How Can Nigeria Tackle Mounting Poverty?


Despite the best efforts of the present administration to lift Nigeria out of the doldrums of recession and restore development to the economy, millions of active youths are still wallowing in poverty, with a rising groundswell of anger. How can the federal government best address this poverty issue before things spiral out of control?


* There should be reintroduction of farm settlements in each federal constituency to enhance the agricultural value chain, while engaging youths in food processing. The present administration should develop a roadmap to use technology, develop innovations, promote tourism, increase civil servants’ salaries, and give loans for social welfare of Nigerian citizens.

Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation. Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

* Nigeria’s huge resources have been mortgaged by a corrupt five per cent of the citizens, while more than 95 per cent, including over 63 million youths are unjustly denied access to food, shelter, clothing, education, infrastructure, employment, security e.t.c by these same greedy few. Government must check and reverse the ugly trend urgently.

Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* The solution for Nigeria is to establish food processing and industrial plants to employ at least 100 people in all the 774 local governments including the FCT. We can use the recovered looted funds to start this great idea. Another solution is to revive all the moribund companies in all the 36 states and the FCT, which will employ millions of citizens.

Mr. Adekunle Alliu, MD/CEO, US-Africa Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines & Agriculture Inc, USA

* The government needs to fast-track infrastructural development. Let there be constant power, open the rural roads and encourage the artisans. When there is an enabling environment, poverty will naturally give way. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Kingsley Oparah, Lagos

* The federal government cannot address this poverty issue alone without the states coming on board. The National Bureau of Statistics should be mandated to come up with exact figure from all the states at least three times a year. Any effort to eradicate poverty without knowing the figure of unemployment persons will not have the desired effect.

Mr. Austine Nwanya, Solid Minerals consultant, Abuja

* Access to loans and ensuring an enabling environment for businesses whether small, medium or large to thrive can be helpful for the short-term. Leadership must commit to re-orientation on family planning, massive investment in youth development, financial planning education, rural and infrastructural development.

Ms. Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos

* Nigeria can tackle the mounting poverty by embarking on sustainable economic policies that will truly impact the lives of citizens e.g. investing in education, agriculture, power, exploiting the abundant mineral resources to Nigeria’s gain, and giving out loans to encourage SMEs. From there, new models of poverty eradication would be created to solve economic challenges, thereby breaking the poverty jinx.

Mr. Charles Aniebonam, Esq., Abuja

* Poverty can be reduced firstly by granting local government autonomy because it would bring governance closer to the people at the grassroots. Governments at all levels must invest massively in education, agriculture, health and infrastructure at the grassroots levels to discourage people migrating to urban areas.

Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem, APC Chieftain, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State

* Poverty is a worldwide problem but ours is abject poverty that was caused by past governments who did not save for the rainy day by not investing in agriculture and other social services. Government should look inward not through propaganda, but by investing and reviving most of the industries that will provide jobs and also give soft loans to help the youths.

Mr. Nduanya Egbuna, Political Scientist, Enugu

* Unemployment rate and poverty are high because there are no people-oriented programmes to cushion the rates, while the leaders lodge our money into foreign accounts.

Mrs. Ijeoma Nnorom, Lagos State

* To tackle poverty, government must restructure our education to take into account skills, apprenticeship and internship. Also, government must encourage small scale industrial development by removing bottle-neck in business registration and the levy charged business owner. Government must restructure the poverty alleviation programmes by giving direct unconditional grant to willing farmers.

Mr. Mark Ushie, Transcorp Hilton, Abuja

* To rescue Nigeria from the shackles of poverty, all available resources must be equitably distributed. More youths should be deployed to modern farms and soft loans unconditionally granted to them.

Mr. Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* Yes, if we are ready to humble ourselves, let the IG honour the Senate invitation, Institutions are at stake now. Ministers, some past governors, ex-Senators etc are still on pension payroll despite their present remuneration. How can one eradicate poverty in the midst of corruption fighting back?

Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* Poverty is a global issue and Nigeria can tackle the scourge when the income gap is minimised by government’s provision of an enabling environment for youths and entrepreneurs to thrive. Also, the loot in the hands of greedy public officials should be recovered and deployed for safety nets.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State

* We can best tackle the mounting poverty in Nigeria with leadership sincerity, patriotic zeal, and followership vigilance. Our leaders should put the people first in all policy decisions, and build cottage industries to engage the unemployed youths. Let government provide enabling environment for small-scale businesses to thrive and provide jobs for unemployed youths. God bless Nigeria.

Mr. Odey Ochicha, Leadership Specialist, Abuja

* There was poor management of resources when oil price was high. This government is trying to create jobs through agricultural diversification rather than youths looking for scarce jobs in cities. Government should also provide security for interested farmers.

Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* A good chunk of our $50 billion reserves should be applied to infrastructure development, to create poverty-alleviating jobs. Also there should be a review of the sale of the distribution arm of PHCN to the current owners who are inefficient monopolies themselves. Full commercialisation of the power sector is the ideal for Nigeria, where the sector would be opened up for competition.

Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* I think government should stop paying lip service to its commitments. It’s a good thing the National Assembly has passed the 2018 budget with recurrent slightly superseding capital. The capital vote of N2.8 trillion or so should be adhered to strictly.

Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja

* Nigeria can tackle mounting poverty only with the cooperation of the youth who form the majority of the population. Government should also support the youths with soft loans and encourage citizens to be engaged in things that will improve their lives and poverty will vanish.

Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* Government should provide enabling environment such as good infrastructure, constant power supply, and sound education to enable youths to be constructively engaged. Our leaders should emulate the Asian Tigers whose economies are technology-driven, thereby making them to be useful overall.

Mr. Paul Jideofor, Dept of Languages, FCT COE, Zuba, Abuja



Top tip: Revive moribund industries

Second: Develop basic infrastructure

Third: Boost agriculture processing

Radical tip: Interest-free loans

Total no of respondents: 20

Male: 17

Female: 3

Highest location: Abuja (7)

Next Week: Can e-Voting Protect Citizens’ Mandate?

Although the issue of electronic voting has not been fully adopted, some analysts believe its deployment would minimise electoral rigging and fraud in the coming 2019 general election. To you, can the new e-voting system help protect the average citizen’s mandate to elect credible leaders who will help improve Nigeria’s development process? 

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (May 24 & Monday, May 28) to,, AND Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, May 31