Leadership, Governance, and Poverty in Nigeria

Kingsley Ufuoma Omoyibo


The National Bureau of Statistics has said that 112.519 million Nigerians live in relative poverty conditions. The absolute measure puts the country’s poverty rate at 99.284 million. This paper attributes the poverty facing Nigerians to incompetent leadership and bad governance. Using Michael Lipton’s theory of ‘urban bias’ which posits that there is more poverty in the rural areas because of the existence of parasitical and corrupt urban elites, this paper points out that people in rural areas are most affected by poverty due to marginalization by government. It points out how bad governance has led to the persistence of the Dutch disease (or mono-cultural economic policy) and its effect on poverty. It also highlights the effect of corruption – the misuse of entrusted power for private gain – on poverty. The paper then presents a historical comparison of the effect of good leadership and bad leadership on poverty in Edo state since its creation in 1991. It concludes with cogent recommendations on the role of the government, the international community and the poor masses in tackling poverty via good leadership and governance.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n6p29

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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