COMBATING NIGERIA’S POVERTY THROUGH CHARITY

Nigeria, is certainly a rich country, own by poor people. 70% of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 a day, think about it, how bad can it get. Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, yam and cowpea – all staple foods in sub-Saharan Africa but it is still a food-deficit nation and imports large amounts of grain, livestock products and fish. The gap between the “Rich” and the “poor” is remarkably high. When we are talking about the “Rich”, we have a lot of them in Nigeria but I have to shamefully admit that their impact isn’t felt. I am talking of the act of Giving. You have to touch the lives of people.

The average Nigerian Christian is basically stuck with the ideology, that the act of giving only applies when you are either paying your “tithe”, or your usual Sunday Service Offering. How does it feel, when you get in your car and your driver takes you to the church, waits for you outside throughout the service, then you make a huge mouth-watering donation to the church, then your driver, outside is probably languishing under the thought of what his kids might eat that day!

Its a very logical fact that everyone is blessed with different opportunities, hence the saying “All fingers are not equal”.I believe we were all put on this earth for a purpose,and one way or the other, we all have to make our contribution towards humanity. The money you “spray” or donate at an ocassion, or even spend on your place of worship, is of less importance than that we spend on helping our fellow humans. I have visted the Northern part of this country and I have seen people live in abject poverty. Some sleep in gutters, in the cold, when its raining, any weather! Some even with kids, some starving and some picking their meals from the garbage! Yes, all this happens in Nigeria, sometimes we might not see them, because we are not looking. When you think of these kids, nature hasn’t really provided them with a fair fighting chance, so in some cases, what you have is a child who would have possibly made a difference in the society, ending up a vagabond or might not even make it to adulthood.

No one was born to be poor, neither could we say anyone was born to be rich, but sometimes the family we are born into gives us the extra edge. But, like Patoranking said “Nobody wey no fit to make am”. No one actually knows tomorrow, but the things we do today might help define the next man’s “tomorrow”.

I remember a few weeks ago, when Alhaji Mohammed Indimi’s donation to Lynn University went viral. When people were condemning this man, I was happy for him because at least we still have givers. It doesn’t matter where your charity is carried out, but your willingness to “give” is on its own a virtue. Just to remind you, Akon is spending millions of his own money to bring better electricity to Africa. The government cannot do it alone, the war against poverty can only be won, when we work together as a team. The notion that, “poor people are lazy” is a myopic one. Some people just never had the opportunity, and given half a chance, they wouldn’t mind working hard enough to change their living conditions.

Charity might not be the answer to Nigeria’s Economic predicament today, but it could make an impact on a life and probably one life at a time, one good deed after another, a few lives could be made better.

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