“Despite the country’s abundant resources, the wealth is not widely disbursed throughout the population, giving rise to high social inequalities. The lack of adequate structures to addressing these pressing issues has continued to lead the country as poverty capital of the world, which is very unfortunate”.
By Egbule Jessica Ugochi,
DELTA-Poverty is a persistent issue in Nigeria and has been recognized as both a policy and economic problem. According to the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and the Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment of the country, poverty is a rural phenomenon in Nigeria.
The rising poverty profile in Nigeria is reaching a crisis level, with more than half its population living in abject poverty.
Presently, poverty in Nigeria presents a paradox . Despite being a resource-rich country, Nigeria continues to struggle with high levels of poverty. Various economic plans and policy thrusts have been implemented to address and alleviate poverty in Nigeria. The World Bank classifies citizens as poor and/or very poor if their periodic income or consumption is below US $370 and US $275, respectively.
However, government measures have not been successful in effectively reducing poverty rates in the country. One of the main problems contributing to poverty in Nigeria is the high level of unemployment. Analyzing poverty in Nigeria requires a multi-dimensional approach that looks at several factors affecting the country’s economic conditions.
Firstly, Nigeria’s poverty paradox can be attributed to the uneven distribution of wealth, poor governance, and corruption. Despite the country’s abundant resources, the wealth is not widely disbursed throughout the population, giving rise to high social inequalities. The lack of adequate structures to addressing these pressing issues has continued to lead the country as poverty capital of the world, which is very unfortunate.
Agriculture has been identified as a critical area of concern for poverty reduction because it employs a significant portion of the population yet is underdeveloped and inefficient. This sector faces several challenges, including low productivity, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of access to modern farming tools and techniques. Poverty in Nigeria is more prominent in the rural area due to the little allocation of resources .
Efforts by various institutions such as the World Bank and the Nigerian government have not significantly reduced the poverty levels. While these undertakings are commendable, there is a need for more targeted interventions that address the root causes of poverty.
Thus, despite the measures implemented to alleviate poverty, the problem persists, and new, innovative solutions are necessary. Fighting poverty in Nigeria requires an approach that targets its root causes, including economic diversification, enhancement of the business environment, improve access to quality education, modernisation of agriculture, infrastructure development, and strengthening of anti-corruption measures. By strategising and executing effectively the poverty mitigating strategies, Nigeria can overcome its poverty problem and move towards sustainable development and inclusive growth.
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