THE CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMMES
Nigeria has one of the greatest development potentials in Africa given the vastness of her resources and above all her rich human resource endowment. But regardless of these potentials Nigeria is still among the poorest countries of the world. The economy is mired by multiple difficulties. On the basis of widespread economic crisis, and the recent global economic meltdown, the country is unable to raise the standard of living of its citizens to an appreciable height. Thus poverty, in both absolute and relative terms, constitutes one of the most serious problems confronting Nigeria. Statistically, between 1960 and 1980, the poverty level covered about 28.0 percent of the population; by 1996 it rose alarmingly to about 66 percent of the population (Aliju, 2001).According to the United Nation Development Program Human Development Report (2008-2009) which combined such components as; level of inequality, life expectancy at birth, standard of living and access to knowledge, and education, between 2004 and 2009 poverty in Nigeria has worsened from 0.43 to 0.49.
This shows that despite its vast resources, Nigeria ranks among the 25 poorest countries of the world. In fact, poverty has been a serious challenge to governments in Nigeria. Its effect, which includes lack and deprivation in the basic necessities of life, is worrisome. Poverty humiliates and dehumanizes its victim Ukpong (1996). To this end government and people in authority almost always strive to ensure that adequate structural programs are enshrined to see that poverty if not eradicated, is reduced to the barest minimum. Poverty alleviation strategies ranging from Operation Feed the Nation of 1978, the Green Revolution of 1982, the Directorate of Foods Roads and Rural Infrastructures DFFRI, the National Directorate for Employment NDE, Poverty Alleviation Program PAP, the National Poverty Eradication Program, NAPEP up to the Seven – Point Agenda were all attempts made by various governments in the country in order to curb the menace of poverty. Therefore, given this background analysis, the paper critically examines the problems and prospects of achieving a remarkable reduction in Nigeria’s poverty profile through policy harmonization of all poverty alleviation programs in Nigeria for effective implementation. The paper employed the use of simple content analysis in analyzing the data collected. The choice of this technique of analysis was informed by the nature of the data collected and the objective of the research. Secondary source of data gathered through reports, publications, the internet and other secondary sources of data are used. Specifically data were collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the National Poverty Eradication Council (NAPEC).Looking at the records from the Federal Office of Statistics as documented by Garba (2006), it reveals that about 15% of the Nigerian population was poor in 1960 but the figure rose to 28% in 1980 and by 1996, the incident of poverty in Nigeria was 76.6million people. In the present decade, the issue of poverty alleviation is once again back in the international limelight. To the Intertional Labour Organization (ILO), poverty is not a new agenda. Since1944, the ILO has held fast to its declaration that "poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere" stressing the importance of poverty alleviation to the world attention. A number of other international bodies are now paying much more attention poverty, for instance the World Bank.
The Inter-American Development Bank has intact actually adopted a policy that half of its loans have to contribute directly to poverty reduction. The recent of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) constitutes a yet more the poverty alleviation campaign in most developing countries lately. Against the background of Economic Adjustment Policy which is largely growth a need to have a thorough examination of various challenges experienced so far in alleviating poverty for a better futuristic approach to be put in place.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Poverty alleviation is a task for economy policy and to reach the poor effectively; anti poverty programmes are really vital in Lagos state, Besides, statistics shows that 70% of the population of 9 million people lives below 1 dollar per day in which there is inadequate housing, epileptic enemy supply, lack of portable water, low agricultural output, decayed educational system, partial health care under capacity utilization of the industrial sector, weak financial among others.
Lagos state is a contradiction of sorts, unarguably it is a State well endowed with abundant human and natural resources, the condition of the society is a viz a viz development and the welfare of the people leaves much to be desired.
Therefore, Lagos State government has, risen up to the challenged of this disease known as poverty. The State Government knew that solutions could not be achieved through personal efforts therefore; embark on organizing various social programme.
In essence, the fundamental focus of this study is to examine the various programmes that the Lagos State Government has organized in order to alleviate poverty in the state and the challenges and the prospects of those programmes.
1.3 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to examine the challenges and prospects of poverty alleviation programmes in Lagos State.
The objectives of this study are to:
i. Examine which programmes put in place by Lagos State Government in alleviating poverty in State.
ii. Identify the various beneficiaries of such programmes and the extent to which the programme has helped in alleviating poverty in the State.
iii. Assess people's opinion on the government's effort in alleviating poverty in the state so far.
1.4 Research Questions
This research question were set in order to have better understanding about the issue of poverty in order to be able to trace the various techniques put in place in alleviating poverty both in international, national and state levels. The latter which have really been the major focus of this project work.
i. What is poverty?
ii. Who are the vulnerable of poverty?
iii. What are the categories of poverty?
iv. What are the various prograrnmes put in place and their effectiveness in a alleviating poverty in the State?
v. What are the problems facing in achieving poverty alleviation in the State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H1: There is a significant relationship between Lagos State Poverty Alleviation Programmes and the rate of poverty among people in the State.
Ho: There is no significant relationship between Lagos State Poverty Alleviation Programmes and the rate of poverty among pie in the State.
H1: There are challenges and prospects being encountered in alleviating poverty by the Lagos State Government.
Ho: There are no challenges and prospects being encountered across in alleviating poverty by the Lagos State Government.
H1: There are challenges and prospects being encountered in alleviating poverty by the Lagos State Government.
Ho: There are no challenges and prospects being encountered cross in alleviating poverty by the Lagos State Government.
1.6 The Research Methodology
The study will employ the chi-square analysis method measure the degree of effectiveness of the embarked on by the Lagos State Government in Ikeja Local Government Area of the State.
Chi-square is defined as (O-E/E)2
1.6.1 Methods/Sample Size
For this study, Ikeja Local Government Area was used as a case study. From this Local Government Area, four major areas were administered with questionnaire. These areas include Opebi, Allen Avenue, Balogun and Toyin Street. A total number of 100 questionnaires were randomly administered to the people living in the four selected study areas.
1.6.2 Source of Data
For this research study, both primary and secondary data were consulted for
Primary Data:- In collecting data through this method, both structured questionnaire and interview guide were used. The structured questionnaire was used to collect information from the people living in the selected areas within the study area. Also, the interview guide was used to gather information from Lagos State Women Affair and Poverty AlleviationDepartment. This is to obtain Information on their opinion about Lagos State Poverty Alleviation programmes put in place.
Secondary Data:- These were obtained from journals, conference and seminar papers as well as review of various studies and literatures on poverty.
1.6.3 Statistical Tools of Data Analysis
The data collected from this survey were analyzed using descriptive and inferential tools enhance further illustration. Also, Statistical Package for Social Sciences(SPSS) software were used for analyzing data collected and Chi-Square was used to test for the three hypothesis set.
1.7 The Significance of the Study
This study makes possible the understanding of how government has intervened in the alleviation of poverty in the State using Ikeja Local Government Area as a case study. Moreover, this study also looked at the various challenges facing the government in achieving its objectives and its prospect so far in the state.
The res Its of the findings were used in providing recommendations towards effective policy making as regards poverty alleviation programmes in the Lagos State.
1.8 The Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study focuses on Ikeja Local Government Area in Lagos state. It examines some f the activities of the gove1lment in alleviating poverty as regards development in the Local Government Area. However, the findings gave a vivid account of both problems and success encountered far in establishing poverty alleviation programmes in the State.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
FOS - Federal Office of Statistics
ILO - International Labour Organization
NGOs - Non Governmental Organizations
DAC - Development Assistance Committee
LAWMA - Lagos State Waste Management Agency
1.10 Organisation of the Study
The project work is divided into (5) chapters. Chapter one consist of Introduction, Statement of the problems, Aim and objectives of the Study, Research Questions, Research Hypothesis, Research Methodology, Significance of the Study, Scope and Limitation of the Study, Plan of the Study.
Chapter Two consist of Literature Review while Chapter Three includes, Research methodology, the Study Area, the Sample Size, Target Population, Method of Data Analysis and Research Hypothesis. Chapter Four consist of the Research Methodology, Data Analysis and Interpretation of the results with Chapter Five focusing on the Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
Abiola, A.G and Olaope, O.R (2008), Economic Development and Democratic Sustenance in Nigeria. In E.O Ojo (ed), Challenges of Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria (pp25-34). Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Limited.
FOS (1996), The Social and Economic Profile of Nigeria. Abuja: Federal Office of Statistics.
Garba (2006), Alleviating Poverty in Northern Nigeria. A paper presented at the annual Convention of Zumunta Association. Mineapolis, MN, USA. July 28-29.
Nwaobi G.C (2003), Solving the Poverty Crisis in Nigeria: An Applied General EquilibriumApproach. Quantitative Economic Research Bureau. Gwangwalada, Abuja.
Ojo E. (2008), Imperatives of Sustaining Democratic Values. In Ojo, (ed) Challenges of Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria (pp 25-34). Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Limited.
Omotola (2008), Combating Poverty for Sustainable Human Development in Nigeria The Continuing Struggle Journal of Poverty, 12(4),496-517.
Okpe, I.J and Abu, G.A (2009), Foreign Private Investment and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria (1975-2003). J. Soc. SCI., 19(3), 205-211.
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