Causes of Poverty In Nigeria

MAP OF NIGThe term “poverty” has defied classical definition over the ages. However, the United Nations Department of Public Information (1996) described poverty as having various manifestations which include: lack of income and productive resources sufficient to ensure a sustainable livelihood, hunger and malnutrition, ill-health, limited or lack of access to education and other basic services, increasing morbidity and mortality from illness, homelessness and inadequate housing, wasteful environments and social discrimination and exclusion.

While Oyebamiji M.A and Adekola G. in their book, “Fundamentals Of Community Development In Nigeria”, defined poverty as a condition of deprivation and lack of basic needs of life or when the supply of such need is grossly inadequate.

According to them those basic needs include food, water, clothing, housing, medical care, literacy and so on.

There is so much poverty in Nigeria. People find it very difficult to eat three (3) square meals. The nation’s economy is crushing day by day. Industries and companies are no longer working.

However, there are basic factors responsible for poverty in the country. They include:

  1. Lack of employment opportunities
  2. Lack of vocational skills
  3. Early marriage
  4. How level of education
  5. Attitude of individual to saving or capital accumulation
  6. Lack of access to additional income
  7. Bigger family size and structure
  8. Lack of individual’s life ambition and aspirations
  9. Illness
  10. Embezzlement of public funds by Government officials
  11. Diversion of constituency projects
  12. Hereditary and poor environment
  13. Lack of good medical facilities
  14. Lack of aggressive and effective government policies and programmes
  15. Poor policy implementation
  16. Lack of social amenities and infrastructure

The above mentioned causes of poverty have sent so many Nigerians into their early graves. The problem is that despite the increasing rate of poverty government is adamant to the plights of its citizenry. One of the major statutorily responsibilities of government is to initiate policies and programmes that will put smile on the faces of its citizens. It is sad to say that Government functionaries live in mansions, while the common man cannot afford one room apartment.

The time has come for the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do something about the ever increasing rate of poverty in the country, by providing those infrastructure that would uplift the living standard of the masses. ###


Damiete West


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