Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of 140million people, despite her enormous resources and potential, poverty is widespread throughout the nation. Nigeria is one of the 20 poorest countries of the world, about one million Nigerian children under the age of five died. The infant mortality rate at ten percent of live birth is one of the highest in Africa. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 43.4years. Nigeria has been in stagnation and relative decline since 1981, from a per capita GDP of US$1,200 in 1981 to about US$300 in 2000. About 70% of the population is leaving below poverty line.
For many Nigerians the quality of life has declined rather than improved since independence almost 50 years ago while the standard of living for a few privileged Nigerians—military officers and their civilian associates, corrupt politicians, and big contractors—has improved substantially. An average worker cannot earn enough to support a family because of inflation and rises in food prices The national minimum wage of N7,500 (about US$53.57) per month, adopted by the federal government falls far short of what is needed to cover housing, food, education, and health care. The material condition of women, who comprise 50 percent of the population and who are doubly oppressed under this present system, is even worst because the welfare of women in general, including education, and workforce, had been neglected over the years. The incidence of prostitution of Nigerian women within and outside the country has therefore increased.