The Government’s development initiatives have not managed to reduce poverty in the country and have also failed to diversify a petroleum-based economy, with a non-sustainable extraction-led growth model still being applied. This has led to severe environmental degradation, with alarming desertification and erosion trends. The Government has to rethink its strategies and adopt environmentally friendly long-term planning policies based on renewable energy sources and adequate environmental management. The poor should be empowered and given a stake in managing the environment and natural resources.
Although there have been some improvements in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria, their impact is not yet being felt by the poor. Legislation favouring FDI should be accompanied by mechanisms that guarantee transparency. Despite the Government’s allocation of financial and other resources to combat poverty, the sad fact is that poverty has continued to grow at a fast pace over the last 15 years. Civil society organizations have pointed out that practically all projects focused on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are lagging behind.
The majority of Nigerians have been living for a long time in a situation of economic meltdown. Corruption is widespread, the country lacks electricity, education and health are in a deplorable condition, and the armed fight for the control of oil resources continues to be intense. The global economic crisis has further deepened the plight of the poor. Experts underscore that the country should take measures to curtail its dependence on crude oil and address the poor implementation of annual budgets.
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