News / Africa

Analyst: Corruption Partly Blamed For Poverty in Nigeria

University of Abuja professor Kabiru Mato says percentage of Nigerians in absolute poverty could be higher than 70 percent

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to Butty interview with Kabiru Mato of Nigeria

James Butty

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Monday poverty is fueling the religious violence in Nigeria.

In a speech in Lagos, Clinton reportedly said the northern part of Nigeria remains one of the poorest in the country and suggested more direct investment and opportunities for those in the north.

His comments followed a report Monday by the Nigerian government which cautioned that poverty continues to rise.

The National Bureau of Statistics said 61 percent of Nigerians lived on less than $1 per day in 2010 compared to 51 percent in 2004.

Kabiru Mato, chair of the political science department at the University of Abuja, poverty in Nigeria is the result of corruption and the inequitable distribution of the country’s oil wealth.

“I think the government is right to the extent that the statistics they gave were even grossly inadequate in a sense that, if you take a very curious look at what’s happening in Nigeria, especially the northern fringes, you will find that the percentage of people who are living in absolute poverty is far more than 70 percent,” he said.

Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer, pumping more than two-million barrels per day, but Mato said corruption has deprived many ordinary Nigerians from sharing in their country’s wealth.

“We have been having problems with corruption in this country, and corruption is defined as the inability of government to be meaningful and responsive to the aspirations and yearnings of the people.  So, this huge gap, in my view, explains the level of social crisis and the level of political instability,” Mato said.

Mato said he agrees with Clinton that the northern part of Nigeria remains one of the poorest in the country.  But, he said other factors have also contributed to the disparity between the north and south.

“In Nigeria, there is a very sharp dichotomy between the northern and southern parts of the country.  Yes, the north is more in numbers, but then the level of education of the people of Nigeria of northern extraction is far below the level of education that people in the southern part of the country have,” Mato said.

He also blamed colonialism for the economic disparity between northern and southern Nigeria.

“What the colonial masters did was to create a more economic class in the southern part of the country and creating a political class of people who took over administration in the northern part of Nigeria.  This basically was a fault line that was created [by] colonial administrations, and it has been expanded upon over time to the extent that the level of mass poverty in the north is endemic, while it is less in the southern part of the country,” Mato said.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid