Nigeria overtaking India as the poverty capital of the world is no longer news. The World Poverty Clock, created by Vienna-based World Data Lab estimates that over 88million Nigerians are currently living with extreme poverty.

According to the World Poverty Clock, “the outlook for poverty alleviation in Nigeria is currently weak,” with approximately six people slipping into extreme poverty every minute.

The World bodies, World Bank, United Nations are unanimous in forecasting that Nigeria will not achieve the 2030 target for ending global poverty.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation estimates that 40 per cent of the world’s poorest people by 2030 would be hosted by West Africa, especially Nigeria.

Scary, but very true these ‘observations.’ I carefully used the word observations here because we are very religious in this part. Saying proclamations would have resulted in a lot of binding, casting and rejecting.

Serious, and in need of urgent and drastic actions to reverse the trend our minders choose to carry on in self-delusion. Choosing to blot out the obvious by playing the ostrich.

The violence prevalent in the land cannot be divorced from the hopelessness and helpless state of most. Uneducated, unemployable and most times high on one substance or another army of young men and women can easily be exploited by mischief merchants.

The various social investment programmes by government have been mostly politicized. No true intent has been shown to use these programmes to fight poverty. The TraderMoni, MarketMoni, Npower and the likes are more of vote buying tools.

This deplorable situation not giving our leaders sleepless nights is frightening. They carry on in total disregard to the unfolding scenario. A situation where some by virtue of political association are entitled to so much and a vast majority live in penury.

A Senator having 13.5 Million Naira monthly running expense while people of his constituency struggle for the barest of necessities. Governor’s unvetted colossal security votes still in play. These obscenities are not sustainable.

Since the advent of our ‘kwashiorkored’ form of democracy, every four years we hope the ‘selectoral’ process will somewhat throw up men and women with conscience who would eschew the good of the collective above self. To remedy some of the ills at least. Again and again hopes are dashed and we are dealt vicious blows and kicks. Progressively we keep drifting backwards with the coming of every new administration.

Without sincere social investment programmes, moral and values will continually take the hit. Corruption will exist and persist. “Man must survive now! abi?” You give a policeman guns to protect and maintain civility and you do nothing to secure his future and that of his loved ones. The guns inadvertently will be put to use to help his situation.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington, only recently stated that the teeming youths are an asset to the nation. It can only be an asset if rightly educated and engaged in a functioning, fit and proper system.

The clock is ticking, tick tock, tick tock, posterity will judge our leadership if they by self-preservation set off the BOMB or by acting in the interest of the collective defuse the BOMB.