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Nigeria social development is low

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By Mercy Kelani

Various significant social and historical events contribute to this.

Social development involves the improvement of the well-being of individuals in society to enable them attain their full potential. The success of every society has to do with the wellbeing of every citizen. It involves investment in people. Some means of social development in Nigeria include eradication of corruption through increased transparency, improvement in access to education, and enhancement of security and public safety for prevention of terrorist attacks. Nigeria is well-known for being a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural country.

Multi-ethnicity in Nigeria has paved the way for a culturally rich society that permits the exchange of ideas and information. Various significant social and historical events contribute to the social development in Nigeria. Some of these events include the country’s colonial and social history; and most especially the civil war. The government of the country has been stable since 1999, which has encouraged its membership of many major political organisations. Nigeria is a member of the British Commonwealth, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the United Nations (UN), and the African Union (AU).

Transparency and accountability is very poor.

Despite these achievements, political corruption is still in existence in the country. Transparency and accountability in Nigerian politics is so minimal that bribery and nepotism is on the rise. Also, mismanagement of the tax funds has led to the lack of funding for public projects. Tribalism also remains an hindrance to social progress in the country due to cultural, ethnic and religious differences. Regardless of these issues, Nigeria is still a beneficiary of the prospering cultural and artistic film, music and literature industry.

The Nigerian Nollywood industry is regarded as one of the largest film industries around the world. Still, more than 60 percent of Nigerian residents live in poverty without access to basic resources such as schooling, healthcare and income. The higher the population of poor people, the lower the standard of living. The rate of unemployment also keeps increasing, with about 25 percent of citizens without gainful employment. The government is making efforts towards investment and creation of new jobs.

Literacy rate in Nigeria is considered low at 65 percent.

Majority of the issues of poverty and inequality in Nigeria is closely related to high corruption. In 2016, Transparency International, a non-profit organisation that focuses on the study of global corruption, listed Nigeria among one of the most corrupt countries in Africa. According to the “Gini Coefficient”, Nigeria’s inequality measurement is 351 — a moderately unequal rank; this has revealed a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Despite the country’s strong oil producing economy, the poverty level of its citizens is on the rise.

In terms of education, Nigeria literacy rate is low at 65 percent. This poverty rate is attributed to lack of educational equipment, teachers and textbooks in the country. Also, over half of Nigerian girls are not permitted to go to school due to cultural differences and gender biases. With this practice, gender inequality is encouraged as boys get more access to employment opportunities and schooling than girls do. There is also the Boko Haram terrorist group antagonising cultural and religious differences by attacking, kidnapping and killing people and communities.

Goals have to be set and followed to address challenges.

There is a tendency that the social development challenges in Nigeria could worsen as its population keeps expanding. To properly address these problems, precise sets of social progress goals have to be put in place. The goals of the country are formed in conformity with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). A set of goals adopted in 2015 by the United Nations to eliminate poverty, ensure peace, and protect the environment by 2030. These goals serve as guidance for countries to implement towards achieving significant changes.

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