Nigeria, popularly known as the Giant of Africa is a nation located in the western part of Africa along the Atlantic Ocean's Gulf of Guinea. Its land boundary is with Benin to the west, Chad and Cameroon to the eastern part and Niger to the northern side. Nigeria's main indigenous groups are Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. It is the most populous country in Africa, with a current population growth rate of 2.7% and an estimated population of about 175 million, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Nigeria has one of the world’s highest economic growth rate, averaging over 7% over the last decade (World Bank 6). Evidently, there has been too much emphasis laid on economic growth in Nigeria which is clearly mistaken for economic development, as a result there has been minimal or no welfare improvements for much of the population and poverty has been a significant confrontation to the Nigerian people. Its consequence, which comprises lack and deficiency in the basic requirements of life, is disturbing. The growth of the Nigerian economy is projected to continue growing, however poverty is still likely to get worse as the economic gap continues to widen. It remains a paradox, however, that despite the fact that the Nigerian economy is growing, the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year (Kale).
Poverty, as defined by the World Bank is the inability to attain a minimal standard of living (26). It can also be defined as a refusal of opportunities and choices, an abuse of human dignity. In Nigeria, severe and widespread poverty is an actuality that shows a lack of clothes, food, education and other important amenities. Several poor people in Nigeria need the most basic requirements of life to a degree that it can be marveled how they manage to live. This paper focuses on three main factors affecting poverty in Nigeria and its impact on the Nigerian people.
To begin, Nigeria’s need has been recognized to be caused by many factors, although the non-diversification of the financial system and over-dependency on the oil sector can be seen as the most important part. Since the 1960’s, billions of dollars in oil revenue has flowed into Nigeria’s coffers: this is an opportunity that is certainly unavailable to most of the developing world. These monies could have been used productively to transform agriculture, lay the foundation of an effective public education system and provide much-needed infrastructure. Unlike the East African countries, in the West many provinces such as Nigeria gain from the tropical climate with verdant vegetation and varied range of crops that develop all year round. This sights just how significant agriculture is to reduce poverty in Nigeria. However, agriculture is still performed on a small scale and is carried out with simple tools like hoes and cutlasses etc. therefore it suffers from extreme low productivity. Large scale agriculture is not common due to mismanagement and lack of basic...