A former Governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani has said Nigeria’s poverty situation has become so bad because the country’s “dysfunctional elites” are lacking in empathy which has resulted in a gap crisis.
Mr Nnamani, who is the current Senator representing Enugu East also said the gap crisis has also resulted in desperation, anger and was a recipe for the #EndSARS protest that rocked the country last year.
Senator Nnamani stated this on Friday when he featured on an ARISE News programme, The Morning Show.
“I believe that gap crisis is a problem that needs to be addressed, economic inequality, gender inequality, regional inequality, so there is a wide gap, and that wide gap is part of the frustration, the anger, the tension in the land,” Senator Nnamani told ARISE News.
“When you look at poverty, Nigeria has the highest level of extremely poor people. Nigeria has a poverty index of about 46 to 52 per cent of those who have absolute poverty.
“Poverty will range from maybe 71.2% Northwest, 72% Northeast, 67% Northcentral going all the way down to 26% in the Southeast. So you have a wide gap of the many many poor and the few rich.
“I refer you to an Oxfam study, I believe 2016 that shows that to lift the extremely poor Nigerians out of poverty, you will need $24 billion. Guess what, five per cent of the top richest Nigerians at that time their net worth was about $29.9 billion. So there is a wide gap between those who have and those who do not have.
“And what makes the Nigerian situation so bad is that the elites -the less than two per cent – that constitutes those who have are what I describe as dysfunctional elites, lacking empathy and who see where they are as their gods being more benevolent than the gods of others. So there is a gap crisis, and that gap crisis creates desperation, creates anger.”
By Abel Ejikeme