AFRICA´S LARGEST ECONOMY, WORLD´S POOREST PEOPLE: PARADOX OF THE NIGERIAN STATE IN A DEMOCRACY

Mike Omilusi
2014 14th International Academic Conference   unpublished
Nigeria's 1999 transition to civilian government culminated a long, turbulent period of military rule and failed democratic experiments. At the time of the political handover, many Nigerians expressed hopes for a "democracy dividend" that would expand political liberties, improve the performance of government, encourage accountability among leaders, and revive the ailing economy. However, the anticipated benefits of democracy have been slow to emerge, and the new dispensation has failed to
more » ... has failed to fulfill the expectations of many Nigerians. This essay examines the poverty situation in Nigeria in relation to what democracy, as a people-centered system of government, should offer the citizenry especially in a country regarded as rich in human and material resources. It traces the interface between democracy and the poor while analyzing the trends, patterns and causes of poverty in the country. The failure of the present democratic government to alleviate the alarming level of poverty is also brought into focus. It suggests ways of reversing the unpleasant trend.
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