Poverty is not just a state of being poor and people do not just become poor as some factors are responsible for the enhancement of poverty.
In the society, observation makes one realize that there are few wealthy individuals and the majority of the people are poor.
The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics said in 2020 that 40% or 83 million Nigerians live in poverty although Nigeria’s poverty profile for 2021 has not yet been released, it is estimated that the number of poor people will increase to 90 million, or 45% of the population, in 2022.
Poor access to education is one of the major causes of poverty in Nigeria. Research shows that One in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria.
Even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school.
Overall, corruption is the major root of the poverty problem in the country. According to Wikipedia, in 2018, Nigeria ranked 144th in the 180 countries listed in Transparency International’s Corruption Index (with Somalia, at 180th, being the most corrupt, and Denmark the least).
Government officials reallocate allocations meant for public finances in order to embezzle public funds. What about the huge amount of money contributed by different agencies and individuals, which was presumed burnt at the early period of COVID 19? What about insecurity, which has rendered countless lives homeless and wretched?
These and many more are responsible for the increased rate of poverty in Nigeria. How can the people keep quiet when they are passing through such horrible situations and how can the government officials understand their plights when they are not in the people’s shoes? Overall, how can poverty be minimized if these situations persist?
Adeparua Damilola writes from Lagos