Nigeria is a wonderful country with a huge population and endless natural resources. It has enough potential to become a great nation. However, the country is struggling with the problem of underdevelopment, which is not a good thing, because there are many unpleasant factors contributing to it. Here, you can read about the causes of underdevelopment in Nigeria, and the possible ways to resolve all the issues.
What are the causes of underdevelopment in Nigeria?
Even though Nigeria is a bright country with massive perspectives for growth, the reasons for underdevelopment underdevelopment in Nigeria are clearly evident. The problems of underdevelopment in Nigeria are responsible for our way of life, which is lower than average. How can the causes of underdevelopment be dealt with in Nigeria? Let's discuss the solutions to the problems of underdevelopment in Nigeria.
The initial problem in the Nigerian everyday life is, of course, corruption. It is such a huge issue that has affected almost every area of life in the country and deprives us of growth. It feels like no matter which political leader we will choose, the result will be the same – they will not care much about improving the lives of Nigerians. There are a lot of politicians who steal the funds that are meant for various projects related to country development and put them on their personal bank accounts. If you look at the lavish lifestyle of many politicians, it becomes clear that apart from their official salary, they also take the funds from the national reservoir.
There were efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria and a lot of initiatives supported by the government. There was a re-enactment of certain laws, and also many integrity systems were enforced. But none of those have brought significant success.
To beat corruption, people should start with changing themselves and their outlook on society. The “leading by example” strategy can also be helpful – we need to have strong leaders who would show with their own example that corruption is wrong. Nowadays, many countries are fighting the corruption problem by electing the government that made a promise to implement a reform against this toxic practice, and we should follow their example as well. Combating tribalism and getting more united as a nation is also a way to success.
2. Unfavourable business conditions
There is one thing that helps the nation to grow and develop, and this thing is business. The successful and developed country needs to have a large number of industries, which are also of high quality. It is impossible to contribute to the development of the country without the existence of the industries.
Unfortunately, in Nigeria, there are no suitable conditions for the long-running industries. This is mainly because every industry is in need of constant and steady supply of power and it is barely available in the country.
The solution to this problem will be, of course, the stabilization of power and water supplies. If these issues are dealt with, it will be more possible to attract investors from the country and outside it.
3. Dependence on oil
Nigeria is a country which is almost fully dependent on the oil sector. Since there are major supplies of oil in Nigeria, which contribute to the general income of the country, there are other economic sectors that are left without proper development. For example, such sectors as tourism and agriculture are really abandoned compared to oil. This puts a lot of limitations on the revenue potential of Nigeria because the country is unable to take up a lot of projects related to its development. If the tourism sector was in better condition, it could possibly attract investors from outside the country and the foreign visitors, but this sphere is much neglected nowadays. This way, Nigeria is developing slower than it should, seeing how there is a lot of natural resources.
The solution is simple – the agricultural sector, as well as the tourism sector, should be given more attention and care. The development of these sectors will mean that there will be enough revenue for carrying out the much-needed projects, directed at the improvement of Nigeria’s everyday life and solutions.
This problem is very serious because if not enough people are employed, their contribution to the country’s development will slow down. The youth are unable to find jobs because of the high requirements and lack of work. Not only the young people but also the older people who find it difficult to find a job are left unemployed when their knowledge and skills could have been extremely useful in the growth and development of Nigeria.
Due to the unemployment rates, the GDP of Nigeria keeps reducing every year, which is one of the effects of underdevelopment in our country.
The solution to this problem would be easier than it seems – more job opportunities have to be created for the youth. The problem of corruption should also be dealt with because it exists in large amounts in the job market and is closely connected to the unemployment rates.
5. Poor government policy implementation
There are a lot of policies in Nigeria that are technically supposed to improve the life of the local residents. They all look great on paper, but in practice, they have very little actual implementation. The result of it is the untimely ending of many projects that were designed for development because they have not moved on anywhere from the paperwork level.
Government should take it under its own responsibility and watch over these policies, making sure that they were implemented and did not just stay on paper. It is the problem that the government should take immediate care of because there are so many potential improvements and so little implementation.
READ ALSO: What is demography and social statistics?
6. Poor project supervision
There are a lot of projects that are suggested to improve the country’s development in various sectors. However, similarly to the previous point, a lot of projects just do not get anywhere. They die out very quickly and get abandoned. Even if these projects manage to get to the stage of implementation, it often happens that they lack the proper supervision and are later just given up on.
The supervisors that have been appointed to the certain projects have to stick with them until the proper completion. They should avoid jumping on board of other economy aspects and investing in them before the project is properly completed, otherwise we risk starting the same projects over and over again, which severely slows down development.
This is a very serious aspect of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. The insurgency of a jihadist group Boko Haram started in 2009 when they decided to rebel against the Nigerian government. To this day, there is a huge tension in the country, because the Boko Haram insurgents are still active, and their violent actions lead to many deaths.
Boko Haram group is radically against Western values and education, and unfortunately, they demonstrate their beliefs mostly with violence against those who do not share them. They have officially been called one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world, because of the number of people that they have murdered.
The insurgents can appear any time at and this is a major problem for those who want to make investments into the certain aspects of Nigeria’s development. There are no guarantees of complete safety, especially if the investments were made in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. Therefore, people who want to invest are usually making their establishments outside Nigeria, because this choice seems much safer to them.
8. Religious and ethnic misunderstandings
Nigeria is a very diverse country when it comes to ethnicity and religion. It has hundreds of ethnic groups. The huge problem in modern Nigeria is tribalism, the issue is the division that different tribes cause to people, because members of a certain tribe hold their national identity above all the others, and might have harmful stereotypes and prejudice against people from the different tribe.
To grow as a nation, Nigerians should stop adopting harmful stereotypes and embrace each other’s differences, instead of constantly putting each other down because of the factors that do not depend on us.
9. High level of illiteracy
For a country to be successful, it has to be literate – this is a common unspoken rule. One more reason for Nigeria’s underdevelopment is the high rate of illiteracy in the country, especially in the northern regions.
The biggest factors that influence illiteracy in the country are poverty and low living standards. A lot of children have to feed their families and work from a very young age, instead of going to school. So many young children, especially girls, are forced into marriage and have to quit their education. The parents often fail to realize the importance of education and treat their children as a property that can bring them money. This happens because they are so devoted to the old traditions instead of changing their take on the modern world, or simply because they have no sources of income and need to survive.
Therefore, a lot of people grow up illiterate, without any basic school education. If the level of illiteracy in Nigeria decreases, then more people will become productive and are able to come up with new ideas that can change the country’s future for the better. There are already a lot of programs dedicated to giving basic education to those people who are unable to afford it, and they are very useful methods of combating illiteracy.
The main causes of Nigeria’s underdevelopment can be gradually overcome. If we get rid of those issues, then our country will have a bigger chance of becoming a developed nation.