Nigeria is such a country of paradox, we are richly endowed yet nearly half of our population swim in paucity. Our case is such a collectives of distinctive miseries. An oceanic country of avoidable privation and at the same time a land full of great assets in both human capital and conservational supplies. Our case is like an overfloggged matter by clique of levelheaded solons but whose condition remains unyielding to tenacities.
For a long period, I almost concluded that Nigeria’s many maladies have been overfloggged but recently, I had a paradigm shift from this over flog theorem and peep the country’s façade in another perspective and rescinded that there is no way we can over flog some of the strategic issues that have defied solution especially on some of the unfortunate indices that have plunged nearly half of Nigerians into the ocean of poverty. And I have come to the conclusion that the more we talk about these house of rubbles the better for our nation and posterity.
Among some of the indices that still make Nigeria a ring leader in the comity of a destitute nation is the current rating by Brookings Institution, Washington D.C, United States of America on countries with extreme poverty. It is appalling that a nation so blessed like ours could as a matter of reality be found among chronic laden and unfortunate nations with about 87 million Nigerians swimming deep in the ocean of poverty. Worst still is that in every minute daily, poverty grows in Nigeria with 6 people admitted into this unfortunate social class. What this means is that about 360 people become poor per hour daily in Nigeria and 8640 enter into paucity life within 24 hours every day. In every month of the year about 259,200 enter into poverty industry while 3.110, 400 penurious Nigerians reel into extreme hardship. Statistically speaking, that’s about 50% of the estimated 180 million Nigerians in deep shit of privation!
I heard some folks said that statistics could not be right, may be Brookings Institution was economical with the truth but should we concur with these folks that International Monetary Funds also lied by validating the former’s concern about the growing millions of Nigerians who daily dive into extreme poverty ocean going by IMF’s fact on Nigeria in her “The World Poverty Clocks” document? Someone is definitely lieing to us on this but clearly not the Brookings Institution nor the IMF?
The current rating of Nigeria on Global Peace Index is something that should give any genuine citizen some discomfort. Among 163 countries that were rated, our beloved country came 149th position. For any thinker, the negative implication of this reality is so broad not only on the economy, food security, foreign and direct investment opportunities, infrastructural development, psychology and the emotion of the citizen but the negative impact that this unleashes on the efforts of government to eradicating poverty and ensuring that there is shared prosperity for all is equally huge!
In Nigeria today, the probability that a newly born baby will die before he/she reaches age 5 is very high. Unfortunately, our country is still among the first 10 countries in Africa where an estimated 69.8 infants per 1000 live births die in the first year of life. This horrible statistics still continues as a result of many factors such as illiteracy, lack of equipable primary health care facility, poverty, lack of adequate pregnancy care just to mention but a few. Again some folks also impulsively argue that Nigeria’s growing population connotes that the issue of infant mortality rate is declining and that we are actually better off than other countries. Well. I concur with a caveat! We all know in Nigeria especially in remote places there are a number of unfortunate infant child mortality that still go unrecorded and this happens almost on daily basis and worst still; is that in this part of the world, it is arduous to have right statistics even on the most plainest thing …our situation scoffs logic in Naija!
For a country whose politicians always at any given international forum hype her democratic dividends delivery at home and often try to impress international community and global proximate actors of her efforts at meeting Social Development Goals on or before year 2030. It is pertinent for Nigeria’s government to truly develop a coherent and comprehensive reforms across many key sectors that will combat the pathetic situation that currently threatens meeting such a tall dream and projection. The Buhari administration must continue in his anti-corruption war and be speedy in developing policy action that can lead the truckloads of almost half of the population out of chronic poverty.
Gazing at the pictorial image of Nigeria’s objectionable tragedy, no one illustrates it fittingly than my friend, brother and a nascent scholar in his right, Oyekunle Oluseye Oyewo who recently opined:
“Family life: Compromised
Health Services: Compromised
Every ingredient of a sick society is complete in this country. May God bless and strengthen every Nigerian that remain committed to the course of humanity” To which I say a big Amen!
Femi Ojo is a Political Scientist by academic training, a serial entrepreneur by choice whose business interests are in: PR/Media Communications, Auto Sales & Logistics and Agricultural Value Chain brokerage. He is one of Nigeria’s nascent public intellectuals who writes for a number of media communications platforms in Nigeria as well as writing thought provoking articles on politics and entrepreneurship on his blog femispremise.org. The nascent public intellectual currently lives happily with his family in Lagos, Nigeria.