By Salim Yakubu Akko
Right from our childhood days, the word sound of the ‘poverty’ and it great evils to humanity are familiar to our eyes. Upon realizing and experiencing the meaning of the word, I used to asked my self questions like “ why can’t we stand on our feet to become the soldiers of life to fight against the molten magma’s rain of this great monster, poverty. It has been said that if we do not fight against poverty in this country, then it will surely crushed us all! It can even lead us to our graves unprepared at tender ages.
And if we look at the matter in general, considering the situation we are now in this country, it is undoubtful that we are at this juncture of loosing surrendering to the evil will of Poverty. In one way or the other, we are all witness to how this deadly disease lead our youth to engaged in some social vices that are today hunting the Country badly.
Unlike other countries, the disease of poverty in Nigeria is quite different. Nigeria was ranked among the most poor countries in the world in 2015. About six years with the ranking, it seems like the policy makers have not yet made a sound policy to tackle the disease to a minimal level or even eradicate it entirely!. It is even considered worst the poor are always getting poorer and the rich are also becoming poor!
Are we not yet matured enough to think of how we can unchain ourselves from the shackles of this deadly disease?
Moreover, some countries are struggling to contain the spread of the deadly Corona Virus Pandemic. But, unfortunately, in Nigeria, COVID-19 is not the main disease killing the populace, but a portion of the viruses. This disease is the mother that gave birth to our current woes. It gave birth to insecurity, corruption and some other vices that were emanated from negative thinking of the Youth. So far, considering the realities on ground, we can deduced that this disease was caused by so many factors. Amongst are; bad governance. This is easily understandable considering the causes of bad governance to a particular country.
Today, we measure the performance of our elected leaders with the amount of money shared to the society not with the amount of works done by them on ground. And usually, the politicians that involved In this act are those that clinched the mantle of leadership not by merit, but through vote buying. Albeit, there are some individuals and civil society organizations that took it upon themselves to create awareness on the dangers of this habit, but seems like their calling is in vein! Usually, when a politician is elected for the money he shared, his first achievement in office is to recover all the amount he shared to the populace, as a result, he’ll overlooks his major role and fished out how he can developed himself and his errand boys leaving the masses wallowing in abject poverty.
Furthermore, another factor that should be looked up, is the indolence attitude of our youth. Their idleness is obvious, as we are all witness to how they fall victims of some ponzi schemes, such MMM, UWORK, INSME and so on. Youth of today are afraid of engaging into agriculture or any of it is chain, because of their love for free meal. They loved to earn without working for it, that’s why they left the agricultural sector to the aged parents. While, before the discovering of Oil in commercial quantity in Nigeria, agricultural sector was the major contributor to the GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT.
But as we know, there is a popular quote that says ” there’s no problem under the sun that has no possible solution” what then should be done to eradicate the abject poverty or take it to minimal level. Nigeria, North to be precise, is blessed with a huge fertile land for agriculture. Therefore, government should create another programs that would create awareness to the youth on the blessings surrounding the sector. Also, create an avenue that will boast the agricultural output of the rulers dwellers, thereby given them access to agricultural inputs in subsidized amount. With this, employment will be created, as a result, Youth would be free from any form of negative thinking since that they are all in possession of what to keep them busy.
Government should create new industries or give room to private individuals to create, this will also create employment.
Injecting in the Agricultural sector would benefit the country through diversifying the country’s economy. As such, Oil would be the only high source of revenue of the nation.
To the masses in general, they should open their eyes and vote for a candidate that would give them the actual dividend of Democracy, not a money distributor.
In addition, Youth should channel their attention to being creative. Thereby inventing things that would assist them financially and their country.
With all heart I rigorously believe if all the measures I have mentioned are taken, the high rate of poverty bedeviling this country will be massively reduced and will instantly and totally be eradicated.
Salim Yakubu Akko is a Nigerian writer, a poet and essayist from Gombe state. He is a member of Gombe Jewel Writers’ Association, Creative Club Gombe State University, and Hilltop Creative Arts Foundation.