The desire for wealth by human being is normal but the rate at which Nigerians go after this is without argument exceedingly alarming. Some of the causes of the excessive desire for material wealth among Nigerians are as follows.
The desire of a man to have power is one of the causes. Many Nigerians feel that acquiring more wealth will bring you recognition and influence. This, in turn will give you power. By your wealth, you wield more power in your community and since our society celebrates wealth, people tend to place priority on someone’s wealth neglecting the normal aspect of the individual. It is the same rich man who uses his wealth to bribe his way to position of authority, though he does not have the moral and academic qualifications for the post but because of money, our society believes he is the right person. This attitude makes Nigerians go in search of wealth by every means possible.
Another cause is the selfish desire of Nigerians to satisfy themselves. An average Nigerian wants to have not one house but several houses, cars, assets, money and women. He believes that by having all these, he is fulfilled. Whereas by having all these, he is indirectly depriving so many people the benefit of having these things, in the sense that in order to have them, he falsifies figures, robs and sometimes kills and does other negative things.
Again, some people have this attitude towards life that there is need to plan for the future. Good as this sounds but the way and manner they go about this makes one to ask for the rationale behind it. They do not want their children to pass through what they went through. In order to this, they acquire acres of land, fleets of cars, several companies and houses for their children instead of giving them a lasting legacy which is education and good moral upbringing.
Having discussed some of the causes, let us now look at the consequences of this problem.
First as we all know, excessive desire for material wealth means going into dangerous and risky activities. These eventually lead to untimely death. Untimely death in the sense that some people get killed in the process of acquiring wealth by all means while also innocent ones are killed by the desperate ones who wants to be rich at all cost.
Also, because of the material attitudes, our society is not producing good leaders instead, we have leaders who have skeleton in their cupboards. Our leaders are corrupt, selfish, and lack vision to lead us because they are morally bankrupt. And one is forced to ask this question; what does the future hold for our children?
And lastly, we have seen a rich man who left a lot for his family but after his demise, the same inheritance tore the family apart because he did not train the children morally and academically. Instead of his inheritance to be a blessing, it became a curse to his family after his death. The children fought over the properties, in the process, they killed themselves and at the end, sold everything and later end up miserable and useless to the society.
Against this background, Nigerians need to re-appraise our moral values towards material wealth so as to re-order our steps towards things that will bring collective progress, development and long lasting peace to our nation.