Causes of Poverty In Nigeria (Effects & Solutions)(2023)

Poverty in Nigeria is not something that started today, yesterday, or days ago. This disease has been in the system for far too long and so many have given up trying to eradicate it. In Nigeria today, there is a striking difference between the poor and the rich, and everywhere you go you know the poor from the rich. It is not a day’s job to talk about poverty in Nigeria when the poverty that Nigeria is experiencing is not only in money but in appearance. 


Nigeria is a great nation, but as great a nation is, very sorry to say, it has not tried to reduce poverty in its economy to the lowest minimum and that is what this article will be talking about today. Aside from taking a look at the history of poverty in Nigeria, how poverty came into existence, it is also Paramount that we talk about how it has affected the lives, goals, and objectives of so many people in so many sorts of the country as a whole. Whether in the North, South, East, or West, poverty in Nigeria is a common norm and since it is a common norm, it has eaten deeply into the lives of so many that it is unable to retract and find another course.

Poverty in Nigeria has claimed the lives of so many, and while some people will blame their government for their predicament, some other people will blame their neighbors or their friends, or fathers, or mothers or family members in general. Some will even go as far as blaming their siblings for their poverty.

Poverty means so many things to so many people. While the rich people have a different ideology of what poverty is, the poor also have a notion of what poverty is described as, and I can tell you that it is not in any way described beautifully just like the rich men and women will describe it.

Poverty is pathetic and a very bad side of the economy of Nigeria, but before we talk about how poverty is embedded in the economy of Nigeria, we have to talk about how poverty is in the lives of so many people and citizens of Nigeria.

What Is Your Definition?

Poverty can be defined from so many points of views but I would like to state that it starts with the mind.

Poverty can be defined as a point in an individual’s life where he experiences a lack of basic essential needs in his life. It is the state of experiencing lack and want, it is the process of having little or not enough aid and sustenance for one’s self and family members. Poverty is the stage at which you get to and it seems like there is no other way to go, it is the feeling of helplessness and the point where an individual has nothing else to do and starts to think of negative things to do to himself or his family. Poverty is a self-destructive disease that eats into the mind of an individual and turns him or her inside out to reveal how naked they are inside.

Poverty is the only thing that can drive an individual to the point of no return and it is not only in the economy if Nigeria, it is also in the lives of so many citizens of Nigeria. It is not when you waste things, it is when you do not have enough to eat or drink, not to talk if waste. Poverty is the only lifeline an individual does not want to experience because it is not a lifeline at all. There are so many definitions and ideology if poverty really is, and if one is not careful, poverty can lead an individual into doing the things he would not normally do if he was in the right frame of mind.

Thousands of people in Nigeria have lost their loved ones through poverty, and thousands more are still dying every day due to poverty. It is very different from a hunger strike, it is not a deliberate act not to eat, it is an undeliberate act of not eating anything because you do not have anything to eat in the first place.


History Of Poverty In Nigeria 

Nigeria is said to have one of the highest growth rates when it comes to its economy, however, poverty is a known order of the day in the country and it is rated at about 33.3%. Nigeria is a developing and commercial country, that has a lot of natural resources that are enough to sustain the lives of the citizens in the country try, however, this resources seems to not be shared appropriately throughout the country try, and while some people take more than what they should not, some others have nothing entirely to take.

The rate at which poverty has struck the country Nigeria, it is very unexpected and confusing because a country with so many minerals and resources, should not have a backward economy or have a big number of poverty-stricken people in it.

Poverty in Nigeria started with the emergence of corruption in the masses and corruption in the government. Where there is corruption, there is usually no headway, and Nigeria is not making headway as long as its economy is concerned. Nigerians have a mentality that if I cannot get it, then no one should get it, and aside from that, some other people in Nigeria believe that a certain set of people do not deserve some things, so it is best to keep it to themselves.

Not judging anyone, or putting anyone to shame, poverty in Nigeria is the fault of everyone and no one is innocent of this. People want to fend for their families but soon enough they become very greedy about it. Others want to find something doing but cannot because corruption has eaten deep into the country and therefore made wag for poverty in the lives of so many.

Nigeria is one country that experiences mass poverty and the leaders and even the masses who put the leaders in their seats are doing nothing about it. The first issue to be addressed is corruption, and if corruption is wiped out from the government, then poverty will start to decrease.

Nigeria owns a large capacity of leaders who have come and gone and have made no change in the economy when it comes to poverty. Poverty dates back to when a man would rather see his neighbor starve than share his pot of soup or water. Poverty started in Nigeria when the people began to have a notion of “if not for me, then for no one else”. It began to eat deep into the economy when everyone decided to be greedy in the face of power.

It cannot be duly noted on paper the date in which poverty started in Nigeria, but it is good you know that Nigeria was also experiencing poverty with the colonial masters here, so it is as good as saying that there is no specific time when poverty started in Nigeria.


Myopia can simply be defined as being shortsighted of not having the ability to see far. Anyone who has a myopic mind has a poverty-stricken mentality and usually, it is very hard to put this kind of person back on the right track. A lot of Nigerians have a myopic mind and would rather not see far into the future when they are about to make decisions.

This is what has made poverty stand in the economy of Nigeria and so many people are affected by this.

In Nigeria, there are three stages of human beings and how they are views in terms of wealth.

  • The rich
  • The average people(whoa re not too rich, but are comfortable) and
  • The poor

Despite being naturally blessed with both mineral and human resources, Nigeria has, so far, remained in a perpetual state of “hunger amidst plenty”.

A select few live in affluence and have more than they could ever really need, while the majority are left in squalor, basically living from hand to mouth.

Below are da few different reasons one could point out, almost at a glance, as to why this is so.


  1. Low Economic Growth Performance: An essential factor that works towards alleviating poverty and reducing the rate of unemployment in any country, is a strong and viable economy. The performance rate, as well as the growth rate of the Nigerian economy, is disappointingly low and the country owes a large percentage of its poverty level to this very reason. The country experiences an inadequacy in the area of employment generation for the teeming manpower. A diversified economy, rather than the one which currently relies heavily on oil, would go a long way in helping this situation.
  2. Violence and Criminal Activities: Poverty in the country can be directly linked to the high level of violence and unrest due to insurgency within the country. One only needs to look at the internally displaced population that has now become a part of the poverty-stricken populace. Unrest has been seen in the country, leads to migration, a phenomenon that is faced with the heavy problem of resettlement and integration. The level of security to combat this insurgency is nothing to write home about and should be beefed up if this is to be combated.
  3. The Phenomenon of Weak Governance: Corruption is the poster child of Nigeria’s problems and stands front and center when those issues are being called forth. Programs that have been set aside for poverty alleviation are both poorly implemented as well as poorly monitored. In the area of revenue allocation, funds are most often, diverted to private pockets and to other endeavors for which they were not initially set aside for, and usually, either no one or the wrong people end up being held accountable for these lapses. Badly allocated resources, as well as inadequacy in the aspect of infrastructure due to bad governance, are all part of the causes of poverty in Nigeria.
  4. Health Problems and Diseases: When one looks at poverty besides bad health and diseases, one is faced with a “chicken and the egg” conundrum. Which comes first? But then again, is that really the question one should be asking? Entrepreneurial activities, as well as productivity, are two aspects that are greatly hampered by poor health meaning, while ill health can be a result of poverty, that same ill health can be a cause of poverty.

A phenomenon such as poverty, especially at the scale experienced in Nigeria is not without its effects which are widespread and intricately connected.


  1. Education: It has been statistically shown that children from low-income families are far less likely to perform well in school. Without properly educated youths to take up posts of authority both in the workplace and in the ruling offices of the nation, there can really be no hope for progress. Those children end up as poor as their parents were in most cases, and the cycle continues.
  2. Development of Children: It has been shown that children who grow up in poverty, have a higher probability of picking up activities that do them more harm than good health-wise. They have also been shown to be more susceptible to mental illnesses and record terrible cognitive development as opposed to their counterparts from average to rich backgrounds. These children are usually unable to socialize properly and may feel less than capable of handling the available education opportunities that may be open to them. This all works towards negatively affecting their employment prospects in the nearest future.
  3. Crime: Owing to the large rate of poverty in Nigeria, there has been an increase in the number of illegal activities in the country as well. The phenomenon of online fraud most popularly described as “419” or “yahoo yahoo” has seen an astronomical spike in recent years. Youths, frustrated by the lack of jobs despite attaining the necessary degrees required for the attainment of those jobs, take to criminal activities to make ends meet. Armed robberies, kidnappings, ritual killings, are only but a few of these criminal activities that have stemmed directly from poverty.


There are so many ways to end poverty in Nigeria and some of them are;

  • Education

An educated child has a promising future, and not only a promising future, but an educated child can also bring something to the table of the economy of Nigeria. In so many foreign countries, people have a way of making the youths go forward and do exploit, invent things and break records, this will no doubt set the record of the economy of the country straight and a lot of people will benefit from this initiative. Education in a child helps to broaden the mentality of such a child and makes the child be a free thinker in most cases. Education will help you to open your mind to different opinions and settle for the best.

  • Acquire a skill

The truth is not everyone is made to be in school, not everyone has the patience to be in school, but that does not mean that you have to be a nuisance and live off of bread crumbs thrown at you. The truth is, in whatever you do, you must strive for excellence, and it is not in any way compulsory to go to school to achieve your goals. Many great men on earth did not sit down in the four walls of a classroom, they put their hands to good use. Learning a trade or acquisition of skill will go a long way to eradicate poverty in the lives of so many people and in the economy at large.

  • The government should invest in the country tries its own resources

The government should desist from going abroad for every single thing and invest its money on its own resources.

  • Do away with child marriage.

As much as anyone does not consider this to be one of the reasons to eradicate poverty it is. A child who is supposed to have a future and add to the growth of the economy of its country is forced into a marriage at a young age. This is done by a myopic and poverty-stricken individual and in the end, such a child will be left with nothing other than what she has learned from her parents and husband which is not even enough to carry on in the world.

Some other ways to end poverty in Nigeria are;

  • Make provisions for privately owned enterprises in the country.
  • Have a plan and budget for the economy and see it through.
  • Put the government officials to work in different parts of the country and make them know that the people come firs tin everything.
  • The government should be selfless and set their goals.
  • Rule of law (nobody should be above the law).
  • Make provisions for indigenous farming.


Poverty has a prevalent and epidemic issue in Nigeria, it was thoroughly discussed, analyzed and how possibly to eradicate poverty and also cushion he effect of existing poverty in the nation, it is a topic well researched with facts and figure, sit back and read through.

That’ all about Causes Of Poverty In Nigeria, History, Effects, And Solutions


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