Major causes of poverty in Nigeria

Major causes of poverty in Nigeria

Nigeria entered the 21st century with good economic results. In addition to the fact that the average per capita income steadily increased, inflation was generally controlled and opportunities for foreign trade and investment were opened. But the quality of this growth remains questionable; does it cover all segments of the population, especially the poor and the young? Is it comprehensive and sustainable? Observations reveal that it does not!

poor Nigeria

Let us consider the major causes of poverty in Nigeria

According to data collected in 2016, 112 million inhabitants of Nigeria are poor. A similar test in 1990 revealed that only 51 million citizens were needy at the time. The results seem to be getting worse because the population continues to grow, and as it does, the poverty rate in Nigeria also increases. In order to combat this phenomenon, we need to understand its main sources.

1. Corruption

The Nigerian government has always been associated with corruption; the situation is so bad that the relationship between the government and corruption can be likened to the bond between inseparable siamese twins. It is believed that officials use state funds for personal purposes. Amounts of over $1 billion can be transferred into bank accounts of high-ranking persons. If these monies are spent on infrastructure, electricity, roads, water supply and other vital spheres, life in Nigeria would be completely different.

Read also

Nigeria's social problems in Nigeria and possible solutions

READ ALSO: What are the major causes of corruption in Nigeria?

2. Undeveloped economic infrastructure

The correct use of economic instruments will contribute to the fight against poverty in Nigeria. This applies to microcredits necessary for investing in agriculture and enterprise development.

Entrepreneurs in Nigeria need economic support, but however, it seems like the opportunities for entrepreneurship still remain bleak in Nigeria. If the government will pay enough attention to supporting and motivating entrepreneurs, they can provide stability and flow of finance to large communities.

3. Lack of education

The education system in Nigeria is in a deplorable state and many poor citizens do not have access to educational institutions. 10.5 million children do not attend school in Nigeria, and 60% of them are females.


This problem is especially noticeable in the northern rural regions. The situation is exacerbated by terrorist organizations like Boko Haram acting against Western education. Nigerians cannot get prestigious jobs to earn money if they lack the necessary qualifications.

Read also

Reasons for underdevelopment in Nigeria and possible solutions

4. Poor medical care

Nigeria is a densely populated country, but it has a critically small quantity of medical workers. Statistical studies have shown that the ratio of physicians to citizens in the country is 2:1000. Given all sorts of diseases and epidemics appearing in Nigeria from time to time, it is obvious that people do not receive sufficient assistance.

5. Unfair distribution of material resources

Most inhabitants of Nigeria are poor because they are alienated from the existing wealth - existing both in the world in general and in our country. There are times when people have starved and died due to poor harvests, insufficient control over nature and lack of medical knowledge because they had no way of getting the most basic necessities of life.

poor people

Most inhabitants of Nigeria are poor because they are alienated from the existing wealth - existing both in the world in general and in our country. There are times when people have starved and died due to poor harvests, insufficient control over nature and lack of medical knowledge because they had no way of getting the most basic necessities of life.

Read also

9 reasons why population census is postponed in Nigeria

Today, you can find hungry people all around food stores full of goods. Each television report about hunger clearly shows wealth - the equipment and transportation of television groups and the satellites transmitting reports to the metropolises are much more expensive than the food necessary to feed the hungry. And even in the reports of the World Food Programme of the United Nations, it is said that there is enough food on the planet to feed everybody. And of course, if necessary, it would be possible to produce even more.

Thus, only those who have no money to buy necessary food are hungry. The same applies to less life-threatening hardships like the lack of decent housing, medical care, education and different consumer goods.

6. Private property

Private property is one of the main causes of poverty. This legal institution of capitalism operates today even in the most remote corners of the planet. Every grain of natural and produced wealth belongs to someone. Everywhere seem to have a state power that gives some citizens the right to dispose of material wealth at their own discretion and prohibit access to it for all other citizens.

Read also

Is your local government is among the richest in Nigeria?

Major causes of poverty in Nigeria

When warehouses with food are plundered in Africa time to time, it proves that not only is there something to take, but some people are forbidden from taking what they need.

The estrangement of private property is exacerbated by the fact that the poor are deprived not only of produced goods but also of the sources of wealth like the means of production (tools), land, workshops, machines, raw materials, as all of these belong to the so-called rich people.

People cannot continue the usual way of life when landowners enclose their plots and states establish controls that prevent the necessary processing of pastures. Small peasants are expelled from more or less fertile land for the sake of extensive development and construction of dams or plantations for the world market. The poor people are then forced to struggle to grow food on the dry, non-irrigated fields which the state allows them plough, without the necessary equipment and tools.

Read also

National development: What positive changes should happen in Nigeria?

Small craftsmen who engage in traditional crafts, such as weavers, tailors, tanners and blacksmiths, do not stand any chance of withstanding competition with imported industrial goods from global companies, no matter how little they ask for their work. And they are deprived access to those means of production that are needed today to compete for purchasing power.

causes of poverty in Nigeria

7. Unemployment

Many people have no means of earning a living and they are helpless. Some people are ready to work but cannot find jobs, and laziness has absolutely nothing to do with it. Millions of people in Nigeria fiercely struggle for a decent existence without much success. Refugees who leave their villages to survive and settle in the slums of major cities can hardly be called lazy. They expose themselves to incredible danger in order to find work and if they are lucky enough to find one, they end up ruthlessly exploited, and if not, they get sent back. Some people are really in a state of forced inactivity, not because it is convenient to live this way but because the lack of the necessary means makes their labor unproductive and senseless.

Read also

What are the 10 economic problems that Nigeria is facing?

However, a lot of moral educators point to these people and say that they are to blame for their poverty because they are passive, apathetic and lazy, when in reality such a state is only a consequence of economic helplessness and insuperable problems

The poverty of a large number of people in the country does not seem to bother the representatives of power in Nigeria at all. Their actions seem to be guided by personal interests instead of necessity.

poverty in Nigeria

In an effort to increase their power and wealth, authorities rely on the productivity of poverty. They deliberately deprive their citizens of the ability to feed themselves, so nothing else remains to do but to offer your vital energy to the owners of the means of production as a tool for making profit.

They would rather have citizens make money from wages so that they not only keep themselves occupied, but also bring money to the owners of the means of production from whom the state will receive its share.

Read also

Top 10 causes of insecurity in Nigeria and solutions to them

Providing employment for the population and making sure people who desire to work can earn money does not seem to matter to our leaders; the amount of money most poor people can make solely depends on the calculations of the owners of the means of production, the poor can only work for them if it will multiply their wealth. The difference between a poor peasant who feeds from his own piece of land and a modern wage worker is that a peasant uses his land and meager tools for his own interests, while an employee gets used for the interest of his employers.


Now you know the causes of poverty in Nigeria; we hope that this information was useful to you. We also hope that the situation of our country will change for the better very soon.

READ ALSO: Average cost of living in Nigeria


Online view pixel