The Burden of Poverty – by Ademola H Adigun

The Burden of Poverty  –  by Ademola H Adigun

A classmate of mine shared a video on our class WhatsApp group. The video depicted people living in a water deluged environment. It was not pleasant to watch. The kids were happy though.

It brought back memories of Ladega in Ajegunle in the 70s. My uncle lived there then. When it rained, the water would rise to high levels. We couldn’t climb down from the bed, we would just play Ludo on the bed till the water subsided. It was fun because it was periodic.

If you drive through many areas across Nigeria, people live in less than habitable spaces. There are more slum dwellers than those in urban areas. Now imagine a government bulldozing away those slums. Imagine the anger. Imagine the level of homelessness that it would create?

Daily, I see cars that have no business plying roads. Moving hazards. Try an average Ibadan taxi. But that taxi feeds many. Has children dependent on it for schooling and living.

In most parts of the saner climes, a house is an asset. An asset that can be leveraged to generate wealth. You get into the property market and can use that to build wealth. It is difficult to do that here. Most properties have no titles. Or not worth anything other than pulling it down. Bamidele Ademola-Olateju tried to present an angle on that, most commentators there do not understand the angle but only see the tax element. They can’t see the opportunities.

Poverty hampers development. It hampers good spatial planning. It hampers the quality of service a state can provide. It also hampers the ability to elect competent people into office.

Poverty is mined by some religious houses. I have said before, there is a high connect between poverty and multiplicity of places of worship. Check it out. What goverments fail to do, must be done by God. How you can live in Nigeria and not believe in God beats me. You must or you go insane!

The worst type of poverty is that of thinking. Not paucity but poverty. When poverty beats you into submission, you start losing brain cells. They die.

How do we lift more out of poverty? What should the people do? How do we deliver good governance in the context of blinding poverty?


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