Why does Nigeria have such abysmal life expectancy despite perceived wealth? By Ian Kedem



I live in Nigeria. A great majority of the population are extremely poor. It’s difficult to explain poverty to someone in a developed county. Let me give you an example. Most people have to get up in the morning and hustle enough to buy enough food for that day. Millions go to sleep hungry.


Here in Nigeria there is no such thing as social welfare. You pay school fees and hospital bills. The budget for health and education is around 100 billion naira this year. That’s for 200 million people. The budget for the 450 Nigerian Legislators is 145 billion naira. Can you see where the wealth of the country is going?

If you can’t afford to pay for health care you’re turned away from hospital. I’ve known people who have died at the hospital gate after being turned away for lack of money.

I personally witnessed a family smuggling what looked like a dead grandmother out of a hospital probably because they couldn’t pay the bill. I know deceased who have been in morgues for years because the family doesn’t have the money to pay for the hospital bill.

The hospitals are terribly under equipped and the doctors and nurses terribly under qualified and under paid.

The Nigerian President Buhari is no fool. When he became ill a few years ago he flew to England for treatment. His daughter has just given birth – in Dubai.

So poverty, lack of education and a terrible health care system means that people die young.

Millions of children under the age of 5 die in Nigeria every year from lack of food, clean water and basic health care. Malaria is rife, high blood pressure and diabetes are common.

The problem is that the poverty is increasing; with the fall in the price of oil, the naira has become weak. Most things are imported. In the last few months, staple food prices have increased. The people are desperate./SHARE THIS

  • Ian Kedem, Chief Agronomist at ASTC Ltd; with Quora 

One thought on “Why does Nigeria have such abysmal life expectancy despite perceived wealth? By Ian Kedem

  1. It is stating the obvious, it is like repeating what we all know are our problems but my problem is that the writer did not proffer any solution to our problems. Repeating our problems like a broken records without analysing how to get put of our shortcomings as a nation is not helping anyone.

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