Bismarck Rewane, Chairman of the Presidential Technical Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the National Minimum Wage, says there is nothing like ‘rich’ in Nigeria.
Rewane stated that this is because the rich in Nigeria are so few that they don’t even count.
He also attributed the growing violence and insecurity in the country to the unequal distribution of wealth in the country.
Rewane made the assertion during an interview session with the Punch newspaper published on Saturday.
His words: “In Nigeria, I think it is between the poor and the very poor. So, there is nothing like ‘rich’ in Nigeria because the rich are so few that they don’t even count. It is a battle between the poor and the very poor. After the very poor, you have those living in abject poverty. It’s a race to the bottom.
“It’s like a snake pit. In other words, nobody can come out of it. There is a battle for survival. If you’ve ever read the book, ‘Animal Farm’, that’s what it is. Because there is economic insecurity, it leads to social insecurity, which means that you are now reduced to your animalistic instincts in your battle for survival.
“At that point, squabbling, misunderstanding and violence accelerate because of that survival instinct. So, the Nigerian human being is threatened because of economic insecurity and therefore social conflict increases.”
He urged the government to focus on economic development to provide opportunities and income equality.
He continued: “Nigeria’s growth at two per cent is below population growth rate and employment requirements. Therefore, we are in a vicious cycle of poverty — a race to the bottom. So, we should stop all these things and see how we can grow.
“So, there is income inequality and opportunity equality. But opportunity and income inequality are meaningless if there is no (economic) growth. When we now grow at the rate that can transform our lives, then you will see that the struggle and this battle — herdsmen (attacks) and so on — will reduce.”