Every community has its own set of social issues, especially if it is a nation. When people are aware of these issues and work hard to solve them, a way out is usually found faster. The solutions to the issues usually start with people’s own awareness and acknowledgment of the problem. Social issues in Nigeria are an important thing that should not be neglected by the government and people. Continue reading to learn about the current contemporary problems that Nigeria is struggling with.
Social problems in Nigeria: what are they?
The country is undoubtedly struggling with a long list of contemporary issues. The government currently has a lot on its shoulders, so the responsibility of solving social problems partly lies on the citizens. Many people believe that a single person can change the world, and if a group of people understand that something is wrong, they should try to do something to change it for the better.
In the article, you will find a complete analysis and description of all the primary contemporary social problems in Nigeria that are influencing the country’s population and waiting for wise solutions.
1. National identity problem
Nigeria is a relatively young country because it gained independence only 57 years ago, in 1960. It was also created in an artificial way after gaining freedom from its colonial masters. There is a large number of tribes in Nigeria, and this is one of the important issues being faced, because to this day the country still has problems with gaining and voicing a national idea. The main purpose of this idea of nationality is to unite all the social, religious and ethnic groups within one country and make them identify as Nigerians despite all their differences. Besides, there are some conflicts with other nations that create unnecessary tension among Nigerians.
2. Poverty of the population
This is, without any doubt, a large social issue which does not portray Nigeria in the best light. Poverty causes a lot of problems in the society, and while the population of the country is huge, a large part of it does not have access to the basic needs for comfortable living. Statistical data shows that about 70% of the country’s residents live below the line of poverty, and there are a lot of people who are forced to survive on just $2 per day, which is a critical situation. The population is rapidly growing, and soon, even more people will be under the risk of living in poor conditions without money and food.
3. Corruption among influential branch of Nigeria
Nigeria is known as a country with a high level of corruption amongst its government representatives. Reports show that some people in government offices earn as much in a year, as the average Nigerian could earn in 65 years; this shows that they definitely have other sources of income apart from their official salary. In all honesty, the governmental system in the country is corrupt and there is a clear lack of justice. This has led to an increased level of stealing, manipulation and bribes. Corruption is the main reason for class division; while people living in poverty are struggling to survive, the rich people have huge possessions and are becoming wealthier with every passing year.
4. Inequality between wealthy and poor
This problem was briefly pointed out in the last paragraph – in fact, Nigeria is widely called “the rich country with poor people”. The reason for this is a huge amount of natural resources all over the country which are not equally spread amongst citizens – the bigger quantities go to the rich people, while the poor ones are left to suffer. In light of the poverty problem, it is quite ironic to know that some of the richest people in Africa come from Nigeria. The primary issue is that the main part of the country’s population is involved in petty agriculture and earn very little. Only a few chosen people have access to the oil production sector, which brings the biggest income to the country. This leaves the situation as it is – poor people are destined to struggle with poverty, while the rich cannot get enough of their expensive belongings.
READ ALSO: 20 Types of Corruption in Nigeria
5. Terrorist attacks
The terrorist group called Boko Haram is one of the reason for Nigeria’s worldwide fame. This organization is fighting against the western way of life and they have already murdered hundreds of citizens during their terrorist attacks. Lots of people have lost their homes or gotten displaced from their hometowns due to the activities of Boko Haram. This issue is definitely an important one – terrorists have to be dealt with before they can kill more innocent residents.
6. Child mortality
Contemporary issues in Nigeria are all serious, however, this one really hits home. According to the statistics, over 2000 children die of hunger, diseases and abandonment daily in Nigeria. Nigeria comes second in the world’s child mortality rating. The leading reasons for this huge issue are lack of education amongst women, bad health care system in the country and, most importantly, general poverty of the population. As already mentioned, a huge part of Nigerians is forced to live on $2 per day or even less, so it was estimated that $10 could save the life of one child because this is the price of antibiotic medicine. Unfortunately, poor parents cannot afford such a luxury, and a lot of children under the age of 5 die everyday in Nigeria.
7. High rate of unemployment
Most of the unemployed in the country are those who left their homes to search for a better life; such movements are the reason major cities like Lagos is overpopulated – people go there to look for opportunities. This is a strong social issue which often leads to psychological problems. The current rate of unemployment in Nigeria is about 8.2%.
8. Low level of education
Lots of people have strong negative opinions about Nigeria’s system of education, and they mostly blame the government and their involvement with corruption for this. The statistics show that only 50% of women and 70% of men in Nigeria can read or write. This is obviously an issue of high importance because our world is based on information technologies and uneducated people do not stand a chance of succeeding in this world.
9. Division of tribes
Tribal conflicts are common in Nigeria because the country is young and has not existed for too long. The biggest tribes in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, and they all are culturally and religiously different, not to mention the fact that they all speak their own language. These differences have been causing conflicts all through the years, and this situation is yet to change. The different tribes still have conflicts with each other from time to time, and this does not help in making sure they remain one Nigeria.
10. Domestic violence
Even though domestic violence is normalized in some countries, it is a serious issue because it harms people, not just grown-ups, but children too. It is mostly related to alcohol and drug abuse and can lead to severe injuries, in some cases even murder. The victims of domestic violence usually have nowhere to turn to, so they have to endure this mistreatment.
There are a lot of contemporary social issues in Nigeria, however, the country is not completely hopeless – the mindset of the government and people can still be changed. It may take a long time, but there is still a chance that these problems can be dealt with if we work hard enough.
READ ALSO: Rural housing problems in Nigeria
A call for future leaders
Interested candidates will participate in a rigorous and thorough selection process, designed to identify the most promising young leaders from around the world. The process includes an online application and credentials evaluation as well as in-person regional interviews. Those selected will have demonstrated their potential to not only benefit from but also contribute to the Schwarzman Scholars program.
Required forms and records include:
- A complete and successfully submitted online application, including the requested personal statement(s) and supplementary components below.
- Uploaded transcripts/academic records from every degree-granting college or university attended (undergraduate or graduate – must be combined into one PDF and then uploaded). If transcripts are not in English, official translations must be included.
- Three electronic letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters must come from a recommender who can comment on the specific examples of leadership described in the candidate’s application, but the recommender must at least be able to comment on the candidate’s leadership qualities from direct knowledge of the candidate. Recommendations must be translated to English by a professional translator if written in another language.
- Video: Submission of a video is strongly recommended but not required. The video can be up to one minute in length, and candidates are invited to introduce themselves in any style or setting they think best conveys their interests and personality. Note: the file must be less than 20MB in order for you to upload it to the application.
- Current resume/CV: Please submit a resume or c.v. appropriate for any application for employment in your country. This can be no longer than 2 pages.
- Two Essays:
- Essay One: Statement of Purpose and Leadership (750 words). Feel free to write this as one continuous statement or to break it into short sections for each theme. In either case, you must stay within the 750-word limit.Describe your professional interests and goals; how they have evolved over time, and how will the Schwarzman Scholars program and a deeper knowledge of China’s role in the world help advance your goals? Based on your prior professional and personal experiences, how do you think you will contribute to the community of Schwarzman Scholars and to the program’s mission? Include specific situations in your professional, academic, or personal life when you have demonstrated the leadership qualities outlined below. Guidance on describing your leadership qualities and experience in the Statement of Purpose and Leadership: Candidates must describe specific examples of their leadership that (1) explore their intellectual/analytical abilities to understand challenges and opportunities, and envision solutions, (2) take initiative to act, (3) use strong interpersonal skills to inspire a team effort, and (4) push through resistance and/or challenges in reaching results. The applicant's example(s) of leadership might address some but not all of these characteristics. Examples might include efforts such as founding a student or community organization that successfully addressed a pressing need; taking on a transformative role in an existing organization; founding and running a startup to take advantage of an emerging opportunity. Candidates should NOT let these examples limit their thinking and should draw on their own personal experiences for similar examples of leadership. They key is to help the committee understand the candidate’s leadership characteristics, not just to list titles and accomplishments. Candidates should avoid describing situations that might fall into one of the following categories, all of which are valuable learning and growth experiences, but do not give the committee a deeper understanding of the applicant's leadership characteristics over extended periods of time: (1) accomplishing a difficult but typical task assigned in the workplace (2) solving brief problems of cultural miscommunication while traveling or studying overseas (3) simply winning office in a student or community organization (It is, however, helpful, to describe the challenges faced and accomplishments achieved in office.) (4) brief situational challenges (focus instead on longer term projects and challenges.)
- Essay Two: Current Affairs Essay (up to 500 words): Choose an issue in contemporary social, international, business, environmental, diplomatic, arts, or other policy that is of interest to you. This essay should lay out the current factors and trends influencing the topic and make a realistic recommendation of how local, national, or international leaders should intervene to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
We discourage applicants from submitting any supplemental materials that are not required, such as portfolios, writing samples, additional recommendations, etc. Such materials will not be shared with the Review Committee.
Applicants who hold passports from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao, regardless of where they attended university or reside, will apply between January 1st and May 31st, 2018 through the portal available here. The selection process for Chinese nationals includes an online application and in-person interview at Tsinghua University in Beijing early July 2018. Candidates will be notified as soon as admissions decisions are reached, by October 1st, 2018 at the latest.
Further detail is available in the Instructions to Applicants (link below) and in the Admissions Frequently Asked Questions page.
Download 2017 Instructions to Applicants
Download 2017 Sample Application