Poverty in Nigeria

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Poverty is an enemy of man; it humiliates and dehumanizes its victims, poverty holds sway, in the midst of plenty, a situation described in Nigeria’s political lexicon as a ‘bewildering paradox’. Poverty has been a serious challenge to governments in Nigeria. Its effects, which include lack and deprivation in the basic necessities of life, are worrisome. Apart from inducing lack of certain capabilities, such as that of being able to participate with dignity in societal endeavours, poverty has earned recognition due to its damaging effects on the affairs of humanity at the local, national and international levels. Indeed, poverty is a snare. Among the committee of nations, Nigeria has been described as poor. Even on the continent of Africa, using selected world development indicators, Nigeria is poorly ranked. Although several programs have been designed by the State to combat the scourge, their impacts on the poor population has been substantially impaired by corruption, weak administration, and poor inter-sectoral governance system. These, in the opinions of observers, have been the major challenges to poverty reduction in Nigeria. Poverty in Nigeria has been described as pervasive owing to the fact that as from 1981, the nation has witnessed a persistent increase in poverty level. This persistent rise in the nation’s poverty level prompted enunciation of poverty alleviation programmes as from 1986. Though the nation has implemented not fewer than eight of such programmes, available data reveals that over 50% of the nation’s population is still categorized as being poor. Countries like China and Vietnam whose poverty level was higher than that of Nigeria for about two decades ago have their poverty level between 5% and 20% as at today. It is being argued that corruption amongst other issues which has been seen as a way of life in Nigeria is largely responsible for the persistent poverty situation. This paper has attempted to evaluate the impact of governance on...
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