Life in Nigeria

Life in Nigeria

Today, Nigeria should be one of the richest countries in the world with vast oil reserves and a plentiful workforce yet, according to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics in 2020, 40% or 83m Nigerians live in poverty and half of those live in abject poverty. Part of this is due to the rampant corruption in urban areas and the ongoing failure of repeated programs to address the poverty issue. Many of these programs have been dismissed as mere slogans, with former President Ibrahim Babanginda stating the "Nigerian economy has defied all economic theories." Few funds allocated to poverty campaigns have trickled down to the masses due to inefficiency, lack of knowledge and corruption, leaving the 90% of the rural community to rely on subsistence farming with almost half struggling to make a living on smallholdings barely one hectare in size. Unfortunately what land there is for farming is suffering from deforestation and soil erosion in the north due to poor farming methods and in the Niger Delta Region, land is becoming increasingly polluted by oil spills (below) and also suffers from regular, heavy flooding.

This lack of productivity in the agricultural sector is the root cause of rural poverty in Nigeria, as the oil revenues largely bypass those living and working outside that industry. The failure of agriculture in Nigeria is often blamed on the federal system, with the central government planning ignored or by passed by regional governments. What is clear, however, that as the agriculture industry has declined decade after decade, the ability to provide food for the family and sell on the excess has diminished year by year, fuelling poverty in Nigeria and of course, malnutrition which affects just under a third of all Nigerian children. As such, Nigeria is in 161st place out of 189 countries and territories in 2019 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country with a life expectancy of just 54.69 years (2019).

Nigeria land Degredation

Many in Nigeria see themselves as belonging to an ethnic/religious groups rather than as a citizen of Nigeria itself. The three areas most Nigerians align themselves to are the Yoruba (westerners), Igbo (easterners) and Hausa (northerners). These groups are split along religious grounds, and over the past few years, there has been much violence between some of these groups resulting in widespread killings whilst the Nigerian government appears to turn a blind eye, being either unable or unwilling to intervene to protect all of its citizens regardless of their background.

Nigeria Village Life

HIV/AIDS affects 3.2 out of every hundred citizens (actually a relatively low % for Africa, yet sill high given the huge population) and, according to Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, there are an estimated 17.5 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) nationwide. According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 32% of children under five, and an estimated 2 million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition, but only two out of every 10 children affected are currently receiving treatment. In 2019, the infant mortality rate in Nigeria was at about 74.2 deaths per 1,000 live births not least because Nigeria has the lowest vaccination rate in Africa, currently just a 13% immunization rate for children between 12-23 months. This reflects the fact that while Nigeria public health care spending amounts to 3.75% of its $495 billion GDP (World Bank), reports suggest that, to reach the global average, a further $82 billion of health care spending would be required every year. This despite Nigeria being ranked as the 27th largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP. Find out more about life for children in Nigeria in the articles below then check out the life in a Nigerian village.

Life in Nigeria: Volunteer in Nigeria

African Volunteer Work: Nigeria

Check out all the latest fee paying and free African volunteer work placements and charity work job opportunities abroad with local projects and volunteering organisations in Nigeria.

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Life in Nigeria: Nigeria Children

Nigeria Children

About life for children in Nigeria in facts, information and video where an estimated twelve million children are forced into domestic servitude together with details of projects and programs to support children in the country.

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Life in Nigeria: Street Children

Street Children Nigeria

About life for street children in Nigeria in facts, figures and video together with details of projects and programs supporting street children in Nigeria.

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Life in Nigeria: Child Sponsor Nigeria

Child Sponsor Nigeria

Details of how to sponsor children in Nigeria with Nigerian child sponsor organisations, charities, programs and projects.

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Life in Nigeria: Nigeria Country Profile

Nigeria Profile

In another of our African country profiles, find out all about Nigeria in a series of information articles, latest daily news, videos, and images together with volunteering and child sponsorship opportunities.

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