dependence of the economy on the exportation crude oil has created a narrow and weak economy base. This has led to inability of the government to provide adequately for the people.
Let us look at 5 causes of poverty in Nigeria
- Low Economic Growth Performance
A viable economy is essential for provision of employment thus reducing poverty levels in the nation. The Nigerian economy has a low performance and the growth rate is very low. This has contributed to the level of poverty in the country. There is inadequate generation of employment to the teaming youth in the country. A diversification of the economy will provide more employment and contribute to a reduction in poverty levels.
- Crime and Violence
The incessant unrest and attacks by the insurgency has created a gaping hole in the society. This has translated to an increase in the poverty levels in the country. With violence, people tend to embrace migration and are faced with the challenge of resettlement. Examples of this can be seen with the internally displaced persons who have now become a part of the poverty stricken populace. Adequate security and proper reintegration of internally displaced persons will go a long way in reducing poverty.
- Weak Governance
Corruption, poor programme implementation and monitoring among others has contributed immensely to poverty in Nigeria. Also, poor accountability and lack of transparency in resource allocation have become the order of the day and this has created a dwindling pattern in the lives of the people. Good Governance can generate a viable society with the basic needs of the people being taken care of and adequate provision of resources and infrastructure that will raise the standard of living and reduce poverty.
- Ill Health and Disease
Poverty and ill health or disease can be likened to the case of the “the egg or the chicken, which cane first”. Ill health tends to suck up productivity and limits entrepreneurial activities, thus reducing the viable contribution to the economy. This means that poverty can lead to ill health or disease and vice versa. With cases of Malaria, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases ravaging the society, it is not surprising that poverty has the will to thrive in Nigeria. Basic health amenities if made accessible by the Government will however go a long way in poverty reduction.
- Debt Burden
The socio-economic condition in every society is largely dependent on huge capital investments both by the public and private sectors. A debt ridden economy becomes handicapped and shifts focus to debt servicing instead of economic development and creation of employment. This creates a static economy and can lead to an increase in poverty.
The Government however has a large role to play in ensuring socio-economic development, creation of basic amenities and employment to reduce poverty level to the barest minimum.