An advocacy group on social and economic wellbeing of Nigerian citizens, Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SREAP), has decried the deepening poverty in Nigeria. The group lamented that corruption has plunged millions of Nigerians into irredeemable poverty and squalor.
SERAP had in a statement – How corruption is plunging Nigerians further into poverty – by the Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, which was drafted from a report presented last Thursday – “The ignored pandemic: How corruption in the health, education and water sectors is plunging Nigerians further into poverty” – revealed that over 27 million Nigerians earn below N100,000 salary annually.
SERAP argued in the statement that budget fraud and other illegal actions are responsible for the failure of service delivery to Nigerian citizens.
The report contained in a 61-page document, presented at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, established that, “corruption contributes to poverty and consequential suffering of people living in poor neighbourhoods.
“Budget fraud, procurement fraud, embezzlement of funds among other illegal actions, lead to failure in the delivery of services, including education, water and health.”
The report highlighted: “People living in poor neighbourhoods have suffered so much that they consider poor service delivery as being good enough.
“Also, 57.3 percent of people living in poor neighbourhoods were youths between 18 and 35 years old. Poor people are victims and not perpetrators of corruption in the health, education, and water sectors.
“Again, 48.90 per cent of people living in poverty, that is, more than 27,453,154 (twenty-seven million, four hundred and fifty-three thousand, one hundred and fifty-four) earned less than N100,000 while 27.9 per cent, that is more than 15,663,456, earned between N100, 000 and N200.”
The group advocated total reforms that would reverse the trend and reposition the country for economic growth and development.