Stella Dimoko Weekend Arena - Unnecessary Drama Here And There While Nigerians Live In Extreme Poverty!


Advertisement - Mobile In-Article

Friday, November 20, 2020

Weekend Arena - Unnecessary Drama Here And There While Nigerians Live In Extreme Poverty!

 Before you finish reading this article, about 30 Nigerians would have been admitted into the league of extremely poor people in the world, living on less than N874 in a day. 

I stumbled on some startling information from the World Data Lab, the body behind the World Poverty Clock. Living up to its name, the World Poverty Clock, I noticed, is programmed to analyse data regarding the welfare of citizens in a clock-ticking pattern. Each second, one would see how people are slipping in and out of poverty depending on which side of the divide one is located. Unfortunately, Nigeria is not sitting well there. 

The figures and projections are simply bad.

Out of the estimated 205 million people living in Nigeria, their data said 105 million persons or 51% of the population are living in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty, according to their definition means living on less than $1.9 in a day. By today’s exchange rate of N460 to one US dollar, that means N874 a day; N6,118 a week; N24,472 a month or N293,664 in a year. 

 The average okada operator, who goes home with about N3000 in a day and the minimum wage earner, who gets N30,000 in a month are by far off this margin. In their projection, Nigeria can get out of this inglorious state, by taking a certain number of persons (0.3) out of poverty every second. This could get the country onto an acceptable threshold. But Nigeria has not been able to do so; rather 4.4 persons slip into poverty every minute. That means before you finish reading this article, about 30 Nigerians would have been admitted into the league of extremely poor people in the world, living on less than N874 in a day. 

With the global number of people living in extreme poverty hovering around 712 million, it means Nigeria’s 105 million extremely poor people, constitute about 14.7% of the total figure. For me, there is no way to describe this, other than assuming that ‘poverty is rubbing pancake on our faces’.

Before we begin to dwell on the fable that 2020 was ruined by the economic lockdown occasioned by COVID-19, let us reflect on the fact that African countries remain some of the least impacted as regards the scourge, and perhaps weigh it against the huge population, so afflicted by poverty. In the face of all these, Nigerians are for once experiencing one of the worst inflationary trends of all time, with prices, changing in a manner that reminds one of a ticking clock. Food stuffs are so expensive today in our markets, further leaving these 105 million persons more vulnerable. 

But the most demoralising aspect of this mess is that our leaders seem unperturbed by these realities. Of course, they will wave these statistics away as false, but they have remained indifferent in confronting these challenges. In the face of this towering destitution, what seems to be occupying their minds at the moment is 2023. Although 3 years away, they are all strategizing across party lines to grab power and probably do nothing with it, apart from lining their pockets at the expense of the people. 

With the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, moving from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress, the two leading parties, in the past two days, have neglected the troubling realities of the common Nigerian to engage themselves in a war of words over who gained or lost, as if Dave Umahi’s presence or absence has ‘changed the price of Abakiliki rice’.

May be the government of Nigeria has not realised this fact: the more the poverty gap in the country widens, the more the country would be burying her scarce resources in the fight against insecurity, because poverty breeds nothing but chaos. By now, there should be concerted efforts to bridge the gap, even if it means declaring a state of emergency as regards the poverty situation. From the executive to the legislative arm of government, such projections by the World Poverty Clock should be giving them sleepless nights if they were truly genuine leaders, moved by the plight of their subjects. 

Under normal circumstances, we should be hearing the National Assembly deliberating on what urgent steps the government should take to mitigate this scourge in the short and long terms respectively. But nobody is concerned. Instead, everyone is jumping on the media opportunity the EndSARS protests is creating. For the next two weeks, I can bet that the exchanges between the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and the CNN would be the main business of the government.

In the midst of this excruciating poverty, the country is witnessing deaths from Yellow Fever, which has killed scores of people in states like Delta, Kogi, Enugu and Benue so far. Is it not surprising that while the world is concerned with ‘perfecting’ a vaccine for COVID-19, a disease like Yellow Fever whose vaccine has been around for nearly a century would be killing us? 

Maybe we should plead with ‘village people to free Nigeria’!


  1. The worse thing that ever happened to Nigeria was giving an incompetent and incapacitated man the mantle of power to rule over two hundred million Nigeria. Tell me why he won't appoint his likes to govern with him. You can't give what you don't have.

    Buhari is a monumental failure and disgrace to governance. I said this without fear and every iota of truth in me. People are dying on the daily of starvation and the government are doing nothing to alleviate the sufferings of the masses. One day, that very tsunami will hit them by surprise. E go shock them soon.

    1. Well said bro Ngozi 👍🏾

    2. I always look forward to Weekend Arena, well done. You've said it as it is.

  2. Great piece once again. Village people... This is a case of greedy,uneducated,uninformed and parochial ethnic sentiments of the masses. Come 2023 the lots will queue up to vote in these sets of people. We never learn in this country.


  3. Lol. Village people. Please free Nigeria ooooooo. Nigeria problems are toooooooo many.

  4. Kai, Bro's Ngozi you have killed me with this analysis.

    My chest ohhh, this make Nigerian situation look so hopeless 😞😥😥

  5. Food for thought.

    In the time period that we are all living in nobody should be living in that level of poverty. This pandemic is forcing counties into a state of self-reliance and focus on their own issues.
    So many African nations that depend heavily on foreign aid will be left behind, and the poverty and undevelopment will increase, making them ripe for exploitation. The African leaders are so incompetent it is embarrassing.

  6. Welldone Ngozi

    The most Complex B

  7. Village witches please release Nigeria

    The most Complex B

  8. Ng, these days, especially after the ENDSARS protests, I am working towards numbing myself towards anything Nigerian. The clowns in power are having a swell ride and the people are only desperate for rice and indomie. Look at the number of people who protested and compare it to the armed robbers who went seeking palliatives in ShopRite. They don't care about any poverty index. Their belly is their God. Give them free t-shirt and half a midi of rice then top it with N1,500 on election Day and they would never realize that they can do better. My present project is in bettering myself and those with whom I share the same core values. Greedy zombies in Aso rock or those who hail APC or PDP can't hold me back.


Disclaimer: Comments And Opinions On Any Part Of This Website Are Opinions Of The Blog Commenters Or Anonymous Persons And They Do Not Represent The Opinion Of

Pictures and culled stories posted on this site are given credit and if a story is yours but credited to the wrong source,Please contact and corrections will be made..

If you have a complaint or a story,Please Contact Via
Mobile Phone +4915210724141