New statistics coming from both the Nigeria’s statistics body and World Bank have shown that incidence of poverty has continue to increase in Nigeria, where as things stand now about seventy percent of the population are living below poverty line. This is happening despite the stupendous wealth the country’s few elites continue amass. A visit to Abuja the nation seat of power is enough to demonstrate to you how the lucky few are living in luxury while the majority Nigerians wallow in abject poverty in the rural areas and far fringe parts of the country. Graduate unemployment has been on the increase since the returns to democracy, and despite, the fact that the country has realized billions of Dollars from the sells of crude oil in the international market. Recently, in Nairobi the capital of Kenya, Nigeria’s richest man Aliko Dangote during a visit of a Nigerian delegate to the country that include President Jonathan tells the gathering of diplomats and businessmen that he heard from an authoritative source that Nigeria is now the second largest market for private jets in the world. While rich Nigerians such as Dangote and co travelers are enjoying their wealth, hundred thousands are dying due ill health, lack of clean water, and poor sanitary conditions. In Kano, Aliko Dangote home state, lack of electricity has put many industries out of business while millions of beggars are roaming the streets looking for charity. Nigeria’s media in recent days was full of stories of an allege federal government deal with a Dubai based luxury goods dealer to supply it with fifty three Gold plated mobile phones to be given out as gifts to some few Nigeria’s elites during next month country’s fifty three independence anniversary on October first.
The rising tide of poverty in the country’s North East, as many analysts has argued, is the aftermath of poverty and central government neglect of the region. In many of my write ups on this blog I have made mention of my sojourns in the region and how I came face to face with abject poverty. Roads in the region are dead, schools dilapidated, industries non existing, health centres few and ill equipped, and begging the order of the day. While the federal government in Abuja is making noises about it non-existing achievements - being blown out of proportion by its huge propaganda machinery, a visit to social networking sites such as Facebook, is enough tell one how this government is being condemn by majority Nigerians because of its inability to get the majority of the poor out of the current hardship they are enduring. In the country’s oil rich Niger delta, where the President come from, billions of Naira has been squandered on the so called amnesty program for militant which ends up in the pockets of few militants leaders; who despite all these government gestures continue to stolen government crude oil. In the country’s South east kidnapping is the order of the day where many unemployed graduates engage in the act in order to make quick money. Not surprisingly, the victims of all these kidnappings are the country’s rich elites who after all are the ones who have stolen the money needed to provide these unemployed graduates with descent jobs – as the saying goes a child who stops his mother from catching a sleep will not catch any sleep, too. In the South Western part of the country, arm robbers have terrorized communities killing and stolen people possessions a phenomenon which when look at critically is the same out come that is common in a society where youth are not provided with jobs. It will be better for President Jonathan’s regime if he concentrates on fighting poverty instead of his current preoccupation with ways to get re-elected in 2015 which is about to years ahead.