POVERTY ERADICATION IN NIGERIA: AN EVALUATION OF PAST AND PRESENT POVERTY ERADICATION PROGRAMMES IN NIGERIA (1983-2002).
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POVERTY ERADICATION IN NIGERIA:
AN EVALUATION OF PAST AND PRESENT POVERTY ERADICATION PROGRAMMES IN NIGERIA (1983-2002).
Poverty, either as a plague or cause of other specific under development ailments, afflicts Nigeria as it does other nations of the world. The high level of prevalence in the country, which has attained an endemic nature, is becoming worrisome. This problem is essentially not that of programme introduction but effectiveness of such programme and strategies so adapted in poverty reduction efforts. Nigeria has not been known to lack in such efforts; yet she is still ranked among the world’s 25 poorest nations! In the course of the study, related literature on poverty and poverty reduction efforts (strategies and programmes) were intensively and extensively reviewed and relevant information and ideas obtained for the research. The study also utilized the survey approach and chi-square to collect, collate, analyze and present data respectively in its findings which include: Poverty is multi-dimensional in nature and must be so treated in order to be effective; most government ministries and agencies activities are poverty reduction based; poverty reduction programmes have not been effective; and reasons for non-effectiveness were adduced. Based on the above findings and conclusions, recommendations, including the following were made towards effective poverty reduction efforts in Nigeria.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
List of Tables vii
1.1 Background of study 1
1.2 Statement of problem 5
1.3 Objectives of study 6
1.4 Significance of the study 7
1.5 Hypothesis 7
1.6 Scope of study 8
1.7 Definition of terms 9
2.0 Literature/review/theoretical framework 11
2.1 Meaning of poverty 11
2.2 Poverty profile in Nigeria 14
2.3 Causes of poverty 16
2.4 Indicators of poverty 19
2.5 Poverty and economic development 22
2.6 Poverty eradication programmes in Nigeria 28
2.6.1 Programmes and strategies 31
3.0 Research methodology 33
3.1 Research design 33
3.2 Sample size and sampling technique 36
3.3 Data collection 38
3.3.1 Primary sources 38
3.3.2 Secondary sources 38
3.4 Data analysis technique 39
3.4.1 The chi-square (X2) 40
3.5 Presentation of data 41
4.0 Presentation and analysis of data 42
4.1 Testing of hypothesis 43
5.0 Summary of finding, conclusion and recommendation 47
5.1 Summary 47
5.2 Conclusions 49
5.3 Recommendations 50
LIST OF TABLES
2.1 Poverty incidences by states, including the federal capital territory (FCT) (1980-1996) 15
2.2 Living index indicators in Nigeria (naira) 21
2.3 Selected performance indicators of the Nigeria economy
2.4 Nigeria‘s debt profile 25
4.1 Distribution and collection of questionnaire 30
4.2 Successes of poverty eradication programmes in Nigeria
4.3 Computed expected frequencies/computation of X2 45
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Poverty is a global phenomenon, which affects continents, nations and people differently. It afflicts people in various depths and levels, at different times and phases of existence. There is no nation that is absolutely free from poverty. The main difference is the intensity and prevalence of this malaise. Nations in sub-Saharan African, South Asia and Latin America are currently with the highest level of poverty and consequently with the lowest level of socio-economic development. They also have the highest level of social insecurity, violence, unrest and generally unacceptable low standard of living.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (1999:1) view poverty as “ a state where 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; and consequently, has limited chance of advancing his or her welfare to the limit of his or her capabilities”.
The World Bank (2000:1) utilized inductive approach to uncover various dimensions of poverty such as well-being psychological, basic infrastructure, illness and assets. One of such definitions is “the lack of what is necessary for material well-being especially food, but also housing, land, and other assets. In other words, poverty is the lack of multiple resources that leads to hunger and physical deprivation.” Another of such definition is “lack of voice, power and independence that subjects them to exploitation. Their poverty leaves them vulnerable to rudeness, humiliation, and inhumane treatment by both private and public agents of the state from whom they seek help”.
Nigeria, ranked among the 25 poorest countries in the world, started its independent nationhood with poverty level of barely 15% of its population in 1960 and is today struggling to bring it down from about 70% of its current teeming population of about 120 million of the number of the poverty stricken people, about 73% is concentrated in the rural areas were illiteracy prevalence is high, potable water and health facilities are rarely available, road and electricity infrastructures are either unavailable or ill-managed.
The World Bank and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s 2002 human development index (NDI) of 0.461 aptly indicate the deplorable state of the nation’s level of poverty and low human development. This is in spite of the fact that the country is richly endowed with all kinds of water, agricultural and mineral resources. Nigeria’s proportion of the poor has doubled over the last two decades, during which time the country received over $300 billion in oil and gas revenue. Paradoxically, Nigeria’s level of revenue and endowment are in opposite direction with her poverty level. While revenue profile of Nigeria rose from N4billion in 1975 to N26billion in 1980, and GNP per capital rose from $360 to more than $1000 in the same period, the percentage of the population that was poor grew from 15% in 1960 to about its present 70%.
Furthermore, according to World Bank and UNDP 2001 statistics, Nigeria which impressively ranked 6th and 7th in petroleum export and petroleum production respectively, is ranked 194th in GNP per capital and is unenviably classified as the 25th poorest nation in the world.
However, the above scenario has not come into being as a result of non-challant attitude and non-recognition of the problem at hand. It has also not come by as a result of lack of response to the yearning of the poor people to be emancipated from their rather deplorable and frustrating state of near-despair.
No Nigeria government, be it military or civilian, has come without introducing and leaving behind one form of poverty alleviation or reduction programme meant to reduce the level of poverty, give hope and succor to the poor and, or move towards some sort of wealth creation. Strategies, policies and plans have been articulated; programmes and projects have been formulated and executed over the years. For instance, at independence in 1960, poverty eradication efforts in Nigeria centred on education, while operation feed the Nation (OFN), the Green revolution, war against indiscipline (WAI), peoples bank of Nigeria (PBN), community banks, directorate of food roads and rural infrastructure (DFFRI),Nigeria agricultural land development authority (NALDA),family economic advancement programme (FEAP), better life for rural women, family support programme (FSP) and National poverty eradication programme (NAPEP) existed during the period under review.
Though successive governments have tried to address the issue of poverty as captured above, the effect of the strategies and programmes has been that of mixed feelings. The questions bothering a great number of Nigerians are:
1. if so much efforts have been made towards reducing poverty in Nigeria, why is poverty on the increase?
2. What is the effect of the increasing poverty rate on the nation’s economy?
3. Are there better ways or strategies of implementing poverty reduction programmes to make them more effective?
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It has been known in Nigeria that every government embarks on one form of poverty reduction strategy or the other. However, what has remained unanswered is the extent to which these programmes have impacted on the poor the target population.
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 allocation to them. Poor people’s perceptions of formal poverty reduction institutions are largely that of ineffectiveness and irrelevance in their lives as government poverty reduction 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.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The overall objective of the study is to assess the various strategies and tools or instruments used to implement the various poverty reduction strategies between 1983 and 2002 (twenty year period of review).
Specifically, the objectives are:
1. To identify these strategies
2. To measure their effectiveness and impact on the poor or target group;
3. To assess their capability for reducing poverty;
4. To identify reasons for their failure or success; and
5. The study is expected to be a concerted effort to identify, articulate and highlight the existence, the causes and effects of poverty in Nigeria.
6. It is a quest to streamlining poverty reduction strategies towards making them more potent.
7. The study is also expected to be of benefit to a number of groups especially stakeholders of poverty reduction efforts such as public and private sectors strategists, planners, managers, coordinators and monitors of poverty reduction agencies and the poor who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the efforts and indeed the general public.
8. The research is expected to be part of data bank for operations as well as policy makers in poverty reduction strategies.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 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. 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 by the year 2015.
The research hypothesis that will guide the study is as follows:
H01: Poverty eradication programmes in Nigeria have not succeeded in reducing poverty; and
H02: Poverty eradication programmes in Nigeria have succeeded in reducing poverty.
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
To conduct as effective research in Nigeria is always a herculean task, owing to people’s attitudinal disposition towards the release of information. Information is seen as sacred and too confidential to release for the feeling that it is a way of assessing the giver. The questionnaires were administered on two hundred and thirty (230) respondents and it took persistent calls and visits to get one hundred and forty-two to respond.
Perhaps the most debilitating limitation of this study is the inadequate of data in that data on poverty incidences in Nigeria by the relevant authority was last updated in the social welfare survey carried out by the federal office of statistics in 1996. Hence, the constant reference to data up to or about that year. Information made available to the researcher revealed that Mr. President had just requested the National Poverty Eradication Programme to collaborate with the federal office of statistics to conduct an update survey to avail him and all concerned the much needed current relevant data.
There was also a limitation in terms of library facilities at it is only the World Bank, British Council, United Nations and Central Bank of Nigeria libraries that have materials related to the study. The researcher being a full time employee had no enough time to make extensive research.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Refers to insufficient or total lack of necessities and facilities like food, housing, medical care, education, social and environmental services, consumer goods, recreational opportunities, neighbourhood amenities and transportation facilities, etc.
Means gross domestic product: this is the naira value of all the goods and services produced within a country but excluding net income from abroad.
Means gross national product: it is the market value of all the goods and services produced in Nigeria over a specific period of time usually a year at factor cost.
Refers to human development index which is a measure of longevity, knowledge and income. Longevity is measured solely by life expectancy at birth, while knowledge is measured by the adult literacy rate and mean years of schooling weighted at 2:1 respectively. For income, purchasing power parity (PPP) based on real GDP per capital adjusted for the local cost of living is used”.
Indicators of Poverty
Generally refer to measure of economic performance as well as the standard of living of the population. This normally combines the measures of income or purchasing power or consumption with those social indicators, which highlight availability and access to the basic necessities of life.
Is a state where 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; and consequently, has limited chance of advancing his or her welfare to the limit of his or her capabilities.
Means all formal activities geared towards lowering the rate and prevalence of poverty in the country.
Poverty reduction strategies paper is a position paper introduced by the World Bank that is a development plan borne out of collaborative efforts of a broad range of stakeholders’ poverty reduction.