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Nigeria’s President Buhari dismisses top civil servant after corruption investigations

Photo: SGF Babachir Lawal, left, with President Buhari

WEST AFRICA––– Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday dismissed the country’s most senior civil servant, according to a release from the country’s presidency

Babachir Lawal, the secretary to the government of the federation, was relieved of his position after a report into corruption allegations advocated for and suggested that he be sacked with immediate effect.

When president Buhari assumed office, he promised Nigerians that corruption and other forms of grafts will be dealt with under his administration and has since been fighting to restore faith in the Nigerian government.

Nigeria has been fighting to reduce or prevent corruption for the past several decades.  Despite oil wealth and the blessing of a huge population necessary for economic growth in terms of commerce and trade, corruption in government has left the country vulnerable.

Corruption has dwindled development and the standard of living in the country, with more people living in extreme poverty while a small percentage live posh lives.

According to several international institutions, including the World Bank, poverty has risen in Nigeria, with almost 100 million people living on less than a $1 (£0.63) a day, despite economic growth, statistics have shown.

Nigeria’s official population is estimated at 186 million (2016).

The country’s National Bureau of Statistics said 60.9% of Nigerians in 2010 were living in “absolute poverty” – this figure had risen from 54.7% in 2004.  Today, it is believed to be around 67%.

92% of the country middle-class surveyed has a post-secondary education or have studied at higher institutions of learning yet obtaining employment remains a serious challenge.

Globe Afrique observed that 99% has one or more members of their household in full- or part-time work and about half of the middle-class population are skilled professionals in paid employment, while 38% are entrepreneurs, according to a survey.

Only 2% are employed in other forms of work or are part of an NGO throughout the country.

While transportation is not a luxury in many developed and wealthy nations, 45% of middle-class Nigerian households do not own a car. The average number of cars per middle-class household is 0.8.

According to Globe Afrique’s random survey, middle-class Nigerians are very much concerned about the welfare and upbringing of their children and the values they grow up with due to the risks that official corruption poses for the entire population.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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