Nigeria: Nation Too Rich to Be Poor, Says British Lawmaker

A British Member of Parliament (MP) and Shadow Secretary for International Development, Mr Ivan Lewis has said Nigeria is too rich for its people to live in "extreme poverty" and deprivation.

Speaking at an African Diaspora Conference in London on Monday, Mr Lewis said Nigeria has so much resources and potentials to be one of the richest nations in the world, and attributed the acute poverty in the country to "corruption and exploitation."

The Labour MP said the international community and the Nigerian government have the responsibility to put an end to the "extreme poverty in Nigeria."

He listed social justice, good governance, transparency and sustainable development as some of the factors that would get the country out of its present predicament.

Mr Lewis also urged developed countries and multinational organisations to do something about the unfair tax system which often results in stealing or depriving tax revenue to developing countries.

He criticised developed countries for imposing policies and targets such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on developing countries, arguing that all countries should be given the opportunity to make an input into global policies and programmes.

He added that Diaspora communities and civil society groups should have strong voices in shaping national and international policies, noting that the Nigerian Diaspora contributed more in remittances than international aids and donations.