How Nigeria became poverty champions

Nigeria was destined to be world football champions by the year 2020, what we achieved was world poverty champions. This we have momentarily lost to India in 2021 after a three-year reign though we are working assiduously to regain the crown. Also, Nigeria was expected by others, to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world (others projected these worthy aims for us), what we achieved was 31st from 26th position.

Professor Sheriffdeen Tella captured the quagmire we are in in his July 18, 2022 article, titled, Nigeria refuses to win against poverty and hunger, published by The PUNCH. In the article, he paraphrased a speech by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, warning that the war against poverty was more difficult to overcome than armed rebellion. Like most advice the grand old man gave, it was roundly ignored and here we are today—the poverty capital of the world!

Yet the warning signs were there. Not long ago it was made known that 80% of the world’s poverty would reside in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria. What a paradox, the two resource-richest African countries housing eight out of 10 of the world’s poorest. Yet Nigerian leaders of thought harp on each region having resources that will transform their regions. That having resources does make a country rich should be the takeaway lesson of the last few decades.

This lesson is known in other climes as other races in the world have stopped whining because they lost…

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