AN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMS 2015 to 2020

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND

The problem of poverty in Africa has over the years engaged the attention of the international community, governmental and non-governmental agencies, including African scholars. Poverty in African countries is massive, pervasive and chronic, engulfing a large proportion of the society (Uma & Eboh, 2013). In Nigeria, human conditions have greatly deteriorated (particularly in the last decade) with real disposable incomes dwindled and malnutrition rates on the increase. Aiyedogbon and Ohwofasa (2012) emphasized that the situation is more critical considering that in spite of the vast resources committed to poverty alleviation by every successive administration; no obvious achievement has been accomplished in this direction.

Poverty alleviation is one of the most difficult challenges facing any country in developing world where, on the average, majority of the population is considered poor. Evidences in Nigeria shows that the number of those in poverty has continued to increase. For example the number of those in poverty increased from 27% in 1980 to 46% in 1985 and to 67% in 1996, by 1999 it increased to more than 70% (Baghebo, 2001). Although the Nigeria economic report released in July 2014 by the World Bank put poverty rate at 33.1% for a country with massive wealth and a huge population to support commerce. The report seems inconsistent with reality. Income inequality worsened from 0.43 to 0.49 between 2004 and 2009. The report also shows that, the dept and severity of poverty is more in the rural than in the urban. Poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria are means through which the government aims to revamp and reconstruct the economy. The high incidence of poverty in the country has made poverty alleviation strategies important policy options over the years with varying results. Poverty alleviation strategies ranging from Operation Feed the Nation of 1978, the Green revolution of 1982, the directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (DFRI), the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), up to the national poverty eradication Programme, (NAPEP) were all attempts made by various governments in the country to curb the menace of poverty. It has been known in Nigeria that every government embarks on one form of poverty alleviation programme or the other. However, what has remained unanswered is the extents to which these programmes have impacted on the poor or how far these programmes have successfully reduce the rate of poverty in Nigeria.

Recent studies on the subject poverty and its reduction agencies as well as programmes indicate that considerable gap exists between the target objective – alleviating or eradicating poverty – and achievement. It seems that the efforts of various governments are ineffective and therefore not much has been done to actualize the benefits. For poverty reduction agencies, their results do not seem to justify the huge financial allocations to them. Poor people’s perceptions of formal poverty reduction institutions are largely that of ineffectiveness and irrelevance in their lives as government poverty alleviation activities contribute little in their struggles to survive and rarely help them to escape poverty. More disturbing is the fact that despite the colossal amount of resources committed to those programmes, the poverty situation aggravates, and more and more people fall into the poverty region instead of escaping. Achieving significant results in reducing poverty often hinges on what is done, how it is done, when it is done and whom it is targeted at. It is obvious from several studies that Poverty Reduction Strategies in Nigeria have failed to achieve their stated objectives. It therefore requires concerted efforts by all to contribute to the success of this all-important but elusive goal. Such efforts can only be meaningful if it stems from an empirical study in order to support the government to realize the global lofty objective of eradicating poverty in the country.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The Nigerian state has been hit by the twin problems of poverty and underdevelopment. This may be attributed to a number of factors, some of which are mismanagement of human and material resources, indiscipline, lack of political will by the government from post independence to present day Nigeria. Instead of tackling poverty alleviation in the society, our policy makers and leaders have converted their positions into avenues of squandering, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering to the neglect of the suffering people. The problem of poverty in Nigeria has woken up to witness anti-social activities like armed robbery, cultism, drug trafficking, prostitution, child trafficking, ritual killings, political thuggery and assassinations. Poverty alleviation programmes in an economy are aimed at improving the welfare of those who are categorized as poor. The poverty alleviation programmes have been in place for about nineteen (19) years. However, available statistics do not appear to be suggesting any remarkable improvement in the poverty situation in Nigeria. Nigeria has consistently been classified among the poorest countries in the world. According to 2005 World Bank report, Nigeria has been rated as the second poorest country in the world, only better than Ethiopia which was reported as the poorest in the world. This research is therefore designed to examine the impact of of poverty alleviation programmes from 2015 to 2020.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS






How is the rate of poverty reduction from 2015-2020?
What are the major factors militating against poverty reduction in Nigeria?
What are the impacts of poverty alleviation programme on the citizens of Nigeria?
What are the problems inhibiting the efficient implementation of poverty alleviation programmes?
What are the possible strategies on how to enhance poverty reduction programmes in Nigerian system of government?

1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The major aim of this study is to assess theimpact of poverty alleviation programme from 2015 – 2020. Other general objectives of the study are:






To assess the rate of poverty reduction from 2015-2020.
To examine the major factors militating against poverty reduction in Nigeria.
To examine the impact of poverty alleviation programme on the citizens of Nigeria.
To examine the problems inhibiting the efficient implementation of poverty alleviation programs.
To proffer strategies on how to enhance poverty reduction programmes in Nigerian system of government.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study is expected to be a concerted effort to identify, articulate and highlight the existence, the causes and effects of poverty in Nigeria. It is a quest to streamlining poverty alleviation strategies towards making them more potent. The study is also expected to be of benefit to a number of groups especially stakeholders of poverty alleviation efforts such as public and private sectors strategists, planners, managers, coordinators and monitors of poverty alleviation agencies and the poor who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the efforts and indeed the general public. The research is expected to be part of data bank for operators as well as policy makers in poverty alleviation strategies. It will arouse the interest of academic scholars to conduct more research in this field of study. Achieving significant results in reducing poverty often hinges on what is done, how it is done, when it is done and whom it is targeted at. It is obvious from several studies that Poverty Reduction Strategies in Nigeria have failed to achieve their stated objectives. It therefore requires concerted efforts by all to contribute to the success of this allimportant but elusive goal. Such efforts can only be meaningful if it stems from an empirical study in order to support the government to realize the global lofty objective of eradicating poverty in the country. The study is expected to be a concerted effort to identify, articulate and highlight the existence, the causes and effects of poverty in Nigeria. It is a quest to streamlining poverty alleviation strategies towards making them more potent. The study is also expected to be of benefit to a number of groups especially stakeholders of poverty alleviation efforts such as public and private sectors strategists, planners, managers, coordinators and monitors of poverty alleviation agencies and the poor who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the efforts and indeed the general public. The research is expected to be part of data bank for operators as well as policy makers in poverty alleviation strategies. It will arouse the interest of students to conduct more researches in this field of study.

1.6 RESEARCH DESIGN

The research used qualitative observation design as the strategy or plan of action regarding events which upon implementation will enable the researcher to investigate the problem of this study. The study was designed in a systematic process of providing answer to the research questions and research objectives.

1.7 METHOD OF DATA COLLECTION

Data for this study came from the secondary data. The secondary data on were obtained from relevant literatures ranging from textbooks, journals, articles, periodicals, seminar paper dissertation.

1.8 METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS

The method of Qualitative data analysis used in this work is observation and report records to support the findings. The analysis has been incorporated with the quantitative discussion results in the data analysis parts.

1.9 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study is based on the assessment of the impact of poverty alleviation programme from 2015 – 2020

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.10 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION

POVERTY: This is a state in which an individual is not able to cater adequately for his or her basic needs of food, clothing and shelter; is unable to meet social and economic obligations, lacks gainful employment, skills, assets and self-esteem; and has limited access to social and economic infrastructure such as education, health, portable water, and sanitation. There are two types of poverty namely absolute and relative poverty. Absolute poverty is a state where human beings suffer a condition of life so degraded by disease, illiteracy, malnutrition and squalor as to deny its victims basic human necessities. Relative poverty is a condition that can only be defined by comparing circumstances of one group of people or an entire economy with another one. The poverty line is measured by the inability of persons to obtain incomes, own assets, find stable job and maintain basic health needs and qualitative education. The concept of poverty gap captures the severity of the poor’s plight. It is the additional amount of consumption (or income) that must be generated by a country to bring the poor above the poverty line.

Structural Adjustment Programme: Nelson (1990) asserts that Structural Adjustment can be described as the implementation of measures and institutional reforms required to transform the structure of an economy so as to enable it sustain both its growth rate and the workability of its balance of payments in the medium term. However, this definition did not emphasise external influences. Nwagbara (2011) defined structural adjustment policies as policy responses to external and internal shocks, carried out with the aim of salvaging the pre-shock development path of the national economy. Nwagbara went on to observe that regaining the growth path, in turn, will necessitate enhancement in the balance of payments following the adverse effects of external shock since a country’s balance of payments position constraints its economic growth. Ezeala-Harrison (1993) explained that a structural adjustment connotes more than ordinary adjustment. He further went on to distinguish between stabilisation and structural adjustment. He asserts that stabilisation programmes traditionally refer to adjustment programmes supported by IMF standby credits, while the World Bank supported programme referred to as structural adjustments programmes. However, this difference is organisational rather than conceptual.

Poverty Alleviation: In the Nigerian context, we usually refer to efforts aimed at reducing the magnitude of “poverty” defined in terms of the proportion of the population living below the poverty line.

 1.11 ORGANIZATION OF CHAPTERS

This research work has been organized into five chapters. The dissertation is organized into five chapters: Chapter One presents background information to the study; statement of problem; objectives of the study and research questions; significance of the study; brief methodology; scope of the study and organization of the study. Chapter two is about review of the extant literature and theoretical framework. Chapter three explains the overview of the historical background of poverty alleviation in Nigeria. Chapter four provides Buhari’s administration and poverty alleviation programs 2015-2020. Finally, Chapter five presents, the summary, conclusions and recommendations from the study.


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