“Address Uneven Distribution Of Wealth”, Group Tells FGFeatured, Latest News, News Friday, May 2nd, 2014
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders has called on Federal Government to address the problem of uneven distribution of wealth in Nigeria.
President Jonathan in his Labour Day Speech had claimed that Nigeria is not a poor country, identifying uneven distribution of wealth rather as the country’s biggest problem.
Reacting to the statement, the Coalition through its Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran averred that though Nigeria is rich, but the country has a preponderance of people living in abject poverty.
He said, “Really, nobody is saying that the country is poor because we do not have problem with poverty going by the abundance of natural and human resources we are endowed with. However, it is sad to note that we have a rich country with a preponderance of poor citizenry. Almost 80% of us are living below poverty line while less than 1% of us are living in obscene affluence keeping more than 90% of the nation’s wealth for themselves.
“Those that are productively engaged are not up to 10% of the workforce i.e. those whose employment could feed. More than 80% of working Nigerians are not having enough income from their work to make them meet their socio-economic obligations while majority are either engaged in menial labour or not having anything to do at all.
“Among those that are tradesmen and women, less than 10% are sustaining themselves from what they make. Majority of them do not practise either because they do not have the right incentives and infrastructure to succeed in the practise of their trades or they are frustrated into other menial jobs because of lack of patronage since majority of people are poor they don’t have expendable resources to use on the goods and services that the tradesmen produce. For example, many people no longer buy new clothes, they go for second hand; many don’t dress their hair so the hairdressers lose patronage; many people barb their hair themselves by shaving, and the barbers lose. People don’t build standard houses; bricklayers and other technical know-how lose some patronage. People don’t buy furniture for their homes, furniture makers lose. Basically, the ravaging poverty has turned out to be a vicious cycle among the poor. The few rich ones do not have room to accommodate the large poor populace to the extent that so many are thirsty in the abundance of water.”
Speaking further, Adeniran accused the government of mismanaging the country’s resources that could have bettered the lot of the average Nigerians.
“The State has been carefree by making all potential sources of employment and resources and incentives inaccessible to the majority of people whose lot could have been bettered if they are better managed. For instance, the oil resources, revenue accruing from oil exploitation are carted away by foreigners that exploit the oil and the proceeds go into the pockets of the few who manage it on behalf of Nigerians. The power sector has been in comatose and that is the source of energy for majority of Nigerians who could not afford the cost of providing private energy generation. Solid minerals are being exploited but the proceeds don’t get to the people. Industries that should employ the educated and well-trained Nigerians are closing down because of mismanagement of resources leading to heavy wastage of human resources. Talking about manhour wasted in traffic, on bad roads, on inability to use instrumentality of modern telecom; inadequate transportation and haulage system that makes it impossible for goods produced or procured from one part of the country to be easily transported to another part of the country. Accidents on roads, collapsed buildings, polluted environment which put excessive pressure on the earth facilities that are themselves inadequate; lack of necessary equipment and supplies and motivation for personnel that leads ultimately to reduction in life expectancy of people and corruption in high places that leads to poverty and poverty that leads to corruption in low places.
The human rights activist however called on the government to enact policies that will encourage even distribution of wealth to combat poverty ravaging the mass of Nigerians.
“Now that the President has known that the wealth of the nation is concentrated in the hands of a few, the next thing should be how do we redistribute the wealth? The wealth of this nation cannot get to the masses except there is adequate power supply, easy access to loans and grants, good infrastructure. The government should come up with policy that will take the wealth from the super rich and distribute it to the very poor.”
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