In 2018, Nigeria… a supposedly giant of Africa and the most populous black nation in the world became the country with the highest number of poverty stricken individuals in the world. A significant achievement by the ever corrupt and inept government led by a hoard of ever defecting politicians who has grappled and jostled for power of the country for close to half of a century.
According to the Mirriam Webster dictionary, poverty can be defined “the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions”. A responsible state is one who ensures all its citizens have access to social acceptable welfare benefits such as shelter, education, food and health insurance. People all over the world, have their personal perspective of what poverty really is, which implies that poverty is very ambiguous to a lot of people. Our definition of poverty thus becomes shaped by our current reality and we might struggle to fathom another person’s idea of poverty.
With the median of the Nigerian population falling in active fertile ages, the country’s estimated birth rate is at forty babies per every one thousand births (www.indexmundi.com). This infers that a higher percentage of these children are born into a seemingly hopeless abyss of poverty which threatens their survival more than any disease or affliction. The infant mortality rate stands at seventy death per one thousand live births with the primary cause of these death sub-par facilities and care for these babies. The stats above shows how the Nigerian government has continually failed the innocent infant even before the open their eyes or let out their first cry in this harsh world.
When the conditions and necessary facilities required for the proper development of these children are thus missing from their infrastructure, with a steady decline yearly, we can also expect the rate of development of each child to regress yearly till eventually we hit rock bottom and have nothing but a pool of cave children around us struggling for their daily survival.
I personally believe the government and the country needs to step up. As individuals, we need to take control and realize we the masses are more powerful than the government and can effectively shape the future of the Nigerian child so he can effectively take his place in the society without shame or fear from his peers across the world. We must effectively contribute to the development of these children by placing their interests first and not just seeking for enlightening medium of developing them, but constantly effecting this medium.
Our society must therefore declare poverty as public enemy number one and see welfare and charity not as privilege but as a responsibility to fellow citizens. The country and its populace must understand this important principle to battle this menace and survive the odds against its fiery claws. The functional development of a child at home, at school, at social gatherings and even in the society, depends solely on the eradication of poverty in the country. With the prevalent scourge of poverty in the country, a child cannot be properly developed to be the best he can be, the future leader of his country.
When you care for a child, you care for a nation…