Causes of Contemporary Social Problems in Nigeria
Some causes of social problems in Nigeria are:
- Poverty in the midst of plenty in the society or community.
- Corruption among leaders.
- Negative Peer Group Influence
- Influence of the Mass Media
- Unchecked access to the internet.
- Divorce and broken homes
- Cheating within the group.
- Sexual immorality in the society.
- Cultism among the youths and elders.
- Parents encouraging their wards’ involvement in examination malpractice.
- Greed for wealth at all costs without legitimate labour for it.
- Lack of love and parental care in the family.
- Unfaithful religious leaders.
- Disobedience to the laws of the land.
- Proliferation of arms and ammunition.
Poverty means the inability to provide the basic needs of life for oneself, family and dependants. This basic needs primarily are food, clothing and shelter. In addition, inability to provide quality education to enable proper and complete socialization of one’s children to make them live decent lives and be fulfilled are some of the causes of social problems in the society. This is so because children brought up improperly develop to become social deviants who are lured into all kinds of crimes and illegitimate means of making money in order to keep body and soul together. Poverty sometimes leads to broken homes and disjointed up-bringing of children. Although Nigeria is blessed with many natural resources that should make Nigerian rich, the wealth is hijacked by the few leaders and make many Nigerians to live in poverty. About 70% of the population live below the bread line; meaning that majority of Nigerians are poor in the midst of plenty. No wonder Nigeria is classified by the United Nations recently as 40th among the world’s poorest countries.
Corruption covers a wide area of social misbehaviour, illegalities, breach of trust, and abuse of position or office. Nigeria is a country where the leaders enrich themselves through corrupt practices. Corruption is an illegitimate way of doing things for personal aggrandizement. Doing a wrong thing for undue advantage or gain. It includes all forms of evil practices that is done by government officials, politicians and those in places of authority, demanding and taking of bribery, fraudulent practices, misappropriation and embezzlement of public or corporate funds, diversion and perversion of justice, money laundering i.e. stealing public funds and banking them abroad in foreign banks, inflation of contracts amounts, receiving 10% of contract amount from contractors, granting undue favour to one’s tribesmen and friends instead of giving jobs or positions to those who merited them in places of employment, dishonesty, tribalism or ethnicity, nepotism, etc. Corruption is the product of greediness for more money and selfishness.
Lack of Family Love and Parental Care
Parents are expected to provide for the needs of their families where children are groomed for life. The family is the first social group to which a child belong. Love and harmony characterizes good family homes where parents are expected to live decent lives for their children to take after them. Some parents do not have the time to look after the affairs of their growing children because of the pursuit of money. Today, there are many parents who cannot afford to provide the basic necessities of life. This could be because of lack of a good means of livelihood, unemployment, oversized families where children and dependants are too many etc. Children from such homes become delinquent and might grow up to nuisances and miscreants in the society. Children left to themselves because parents have no time for them often degenerate into sexual immorality, prostitution and other forms of social crimes. Lack of parental care is therefore one of the major causes of social problems in Nigeria.
Peer Group Influence
Many people follow their age-mates, friends and class-mates to do wrong things thinking that they are smart. They turn out to be social misfits. The influence of age group is often very powerful and the chance of being influenced positively or negatively is high especially at adolescent stage (secondary school stage of life). When peer group or age group influence is negative, the affected individuals become what they are influenced to be, drug addicts, smokers, drunkards, thieves and armed robbers, cyber café crooks (yahoo-yahoo boys or internet swindlers), area boys, cultism, etc.
Influence of Mass Media
We live in the satellite or Internet age where information travel round the globe in a matter of seconds. Adolescents and young men and women who are the children of this age are easily influenced by new trends and could be tempted to put into practice odd behaviour and tricks they read about in newspapers, magazines, books or have watched on TV, videos and from the internet. Some of these information are negatively inclined and they make young people who are not well guided to become miscreants, cyber fraudsters and mischief makers in society.
The Proliferation of Arms and Ammunition
Unlike the past, since after the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, much arms and ammunition has become proliferated in Nigeria. Much arms and ammunition has been illegally imported or smuggled into the country. The politicians aggravated the situation by recruiting jobless youths and arming them with weapons purchased with stolen public funds, as political tugs to undo their opponents through election rigging, ballot box snatching and stuffing, political assassination etc. The fact that much arms find their way into the hands of social misfits and miscreants, crime has increased tremendously in the society – security has become a serious challenge in the country today. Rampant cases of suicide bombing, kidnapping, hostage taking, militancy, armed robbery, ritual killing and politically motivated assassinations make the society in-secured; life is no longer safe in the land. This is a major cause of social problems in Nigeria
- Name at least 4 causes of contemporary social problems in Nigeria.
- What is corruption?
- What makes poverty a social problem?
- What is age group?
- State two positive ways by which you can be influenced by your friend.
- Mention two types of negative information from the mass media.
- Mention five social problems caused by the proliferation of arms and ammunition in Nigeria.
- Explain the following: (i) kidnapping (ii) hostage taking (iii) suicide bombing (iv) militancy and (v) political assassination.
- State 5 causes of social problems in Nigeria today.
- Mention 4 negative things that you must not allow your friends to influence you to do.
- Write a short essay on the topic: “The Evils of Proliferation of Arms and Ammunitions in Nigeria Today”.
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