• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024


Feb 12, 2024


Chucks Dominic Morsi

By all indications, Nigerians are said to be poor not just in terms of lack of money in the pocket, but in social amenities; we have various degrees of setbacks.

In other words, poverty is not only traceable to the incomes we daily earn (which oftentimes is not there), but it is most disheartening to know that in this time and age, Nigerians are still grappling with lack of social amenities which includes, good roads from West to the East and South of Nigeria are indeed in dire need of roads construction and maintenance.

Then we also have a huge deficit in the educational sector as much as the healthcare system is nothing to write home about. According to analysis and research report, 62.9% or approximately 133 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line going through lack and wants in different dimensions, while many other people in the bracket of 25% are vulnerable. And the vicious circle continues to increase as inflation continues to hit the roof.

Overall, Nigerian poverty rate from the 80s-20s has not in any way declined but all-time record high at least on the average is pegged at alarming 90.80% or there about. Nationally, millions of Nigerians are prone to hardship, poverty and deprivation. Yet, we have a government with public servants who are in the business of as peculiarly as we know; they keep stacking away our national treasure as demanded by corrupt practices and kleptomaniac tendencies just to keep Nigerians poor in the face of abundant resources.

According to World Bank survey, among those of us Nigerians living below the $2.15% poverty line in 2018/19, 79.4 percent lived in the North and 86.8 percent lived in rural areas. Now take these statistics to other part of the country, and then you will come to terms with high level of poverty like a volcano is ravaging every state of the country without exception. It is a national poverty line catastrophe. Nigerians are suffering but the only thing that keeps the people going is their resilience to withstand all circumstances, regardless.

In 2022, the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was 0.257 which mean to say that, poor people in Nigeria goes through just over one quarter of all possible deprivation. A country like Nigeria where we have $33.23 billion in external reserves reported by CBN in third quarter of 2023 stood as the lowest in two years – since hitting $33.22 billion on July 22, 2021. The point here is, whether there was a sharp drop or increase in the coffers, how has the billions improved the living standard of the average Nigerian? With the rich abundant financial resources available to us locally and in external reserves, many Nigerians go to bed hungry.

Today, we can see how unemployment is soaring, and as it were, joblessness gives rise to crime. When ranked by score, sometime ago, Nigeria ranked 150th among the 180 countries in the index, where the country ranked last is perceived to have the most corrupt public sector. For comparison, the best score was 90 (ranked 1), the worst score was 12 (ranked 180), and the average score was 43.

According to Anti-corruption module key issues, corruption increases inequality, decreases popular accountability and political responsiveness, and thus produces rising frustration and hardship among citizens, who are then more likely to accept (or even demand) hard-handed and illiberal tactics. Overtime, corruption can undermine the trust and confidence that citizens have for their leaders and institutions, creating social fraction and in some cases increasing the risk of conflict and violence.

In a nutshell, corruption is a global problem for development. Corruption and its effect affect each and every one of us. Its consequences therefore go beyond corrupt individuals to other people around them and that include the accomplices. While other factors such as bribery, extortion and corruption peddling involve two people – the giver and the taker, but the consequences of such deals are far more reaching.

In Nigeria for example, though corruption may have enriched the pockets of a few individual but that is usually at the expense of the majority which is why the margin between poverty and deprivation among the citizen is relatively high. Corruption alters the composition of expenditures. To be specific, corrupt government (Like the leaders we have in Nigeria), spend less to alleviate poverty and like a lethal injection is gradually killing the people.


Meanwhile, the corrupt leaders spend more on their individual greed and aggrandizement. All said and done, corruption in the public sector is killing our economy. Bribery and embezzlement are impoverishing Nigerians, abuse of power is crippling the justice system. Illicit enrichment of any kind is a manifestation of deprivation. Corruption has an impact on investment generally; foreign direct investment and capital inflows, foreign trade and aid can be adversely having a toll effect where corruption thrives. Like I already mentioned, corruption can take many forms that vary in degree from minor use of influence to institutionalized bribery. And this range of corrupt practices hinders economic growth and development.

So, the baleful consequence of corruption is that it promotes and spreads poverty in the land. And don’t forget, poor people are more likely to have several kinds of problems which include family issues like conflicts and divorce. Poor people are likely going to go through hell lot of challenges grappling with poor health situations. Children born into poverty are likely going to be deprived of basic education. And some of these deprived people are most likely going to go into crimes and becoming terrorists. And the negative effect of that, rest on the larger society.

In a society where people are poor, you are going to find lack of everything including homelessness, etc. Therefore, poverty can be measured as economic deprivation and Nigerians cannot continue to suffer this lack of cash margin in the land of plenty. Enough of these physical and mental health impact Nigerians are going through as a result of poverty. Let us stop classifying Nigerians as poor, we are a blessed people by all standards.

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