Ten Common Causes Of Poverty In Nigeria And Their Solution

Ten Common Causes Of Poverty In Nigeria And Their Solution

Nigeria's poverty map
Nigeria’s poverty map

Nigeria’s poverty rate continues to increase steadily. According to poverty facts and statistics in Nigeria, over 89 million Nigerians live in poverty, while 53 million are in abject poverty.

According to the African Development Bank President — Femi Adeshina, 45% of Nigerian youths are jobless. This explains why crimes keep increasing in the country.

Many Nigerian fathers can’t put food on the table or send their children to school. Considering the alarming stats above, it is no surprise that everyone is talking about how to stop poverty in Nigeria.

Many Nigerians are desperate to end the poverty trend in the country as they keep searching for the best solutions to poverty in Nigeria.

However, we can’t discuss solutions without uncovering the causes of poverty in Nigeria. Therefore, let’s discuss the top 10 causes of poverty in Nigeria and how to solve them.

Top 10 Causes Of Poverty In Nigeria

The 10 main causes of poverty in Nigeria include Corruption, overpopulation, poor saving culture, bad Investments, laziness, unemployment, poor education system, insecurity, poor healthcare service, and unfavorable government policies.

1. Corruption

Corruption is the primary cause of poverty in Nigeria. Government officials at all levels are corrupt; they love enriching their wallets at the expense of the citizens.

They love embezzling public funds meant for projects and facilities that could benefit the masses.

They divert financial allocations into their account without considering the aftermath effect of their selfish behaviors on the Nigerians.

Nigeria’s economy continues to crumble because the government and other key players fail to hire capable and well-trained people into important offices.

Instead, they replaced competence with godfatherism. You must have a strong connection with a wealthy or influential person to get a job regardless of your competence and experience.

Politicians should stop being self-centered. They must strive to ensure that every Nigerian has equal access to the country’s amenities.

2. Unemployment

As stated earlier, 45% of Nigerian youths are unemployed while 30% of Nigerian parents solely depend on their unemployed children for food and other necessities of life.

This is one of the reasons why poverty rates in Nigeria keep increasing. You would expect Nigeria to be a productive country considering the high number of citizens in the working-class age group.


Again, the government has a massive role to play in solving Nigeria’s unemployment problems.

Federal and state governments must establish more employment opportunities by producing more companies, industries, schools, and other facilities that will improve the standard of living in the country.

They must make policies that will encourage and attract private investors and firms as this will go a long way in reducing the unemployment rate in the country.

Similarly, every Nigerian must have one or two entrepreneurship skills that will keep them busy and productive while waiting for the government’s white-collar jobs.

The Nigerian government can’t provide jobs for over 200 million people; hence, learning a trade or skill is non-negotiable.

3. Poor Education System

There is no better way to describe the poor education system in Nigeria than using the incessant ASUU strike as a case study.

Nigerian students in universities have been at home for five months because the government and the Academic Staff Union of University are at loggerheads over salary issues.

Likewise, Nigeria’s education system isn’t set up to eliminate poverty.
Many schools don’t have workshops and facilities, they teach practical courses with a theoretical approach.

This is why many Nigerian graduates will keep searching for jobs in a country with few employment opportunities.


All Nigerian high schools and tertiary institutions should create skill acquisition centers in their respective premises where students will acquire new skills.

The craft learned during their school days will serve as a source of income till they get a well-paying office job.

4. Poor Saving Culture

Many Nigerians often purchase flashy wear and costumes without minding what to save. They love living extravagant life even if it means having nothing for emergency cases.

As much as we don’t pray for bad occurrences, Nigerians must save part of their earnings for future purposes. Apart from saving for emergencies, savings guarantee more wealth because they attract interest steadily.

Therefore, every well-meaning Nigerian or well-paid employee should endeavor to save at least 30%of of their monthly income.

Extremely low-income Nigerians should save at least 5% of their earnings. This will surely do them no harm.

Meanwhile, the 10 best saving platforms in Nigeria are Piggyvest, Cowrywise, Vestpay, Kolopay, Kuda Bank, Sumo Bank (Sumo Trust), Trove, Carbon, Alat, and Kudi

5. Over Population

With over 217 million citizens, Nigeria is currently the 6th most populated country globally.
Imagine a family of 7 depending on a man who earns only ₦50k monthly; how will they survive?

Unfortunately, many homes in Nigeria are in similar situations where the breadwinner is a civil servant who solely depends on the government’s unstable salary payment mode.


The government should find a way to make family planning and birth control compulsory for every family in the country.

If possible, the legislators should enact laws prohibiting families from exceeding a certain size to control the ever-increasing population rate.

Likewise, Nigerians in rural areas should be taught the adverse effects of uncontrolled sex that could lead to reckless childbearing.

They must know that controlling their childbearing rate will solve some of Nigeria’s financial problem.

6. Laziness

As much as laziness has reduced drastically in recent years, we can’t deny that laziness remains one of the reasons for poverty in Nigeria.

While some Nigerians are doing all they can to eradicate poverty in their homes, others are not ready to put in their best to be rich. They want to be rich and famous without doing anything.

Unfortunately, this set of people often gives birth to many children without any sustainable source of income to cater to their needs.


There is no other way to solve this problem but to be more industrious and more productive.

Though there have been tremendous improvements over the two years, Nigerians need to double their efforts in all their endeavors.

They need to be more punctual, dedicated, and responsible if they must achieve their aim to reduce Nigeria’s poverty rate. Click here to discover five ways to improve your productivity

7. Insecurity

Insecurity is another cause of poverty in Nigeria because many Nigerians don’t feel safe or free to maximize their skills in return for financial gain.

No Nigerian state is free from insurgency as there are kidnapping, bombing, murdering, and robbery cases across all regions of the country.

Boko Haram, ISWAP, Bandits, and unknown Gunmen, Fulani Herdsmen strike almost every day, thereby making Nigerian one of the most unsafe places in Africa. Insecurity has undoubtedly aggravated the poverty level in Nigeria, resulting in a high cost of living.

There is decreased food production across the country because people are no longer comfortable working on farms due to fear of deadly bandits and herdsmen.


It will be unfair to say the Nigerian security officers aren’t trying. They are fighting daily to stop the rampant security challenges in the country.

However, they need to up their game in the fight against insecurity because the evil perpetrators are taking over the country.

Until they get it right in terms of security, poverty will keep ravaging the country because no one wants to risk his life for money’s sake.

8. Unfavorable Government Policies

Some government policies also cause poverty in Nigeria because they often force investors and entrepreneurs out of the country.

For instance, PorkMoney CEO Muyiwa Folohunso revealed how the government’s tax multiplicity policy keeps affecting his business and other SMEs in the country.

Some of these entrepreneurs are forced to find better and thriving environments for their businesses.
It won’t be out of place to say that the tax policy is a poverty factor in Nigeria as it frustrates the SMEs contributing immensely to Nigeria’s revenue.

Apart from tax, the government’s lack of long-term vision affects the country as there is no sustainable growth and development that could reduce poverty.

It’s high time Nigerians begin to check politicians’ previous records before voting them into office.
It’s time the people consider politicians’ intellectual and decision-making prowess before going for candidates of their choice.

This will help them vote for competent candidates who know and have all it takes to make short-term and long-term policies that will improve everyone’s life.

9. Poor Healthcare Service

According to The Cable, Nigerian health workers are among the least paid professionals in the world. This explains why many doctors leave the country for well-paying countries.

Poor treatment is inarguably one of the reasons why many health workers don’t give their best service to their patients.

In the same vein, many Nigerian hospitals lack modern health facilities. Hence, the level of health care service isn’t encouraging.

But what is the connection between poor health care service and poverty? Well, that’s because only healthy people will have the strength to hustle for money.

You don’t expect a country with large percentage of unfit and sick people to be financially buoyant.


Government should encourage healthcare service providers by increasing their monthly allowance.
Similarly, they should ensure timely payment so doctors and nurses will always go the extra mile to give their best.

Modern facilities should be available in all hospitals across the country so medical professionals can operate at their best.

Meanwhile, Nigerians should be encouraged to check their medical status regularly to remain healthy.
A healthy citizen will have the power to work harder, make money, and reduce poverty in the country.

10. Poor Investment Knowledge

Many Nigerian citizens love investing their hard-earned money in businesses or products that promise more returns.

Unfortunately, many Nigerians are duped by fraudsters because they ventured into a business they know nothing about.

This is undoubtedly one of the causes of poverty in Nigeria because duped citizens will have nothing left in their bank accounts.


Nigerians consume much time studying every business proposal or idea before financing or funding it.

Read every contract and be sure they are legit before going into it. Don’t invest your hard-earned money in illegal companies or businesses with little to no profit.

Every Nigerian looking to invest must know the business’ profitability, authenticity, and other important details before taking action.

Talking of investment, the six profitable businesses in Nigeria include food business, blogging, Real Estate, Furniture business, hotel business, and Transportation business.


The points discussed above are some of the main causes of poverty in Nigeria and the reasons for poverty in Africa.

As much as Nigeria isn’t the poorest country in the world, things will get worse for the country if the solutions above aren’t observed.

Photo Credit: Researchgate.com

Ibukun Italoye

Ibukun Italoye is a writer with over two years of experience writing in various niches, including football, lifestyle, screenwriting, and stories. He is a Christian, a brother and a friend who loves helping others reach their full potential.

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