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Poverty and the Nigerian Story: a Postcolonial Disillusionment.

  • Date Submitted: 08/18/2010 12:57 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40 
  • Words: 1830
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such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. This is also referred to as absolute poverty.1

While Nigerians cannot be said to be faced with absolute poverty; relative poverty, the condition of having fewer resources or less income than others within a society or country is the Poverty refers to the condition of not having the means to afford basic human needs reality of the majority, with pockets of the population languishing in ultra-poverty; a situation in which persons receive less than 80 percent of minimum caloric intake whilst spending more than 80% of income on food or live on less than 54 cents according to a 2007 report issued by International Food Policy Research Institute.

Nigeria, a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east and Niger in the north.2 It is regarded as the largest market in Africa, with population of around 120 million people, twenty percent of them with qualitative education.3

There are now 120 million miniature states in Nigeria. Each providing (or hoping to provide) their own electricity supply, water supply, education for their children, security of life and property, roads and airports.

Though Nigeria appears to international observers as fashioned after a democracy, the politics of personal rule – a distinctive type of political system in which the rivalries and struggles of powerful and wilful men rather than impersonal institutions, ideologies, public policies or class interests are fundamental in shaping political life; brings home the cold reality: We are a ‘democratic’ oligarchy.

Nigeria’s monopolistic politics, the politics of Big-Men who are a considerable distance from the ordinary people engenders politics of no accountability,...


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