CHAPTER worrisome; this has been revealed from
1 Background to the StudyThe situation of poverty in Nigeria is worrisome; this has been revealed from previous studies on the issue of poverty. (Balogun, Yusuf, Omonana and Okoruwa. 2011; Balogun 2011; Ojimba, 2012, and Zaccheaus & Nwokoma 2012).
This situation however, contradict the belief that the country is endowed with enormous human and physical resources, it is even more worrisome that despite the vast human and material resources that were put in place to reduce the level of poverty and the various economic policies introduced by the government since the 80’s, such as, Austerity Measure and Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure(DFRRI), Integrated Rural Development Projects, Better Life Program, Family Support Program, Mass Transit Program, National Directorate of Employment, Peoples’ Bank, Family Economic Advancement Program, National Poverty Eradication Program, Subsidy Re-investment Program (SURE-P), poverty and the challenges that come with it still persist.Nigerian 2006 national census result put her population at over one hundred and forty million. She therefore, remains the most populous African country and arguably one of the best endowed. The country is endowed in terms of abundant deposit of crude oil, mineral resources, and agricultural products to mention but a few. In spite of all these abundant resources, the quality of life of her citizens has declined significantly over the years. Perhaps, this was why Mohammed (2012) noted that despite the fact that Nigeria is ranked as the sixth richest nation in the world in terms of crude oil reserve and supply, and the fact that the country ranks among the nations that are blessed in terms of human and material endowment, her citizens are wallowing in abject poverty with little or no economic empowerment for the larger percentage of the populace. The Federal Office of Statistics(2015) confirmed that at least seventy million Nigerians now live below the poverty line when compared with eighteen million in the 1980s (Garuba, 2016).
It is also worthy of note that Nigeria remains the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that is categorized among the world’s poorest twenty countries (Adeola 2013). In a related research on the poverty index in Nigeria, Okunmadewa (2015) highlighted that Nigeria ranked fifty-fourth with respect to human poverty index (HPI) making her the twentieth poorest country in the World. It is also ranked thirtieth in gender related development index (GDI) while occupying the fortieth position from below in its human development index (HDI).
Indeed, the alarming and seemingly uncontrollable high rate of crime and shady deals in the country has been linked to the Poverty situation. To buttress this fact, Oludotun (2015) revealed that the increasing rate of crime such as armed robbery, advance fee fraud (419), corruption, prostitution, nepotism, drug trafficking, cultism and other social vices are definitely the product of persistent poverty in the country. The situation affects sustainable national development adversely. Previous governments in Nigeria made several attempts to alleviate the poverty situation in this country.
For instance, the Gowon’s regime initiated the Udoji’s Commission to solve the problem of poor wage of civil servants in order to improve their standard of living. The next regime of Murtala/Obasanjo decided to attack the poverty situation through agriculture by initiating the popular Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) program. This program was re-packaged by the Shagari’s regime and subsequently metamorphosed into the Green Revolution Campaign. Perhaps, the regime with the widest approach to poverty reduction is the Babangida regime.
The regime introduced the Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (DFRRI) in 1986. This was followed by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in 1987. The same year, the Better Life Program was launched. The Peoples Bank followed closely in 1989. The Community Bank was also introduced and lastly the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC). The government of Obasanjo also initiated her own programme to eradicate poverty.
The first attempt was the Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP) in the year 2000 and was immediately replaced the following year by National Poverty Eradication Program (NAPEP). The regime also introduced other economic reform programs such as the Mandatory Attachment Program (MAP), the Capacity Attachment Program (CAP), and later the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS). Despite these concerted efforts by previous regimes, the poverty situation seems to be getting worse. The Nigerian Economic Summit Group, while assessing the eight years of Obasanjo’s economic reforms on 6 May 2007 in a Press Conference, highlighted that the economic reforms of the Obasanjo’s government did not tackle poverty effectively. Although the group applauded the reforms in service industry like the Banks, Insurance, Oil and Telecommunication, it however noted that “the reforms did not have appreciable impact in poverty reduction especially employment generation and self-empowerment” (Iba 2015).
Nasarawa state was created out of Old Plateau State on October 1, 1996. It is comprised of 13 Local Government Areas namely: Akwanga, Awe, Doma, Karu, Keffi, and Lafia. Others include Nasarawa, Nasarawa-Eggon, Obi, Toto, Wamba, Keana and Kokona (Agwadu, 2015). Nasarawa State is heterogeneous in its ethnic composition and language groups; prominent among these are Afo, Alago, Eggon, Gabgi, Migili, Gwandara, Egberra, Kantana, Kanuri, Fulani, Tiv, Jukun, Gade and Nyankpa. Others are Mada, Koro, Ninzam, Bassa, Agatu and Arum. Located in the middle belt or the North Central geo-political zone of the country, Nasarawa state lies between latitudes 70 and 90 North and longitudes 70 and 100 East (Inyang, 2015).
It shares common boundaries with 5 of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The state is flanked to the south and west by Benue and Kogi States respectively, Kaduna and Plateau states to the North-East and Taraba to the South-East. Generally, most parts of Nasarawa State have a pleasant climate with mean temperatures of 600F and 800F. Rainfall varies from 131.
73cm in some places to 145cm in others. Its Savannah vegetation grows thicker southwards, with dry harmattan winds around December, January and February (Nasarawa State Ministry of Information, 2001). The history of poverty reduction programmes in Nasarawa State could be traced to the federal government’s efforts at tackling the problem of poverty since independence. Nasarawa people have not changed rather they have been recognized differently in the federation as a result of state creation. Hence, they have benefited from the programmes discussed above. However, following the establishment of NAPEP in 2001, Karu local government of Nasarawa state keyed into the programme with high expectations of the intended benefits.
Considering the current poverty profile in the state, it appears that expectations of poverty reduction and general improvement in the standard of living of the people have not been realized. The recent report from the National Bureau of Statistics (2017) show that about 52.40% of people in New Karu local government are poor. Poverty appears to be one of the state’s deadliest diseases. `Ibrahim and Umar, (2017) assess the determinants of poverty as well the poverty coping strategies among farming households in Nasarawa State, Nigeria. The study employed simple random sampling to select 150 farming households and used Costs of Calorie method and Discriminant Analysis to determine the incidence of poverty as well as its determinants respectively. The incidence of poverty among the sampled households was found to be high and the major determinants of poverty include household size, number of income sources of the household head, number of household members employed outside agriculture and the number of literate adult males and females in the household.
The major poverty coping strategies include skipping of meals, reduction in the quantity of meals served and engaging in wage labour. The study recommends that the farming households should be effectively involved in the formulation of strategies for imparting knowledge on family planning to the farming households. New Karu is one of the local government area in Nasarawa state, and its poverty rate is alarming; the causes of poverty in the area can be attributed to high level of adult illiteracy, lack of access to basic needs, such as, food, shelter, drinkable water, health, sanitation, epileptic electric power supply among others (NBS, 2017). Over the years, the Nasarawa State government has introduced vocational training in other to reduce poverty in the state these includes, vocational and relevant technology centers at Wamba, Doma, Nasarawa and Lafia; Women Education Centers at Lafia, Nasarawa and Akwanga, multi-purpose women development centers at Lafia; agricultural training center at Ekposagye in obi-LGA, which is run by YMCA, a non-government organization; basic skills development centers, a UNDP job creation and sustainable livelihood at Obi, Doma, Nasarawa Eggon, Lafia, Akwanga, Keffi, Karu, Nasarawa and Toto, gemstone cutting and polishing skills center at Nasarawa. Center for Women, Youths and Community Action (NACWYA). Iyang and Agwadu (2017).
Despite all these measures, poverty high rate still persists in the state. This study is therefore undertaken to establish a nexus between poverty reduction programmes and development in Nigeria: A study of Karu local government area of Nasarawa state. 1.2 Statement of the ProblemThe Nigerian State had been hit by the problem of poverty. This may be attributed to a number of factors, some of which are mismanagement of human and material resources, indiscipline, the lack of political will by the government of the country, beginning from the post-independence and present day Nigeria. Rather than tackle the problems associated with poverty in the society, our policy makers or if you like, politicians have appeared to have converted leadership positions and public offices into avenues of squander mania, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering abroad, to the neglect of the suffering people and development. Poverty has been identified by many Authors (e.
g. Olisa and Obiukwu, 1992; Ijere, 1992; Charisman, 1997; Aliyu, 1998) cited in Iyang and Agwadu (2017) as the main area of concern that has to be looked into if the nation is to get out of its economic and political predicament. Many policies and programmes meant to eradicate or alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas have not been successful due to corruption, inadequate finances, poor planning, and poor administration of the programmes as well as lack of political will.
Government effort at reaching out to the rural communities and providing the enabling environment that would make them acquire vocational skills so as to supplement their incomes have been abysmal. This study is therefore undertaken to asses and recommend ways by which government can establish poverty reduction programmes in New Karu local government area of Nasarawa states as a means of improving their quality of life. 1.3 Research QuestionsThe research sought to provide answers to the followings:What impact has the various poverty alleviation policies of government made on the lives of people residing within New Karu local government since 1999? What poverty alleviation policies package would best be suited and easily implementable at New Karu local government?What is the linkage between poverty alleviation policies and living conditions of the people in Karu local government? Has rural- urban movement increased the poverty level of the people of New Karu local government?1.
4 Objectives of the Study The major objective of the study will be to do an assessment of poverty reduction policies in Nigeria: A study of New Karu local government area of Nasarawa state. 1999- 2015. For the realization of the study’s goal, the research will seek to accomplish the following set of specific objectives; To find out the impact of various poverty alleviation policies on the lives of people residing within New Karu local government since 1999. Discuss the best poverty alleviation policies suitable for New Karu local government.Assess the linkage between poverty alleviation policies and living conditions of the people in Karu local government. To find out if rural- urban movement has increased the poverty level of the people of New Karu local government?To suggest and recommend appropriate poverty reduction strategies for Nigeria.
1.5. Research PropositionsThis study will verify the following propositionsThe various poverty alleviation programmes of government has impacted on the lives of dwellers within Karu local government since 1999That government has failed to identify the poverty alleviation programme package that is suitable and easily implementable at Karu local governmentThere is a positive linkage between poverty alleviation programme, living conditions of the people and rural development in Karu local governmentSo many factors affect rural development and rural/urban poverty in Karu local government of Nasarawa state.
1.6 Significance of the StudyPoverty is endemic in Nigeria just like other problems bedeviling the polity. Poverty has been described as wide spread and severe (CBN/World Bank, 2016). Therefore a study on poverty would further enhance our understanding of the various perspectives and issues in Nigeria’s poverty. The incidence of poverty in Nigeria became alarming in 2010 when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) report for the year suggested that more than 50 percent of Nigerians lived in chronic poverty and majority of them resided in the rural areas. The research in the long run would come out with a number of policy proposals for the project to enable it achieve its Stated objectives. This study will expose research gaps that will be identified in previous studies on poverty.
In the light of this, the study will add to the existing body of knowledge on effects of poverty in Nigeria. It will also bring to light, those factors that militates against the effective utilization of resources meant for alleviation or eradication of poverty. In terms of the significance to knowledge, this study will help provide empirical evidence that the issue of poverty in Nigeria requires a bottom up approach.
This will enable Karu local governments, donor agencies, NGO’s and other stakeholders to redesign appropriate, effective and efficient strategies for the realistic eradication of poverty in Nigeria. Academically, the research will be of benefit to students and researchers who will embark on similar academic research on poverty in Karu local government area and Nigeria at large; because there are few academic work on the issue of poverty on New Karu local government as such this research will close such gap existing.1.7.
The Scope of the StudyThe time scope of the study is a fifteen year period (1999-2015). The objective of this study will focus on poverty reduction programmes and underdevelopment in Nigeria. On the geographical coverage, a study of Karu local government area of Nasarawa state, 2009-2015.
The choice of this period and topic is to see whether or not fifteen years after the introduction of democratic system of government in Nigeria, the past and present government has been able to reduce poverty to the minimum especially in the rural areas. It will also allow us to create and have an insight into the types and implementation of poverty implementation programme within the study period. The modalities and justification for the coverage will be detailed under research techniques in chapter three. While the choice of Karu local government is justified on the fact that, the local government is due to its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory and as such most civil servant who cannot afford accommodation in places like Maitama and Asokoro end up residing in places like Maraba, Ado, New -Nyanya and New Karu under the local government of study.
1.8 Organization of the StudyThis research was structured into five chapters. Chapter one focused on the background to the Study, Statement of Problem, Research Questions, Objectives of the Study, Research propositions Significance of the Study, Scope of the Study and Organisation of the Study. Chapter two focused on the Literature Review and Theoretical Framework. Chapter three discussed the Research Methodology. Chapter Four gave an insight into Data Presentation, Interpretation and Analysis and Chapter five focused on the Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation.
CHAPTER TWOLITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK2.1 Conceptual FrameworkConcepts used in this study were operationalized, so as to establish their contextual meanings. These include:2.
1.1. Concept of PovertyThe first attempt at providing a definition of poverty based on subsistence was made by Rowntree (1941).
Although his study was about poverty in the city of New York, his views on what constitutes subsistence living ought to have universal appeal. In his words, “my primary poverty line represented the minimum sum of which physical efficiency could be maintained. It was a standard of bare subsistence rather than living.
In calculating it, the utmost economy was practiced. A family living upon a scale allowed for this estimate must be governed by the regulation, nothing must be bought but rather which is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of physical health and what is bought must be of the plainest and most economic description”. Here, what is being emphasized is that only expenditures relating to those basic necessities would be tolerated. It means, for example, that a drunkard, whose income is enough for his basic things but who prefers to spend his income on alcohol instead of spending it on the basic necessities of life is not poor based on subsistence poverty. Thus it means that secondary poverty exists when income is enough to provide basic minimum items necessary for subsistence living but this income was diverted to other expenditures outside the categories necessary for subsistence. As Betchelder (1976) cited in (Salami, 2013) observed that, “poverty exists when the quantity of resources available to a person is less than some particular quantity of resources needed by that person.” However, it is not easy to use this definition in poverty court.
The problem here is that nothing in the nature of man or in the nature of the world suggests the minimal resources needs that must be satisfied if a person is to be non-poor. According to the Encyclopedia America, (2015) poverty is viewed from two different perspectives as signifying “money less-ness” and “powerlessness.” monelessness means not merely an insufficiency of cash but chronic inadequacy of resources of all types to satisfy such basic human needs as nutrition, rest, warmth and bodily care. Monelessness, however measured, is but a proxy. This is because for many writers, the characteristics of poverty that concern them, includes powerlessness which refers to those people who lack the opportunities and choices unlike in the case of the poor, whose lives seem to be governed by forces and persons outside their control by people in positions of authority or by perceived “evil forces” or “hard luck.” There are no direct measures of powerlessness and hence mainly such surrogates must measure poverty as income.
As Brown (1975:134) cited in Njoku and Okezie (2014) opined, “Poverty may be narrowly defined in economic terms. A poor person is a have-not, he has little or no ability of his inadequate personal resources. He is at the bottom-most rung of our society ladder.” In ordinary usage, poverty is applied to three distinct conditions, economic inequality, economic dependence and economic insufficiency. But to assume that only the last forms the real problem perhaps, limits too narrowly the scope of the problems created by inequalities within modern economic organizations. Acceptance of insufficient flow of income as the essential aspect of poverty merely shifts the difficulties of definition, since this concept predicates the assumption of standard, which could be physiological or social. Poverty is the condition that is said to exist when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs.
These basic needs may be defined as narrowly as possible to include only those necessary for survival in the community. Popular explanations among modern social scientists treat poverty as an aspect of social pathology. Since the term pathological is used to describe an abnormal condition of deviation from the average or the prevailing type rather than from an ideal condition, such a concept obviously arises within a society whose economic development has sufficient quantity of the products necessary for its wellbeing. Social thoughts and popular opinion have gradually shifted from a fatalistic to a critical point of view towards poverty, its meaning, its causes and effects. The religious or fatalistic explanation of wealth as a gift from destiny and of poverty as a visitation and punishment was useful as consolation for the poverty – stricken individual or group. Poverty has been defended wholly on religious grounds, as a healthy and normal state, on physiological or philosophic grounds, as a condition conducive to mental, physical, moral and spiritual well-being generally.
According to George and Lawson (1980). Cited in Salami (2013) “Poverty is a relative concept. It relates to the deprivations suffered by a section of the society in relation to what is regarded as necessary for normal living.” This means inevitably that, the definition of poverty involves judgments that vary from person to person. They further stated that “it is insufficient to note that a substantial majority of the population are living in conditions of poverty.” Samuelson (1980:762) captured in Muhammad and Umar (2012) in his view, believes that “it is a common mistake to think that only the unemployed are poor, or that only fatherless people – those who simply cannot earn in the market place, what is today considered a minimum needed income.
They and their children are deemed to merit public help.” Akeredolu-Ale (1998), cited Nwaobi, (2012) in in his paper entitled “Social Revolutions is antidote to poverty” (Punch Newspaper, Dec 8, p. 12) averred, “poverty itself is a social problem, but it also creates and sustains other social problems. Continuing, he asserted that the additional problems arise mainly because the mechanisms and strategies through which the poor attempt to cope with their poverty, that is, to survive in spite of their poverty, are not limited to the positive ones, but often include some, which victimize other people, pose a threat to the economic and social order. One cannot but agree with this assertion, especially when the spate of societal ills, which includes violence, vandalization of public utilities, killings, robbery etc are traced to the poor trying to make ends meet.We must be worried also with the persistence of poverty and its negative contributions to National development.
Akerele-Ale (1998) cited in Salami (2013) captured it all in his paper, when he stated “poverty is also one of the potent causes of its own persistence since many elements of the poverty situation jeopardize the nation’s economic performance and hinder economic growth. (This, of course, is to the extent that inadequate national economic performance, especially economic growth, is an important factor in the causation of persistence of poverty).” Narayan and Petesch (2012:10) succinctly posit that, “poverty also may look quite different, seen through the eyes of a poor man or a woman.” This is reflected in the differences in the various definitions, as poverty is considered to be a relative term. Narayan et al (2012:30) captured the definition from the point of view of the poor in different countries in the following perspectives: “Poverty is humiliation, the sense of being dependent, and of being forced to accept rudeness, insults, and indifference when we seek help.” Another of such views of the poor is that expressed by a poor man in Kenya in 1997 as reported by Narayan et al (2012:30) thus: “Don’t ask me what poverty is because you have met it outside my house. Look at the house and count the number of holes.
Look at my utensils and the clothes that I am wearing. Look at everything and write what you see. What you see is poverty.” The above reflect just descriptions of a few of the various perceptions of poverty at least from the poor.
The attempts made at defining poverty as captured above could be referred to as mere outline of the features or characteristics of poverty. In buttressing the difficulties encountered in arriving at a common and generally accepted definition of poverty, Aboyade (2015) posits that there seems to be a general agreement that poverty is a difficult concept to handle, and that it is more easily recognized than defined. Even attempts made to categorize some specific areas at which poverty could be viewed are fraught with lack of agreement. For instance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guideline on Poverty Reduction (2016:29) stressed that “an adequate concept of poverty should include all the most important areas in which people of either gender are deprived and perceived as incapacitated in different societies and local context. It should encompass the causal links between the core dimensions of poverty and the central importance of gender and environmentally sustainable development.
” It failed to define poverty. Rather, it listed “the core dimensions” a definition of poverty should cover to include: economic, human, political, socio-cultural and protective capabilities. On the other hand, Narayan et al (2012: 29-30), in buttressing that poverty is multi- dimensional, say that “definitions of poverty and its causes vary by gender, age, culture, and other social and economic contexts.” They defined poverty from such categories as: lack of voice, power, independence, well or ill being, regional, gender, etc. Even poverty elements like lack of power and voice, are explained differently in various countries. A Ghanaian in 1995 as stated in Narayan et al (2012:39) explained poverty in the dimension of lack of power and voice thus, “you know ‘good’ but you cannot do ‘good’. That is, such a person knows what should be done but has not got the means.
” Adopting categorization as a basis for defining poverty generates even more disagreements as to what constitutes poverty at different levels of society such as the individual, household, community, district and regional. OECD (2016:33) states that dimensions and measures of poverty may be inconsistent, which complicates the task of identifying the poor. Lending credence to the divergent views on poverty definition, the World Bank (2011:10) states that “participatory studies have cumulatively shown that the poor also experience and understand their poverty in terms of a range of nonmaterial and intangible qualities such as insecurity, lack of dignity and status or a lack of power or opportunity.” These qualities and characteristics of poverty differ markedly by social group and by geographical and political economic contexts.Furthermore, examining the definition of poverty from the dimension of material well-being reveals yet other varying opinions. The case of a 10-yearold child in Gabon in 1997 as stated in Narayan et al (2012:39) succinctly captures it thus: When I leave for school in the mornings I don’t have any breakfast.
At noon there is no lunch, in the evening I get a little supper, and that is not enough. So, when I see another child eating, I watch him, and if he doesn’t give me something I think I’m going to die of hunger.The perception of this Gabonese child is akin to the song one old woman claimed her siblings used to sing as a result of lack of food to eat. It is translated thus: “Give me the one I will eat in the afternoon, in the night I am ready to forego food, food, food.” Material well-being is always relative.
While some perceive it in terms of ability to meet basic needs such as the provision of three square meals daily, as in the cases above, few perceive it from ability to educate one’s children, provide clothing for the family and relatively comfortable shelter; yet, some perceive it from ability to respond to emergencies by falling back on ones’ savings. The lack of these things is ordinarily perceived as ill-being and by extension, poverty. According to OEC D (2016:30) “economic capability means the ability to earn an income, to consume and to have assets, which are all key to food security, material well-being and social status. These aspects are often raised by poor people, along with secure access to productive financial and physical resources: land, implements and animals, forests and fishing waters, credit and decent employment”. Poverty can be categorized as either relative or absolute on one hand, while on another, it can be classified as permanent or transient. Aliyu (2013:2) explained absolute poverty to be “the condition where an individual or group of people are unable to satisfy their basic requirements for human survival in terms of education, health, housing, feeding employment, transportation, etc.
” Corroborating the above meaning of absolute poverty, Aboyade (2015:7) defined it thus: “the insufficient or total lack of necessities and facilities like food, housing, medical care, education, social and environmental service, consumer goods, recreational opportunities, neighbourhood amenities and transport facilities.” It is a basic fact that what is considered poverty level in one country or community may well be the height of well-being in another. This therefore, infers that poverty may be seen in relative terms. Relative Poverty, according to Aliyu (2013:2) “is a situation where an individual or group of people can be said to have access to his/their basic needs, but is comparatively poor among persons or the generality of the community”. Lending credence to the fact that poverty may be more of a relative concept, Aboyade (2015:7) stated vividly that relative poverty occurs when “people are poverty-stricken when their incomes, even if adequate for survival, fall radically behind that of the community average, they cannot have what the larger community regard as the minimum necessary for decency, and they cannot wholly escape therefore the judgment of the larger community that they are indecent. They are degraded, for in the literal sense, they live outside the grades or categories which the community regards as acceptable.
“Poverty may be viewed from the dimension of permanency or transience. This dimension differentiates poverty based on time or duration on one hand, and distribution as to widespread, individual or concentrated on the other hand. According to Aliyu (2013:2-3) several types of poverty may be distinguished depending on such factors as time or duration (long- or short-term or cyclical) if the poverty is widespread throughout a population, but the occurrence itself is of limited duration; and distribution (widespread, concentrated, individual) if it involves relatively permanent insufficiency of means to secure basic needs.
The condition may be so general as to describe the average level of life in a society or it may be concentrated in relatively large groups in an otherwise prosperous society. There is no doubt that the attempts made above to define poverty have given inkling to the causes of poverty as will be discovered in the subsequent paragraphs. Despite these difficulties, there are ‘compromise’ definitions of poverty generally recognized and used by different people. It may be sufficient to take just the following three: The Central Bank of Nigeria (2016:1) views 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 advantage his or her welfare to the limit of his or her capabilities”. The World Bank (2015) utilized inductive approach to uncover dimension of poverty and therefore defined poverty using many indices.
One of such definitions is that poverty 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.” Yaqub (2014:218) defined poverty as a “condition of privation or want in which a poor individual is incapable of satisfying the minimum basic human needs in such areas as food, housing and clothing, to ensure a decent life or existence”.
There is also the non-material dimension to poverty, which is manifested in incapacities to participate fully in the political and socio cultural activities of one’s community. Simply put, poverty is powerlessness.2.2 Empirical Review2.2.
1. Types and Causes of Poverty in NigeriaThe present statistic about Nigeria poverty level according to The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index by the U.N (2017) is worrisome; these statistics shows that the North West region has the highest poverty level (80.90%) in the country followed by North East with poverty rate of 76.80% and North Central 45.
70%. The South West, South and South East have the following rates of poverty in Nigeria; 19.3%, 25.20% and 27.36% respectively. Different types of poverty exist at different times and stages in different parts of Nigeria, based on the socio-cultural, economic and political environment.
The dividing line between types of poverty is however, thin because of overlapping factors. Sometimes, it is the prefixing adjective that makes the difference, but the need to group poverty for whatever value is still founded. Thus, the various types of poverty are as follows according to Jhingan (1997:432), Haralambos and Herald (2001:86), Onah,( 2006) Absolute poverty: this is a kind of poverty in which the poor are severely deprived of basic needs of life (Onah, 2006). On their part, Haralambos and Herald, views it as the situation where the poor live below the poverty line. It is a state of not having enough resources for the basic needs of life such as food, health, clothes, shelter and good water.
As one of the prominent types of poverty in Nigeria, Onah (2006) maintained that the poor are unable to afford the required resource to acquire the elements necessary to sustain life and health. The greater percent of Nigerians are living below the universal poverty line of U$$ 1 per day, which makes life meaningless to the poor.Relative poverty: Haralambos and Herald (2001:86) Onah (2006:72), all agreed that poverty in this case is measured based on conventional standard of living in the society. According to them, individuals, families and groups in the society can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the type of living conditions and amenities which are customary, or at least widely encouraged and approved in the society to which they belong. Their resources are below those commanded by the average individual or family that they are, in effect, excluded from ordinary living patterns, customs and activities. Continuing, Onah (2006:73) maintained that in Nigeria, the socio-economic inequality has induced classes of people (the rich, middle and poor in the country). The standard of living of various classes varies, as what may be seen as convenient and accommodating by one class might not be by the other class.
Subjective poverty: This is common among Nigerians and seriously increasing. It involves inability to afford good potable water for drinking, inadequate food, shelter due to the activities of the rich who have taken over the control of the state resources (Ije, 2006). In the Niger Delta region of the country, access to potable drinking water has become difficult as virtually all the natural sources of potable water have been polluted by the activities of multinationals and oil exploration companies who are also reluctant to provide alternative water sources (Haralambos and Herald, 2001). Basic amenities generally are scarce in our communities and towns thereby causing high rate of rural-urban migration to the few cities where they are found.
All these results to untold hardships on the citizenry (Onah, 2006).iv. Subsistence poverty: This type of poverty is common among the villagers. Sometimes, they could have access to safe water, adequate food, good shelter, based on the levels but poor because they lack resources to maintain other sources such as good shelter, access to good education, social amenities to mention but a few (Haralambos and Herald, 2001, Onah, 2006:75).
Endemic Poverty: This is a type of poverty caused by low productivity and low income and poor nutrition and health. Since the productivity and income levels of many Nigerians are low, they are bed-ridden with endemic poverty and thus, lack sufficient resources to afford food, good health and shelter. On the other hand, the issue of causes of poverty has witnessed a plethora of views form numerous scholars, public commentators and intellectuals. These views are subject to the time, place and circumstance which invariably bring about the variations.
The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (2005:28), to start with, have submitted that inadequate growth is the main cause of poverty in Nigeria. The lack of growth is compounded by the volatility of the oil sector, which affects a range of activities in the economy. High and growing unemployment increases the number of poor (NEEDS, 2005:29). Other factors that have contributed to the level of poverty in Nigeria include the problems of the productive sectors of the economy, widening income inequality, weak governance, social conflicts and gender, intersectional and environmental issues.Agbebaku (2005:212), positing their views on the caption: “deregulation and poverty in Nigeria”, maintained the following factors as being responsible for poverty in Nigeria. They include bad social policy and cultural values and attitudes, lack of education and training, failure to take risk and make tough choices, inadequate skill on information technology for mass production and economic slums.
Other ones according to the authors are poor leadership, class structure, flood and other natural disasters. 2.2.2. Causes of PovertyThere seems to be narrow disagreement on the causes of poverty as against the difficulty encountered in arriving at a universally accepted definition of poverty. Although writers tend to discuss causes of poverty mostly from their areas of profession, region or gender, there are basic factors that enable the prevalence of poverty.
These basic factors, including macro-economic distortions, effects of globalization, governance, corruption, debt burden, low productivity, unemployment, high population growth rate and poor human resources development etc., may differ from country to country depending on the level of economic development. There are however, many issues involved when looking at the causes of poverty.
Some are fundamental while others are not. While the CBN (2014:12) grouped causes of poverty into two categories “namely low economic growth and market imperfections”, the World Bank (2013:34) reasoned that “one route of investigating the causes of poverty is to examine the dimensions highlighted by poor people”: · Lack of income and assets to attain basic necessities – food, shelter, clothing, and acceptable levels of health and education; Sense of voicelessness and powerlessness in the institutions of state and society; and Vulnerability to adverse shocks, linked to an inability to cope with them.” A careful assessment of the causes will indicate the multidimensional nature of poverty. This indication will no doubt provide a better approach for effective attack on poverty. Aliyu (2013:30) in his own contribution cited other factors as effects of globalization, governance, corruption, debt burden, low productivity, etc. as causes of poverty.
The World Bank in its study: Consultation with the Poor in 1999:17 cited in Salami (2013) posits that, “the impact of a range of possible shocks, trends and cycles were seen to be important influence on local vulnerability and helped to differentiate the vulnerable from the more secure”. The report went further to state that “the risks people face were linked to a number of key aspects of security that affected the poor at different levels of social organization, from the individual to the household to entire communities”. Specifically, the report linked poverty in some instances to some perceived pathologies such as reckless spending and distaste for farming, laziness, over population, bad government and non-payment of compensation for land acquired by government. Galbraith (1971) as captured by the CBN (2014:12) observed causes of poverty differently in three developing regions of the world: the sub- Saharan Africa, Latin America and Asia. He attributed poverty in Sub- Saharan Africa to the “absence of opportunity rather than absence of aptitude” as the countries of this region “have had only a few years” of independence to face the task of economic development. He observed further that “people with requisite education, training, and honesty for performing public tasks are unavailable.” Consequently “taxes are collected in haphazard or arbitrary fashion and public funds are spent inefficiently or for no particular purpose except the reward of the recipients”.
Another area he noted was in the area of law enforcement, which was unreliable, and essential public services, which if they existed, could only make primitive local trade exist with attendant handicaps.Though the above assertions were very much relevant at the time they were made, it is doubtful if all are still relevant today. For instance, it may not be absolutely correct to state that in present day Sub-Saharan Africa “people with requisite education, training, and honesty for performing public tasks are unavailable”. Furthermore, his classification of two broad categories of poverty (case and insular poverty) in United States of America is relevant in the present day Sub-Saharan Africa. For instance, the characteristics of case poverty where he listed some characteristics of the individual or his family in the United States of America to include: “mental deficiency, bad health, inability to adapt to the discipline of modern economic life, excessive procreation, alcohol, insufficient education or perhaps a combination of several of these handicaps” are quite typical of the present day Sub-Saharan Africa. Further search of causes of poverty may lead us to greater disparity; theCBN (2014:13) suggested a summary of the causative factors of poverty, which tried to capture all the pertinent issues raised as:The stage of Economic and Social Development; Low Productivity;Market imperfection;Physical or Environmental Degradation;Structural Shift in the Economy;Inadequate Commitment to Programme Implementation;Political Instability; andCorruption.
These causative factors are usually crisscrossed or intertwined. For instance, most of the causes could be linked to or stemmed from corruption. Aliyu,(2013) linked political instability in Africa to corruption when he stated that, “In Africa, illegal takeover of government through military coup, embezzlement, nepotism, looting, bribery, vote buying and abuse of office are very common.” In fact, Nigeria has, in the recent times, assumed an unenviable position of the most corrupt country in the world.
Corruption has not only been institutionalized but also assumed a national dimension. This has eaten deep into the fabrics of the society and accounts for the reason why efforts so far made for alleviating or reducing poverty has not yielded much results as through it, the bulk of the nation’s wealth have been distributed in favour of the few privileged to the detriment of the majority of Nigerians who continually wallow in abject poverty.Another causative factor of poverty in Nigeria is the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
One may view this as an irony of fate because both institutions are involved in efforts toward reducing poverty. In fact, the World Bank has sponsored so many researches on poverty and its reduction strategies. It has also elevated the issue of poverty and its reduction to a level of global consciousness where governments, institutions and individuals are being sensitized to the consequences of poverty and the need to make concerted efforts towards tackling the malaise. Shah (2010:2) argued that the “IMF and World Bank- prescribed structural adjustment policies means that nations that are lent money are done so on condition that they cut social expenditure (which is vital for economic growth and development) in order to repay the loans.” He further stated that, “many are tied to opening up their economies and being primarily commodity exporters, which for poorer nations lead to a spiraling race to the bottom as each nation must compete against others to provide lower standards, reduced wages and cheaper resources to corporations and richer nations”.
He concluded that “this further increases poverty and dependency for most people”.In Nigeria, unemployment is assuming a crisis-level. Though there are no reliable data for ascertaining the exact number of unemployed Nigerians, it is however evident that unemployment rate is growing at geometric progression based on number of graduates and secondary school leavers without job. This further aggravates the poverty situation. It is estimated that the population of Nigeria is currently about 120 million. The burgeoning population growth has over-stretched the basic social and infrastructural facilities as well as public goods in the face of non-rehabilitation or construction of these facilities as a result of dwindling national resources coupled with insensitivity on the part of political leadership of the nation.
It is more disturbing when it is realized that the population growth averages 2.83% as against GDP growth rate of 2.7 %. It therefore means that resources meant for investment are consumed with little left for development thereby reinforcing the vicious cycle of poverty.
Globalization, which is vigorously being touted as a panacea to economic problems, is on the other hand perceived by some as contributing to widening the poverty gap in most developing countries. Shah (2010:3) accuses globalization as increasing inequality in the world as it maintains the historic unequal rules of trade. He maintains that “around the world, inequality is increasing, while the world is further globalizing. In many cases, international political interests have led to a diversion of available resources from domestic needs to western markets.” He further stated: “Historically, politics and power play by the elite leaders and rulers has meant that people and their land can be controlled, which has further increased poverty and dependency. These have manifested themselves in wars, hot and cold, which are mainly trade and resource-related”. Aliyu (2013:6) approached the effect of globalization from another perceptive entirely though he agreed that it puts developing economies particularly Nigeria in a disadvantaged position.
He succinctly put it thus: “given Nigeria’s political and socio-economic disposition, globalization presented more challenges to the country as it lacks what it takes to be relevant or even adapt and/ or cope with it. Until the country can achieve certain level of good governance, a revamped industrial base, modest economic growth, fairly efficient public infrastructure and utilities, Nigeria shall remain at the receiving end of globalization”. In all, the causes of this state of poverty in the country to this present study can be summarized to, among other factors, include: Corruption; Debt overhang;Unemployment;Low productivity;increase in population growth; Globalization;Unfocused government policies; andLack of effective skills training.With the above divergent factors expressed as being the causes of poverty, it therefore, becomes imperative to find a common base for measuring poverty.2.2.3.
Measurement of Poverty Discourse on the measurement of poverty carries along with it the conceptualization of the menace of poverty in what may look like attempting further definitions of poverty. Liu and Wu (1998) cited in Nwachukwu (2014), in an effort to introduce a debate on how poverty can be measured began by offering a conceptual analysis of poverty. According to the duo, the concern about poverty lies in the identification of the poor. Both poverty research and social policy employ a wide variety of poverty definitions. However, all definitions may be fitted into one of the following categories: – Poverty is having less than an objectively defined absolute minimum. – Poverty is having less than others in society in relative terms.
– Poverty is feeling you do not have enough to get along. Poverty according to the first category of definition is absolute. Poverty according to the second category is relative, and poverty according to the third category is a mixture of absolute and relative poverty.
Defining the level of poverty according to the different definitions under these categories may result in different estimates of the number of poor people in the population. They further stated that there is a dispute in measuring poverty. According to them; the academics, welfare practitioners, government officials and politicians have taken a keen interest in the construction of a poverty line. Politicians are increasingly keen in this respect as government policies have always been criticized as failing to solve the poverty problems. There exists disagreement for the construction of poverty line in theoretical and practical terms.
As seen above, “defining poverty” has always been debatable. “Measuring poverty” is also fraught with disagreements and difficulties. In practice, there is no one agreed method in measuring poverty. In a similar vein, Nwachukwu (2014) indicates the use of poverty line in his study which was estimated using mean household expenditure, which Nigeria poverty profile 2010 report refers to as “money metric analysis”. Nwachukwu States that the national minimum wage pegged at 18,000 applies to only urban wage earners, civil servants and those in formal employment. There is a wide disparity in wage between the rural and urban Nigeria. The national minimum wage does not apply to the rural areas.
More so, quantification of minimum rural wage is difficult because of lack of data, unwillingness of the rural dwellers to disclose their wage and tax status. As such, a number of studies in Nigeria resort to the use of mean expenditure as poverty line. In an effort to conceptualize issues in the measurement of poverty, the questions come as to the choice of variable which scholars believe will affect findings on the composition as well as on the size of the poor population and hence, the policy response will differ accordingly. The key conceptual issues considered are the choice of poverty indicator, unit of analysis and equivalence scales, as well as poverty head-count versus poverty gap (Nwachukwu, 2014) Income is always taken as a single indicator to measure poverty because total consumption of basic needs e.
g. food, housing and clothing, including essential needs like transportation and social activities are difficult to quantify and in most cases non-existent especially in rural areas. Income is therefore taken as a proxy for living standards. The level of income cannot fully reflect the actual standards of living of the poor. Government usually provides non-income benefit such as public health care, housing and education, in order to enhance the quality of life of the poor, these benefits cannot be qualified yet they exist. 2.2.
4. Income as Measurement of Poverty The final measure of poverty that was introduced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was as a result of the non-satisfaction of one dollar-a-day World Bank income measurement. In order to substitute a measure of „human? poverty for the World Banks „income? poverty; the UNDP therefore constructed the human poverty index (HPI). They argue that human poverty should be measured in terms of three (3) key deprivations (Todaro and Smith, 2009). – Life: The fraction of people unlikely to live beyond 40 years of age – Basic Education: percentage of adults who are illiterate – Overall Economic Provisioning: measured by percentage of people without access to safe water plus percentage of children who are underweight for their age (Todaro and Smith, 2009) The two arguments are mere academic exercise because none of them possess a unique disposition from the other. For instance, a dollar yard stick of the World Bank is not capable of explaining the income level of the rural poor that lack statistics to underscore a baseline.
How then can one quantify their living standard in a dollar index? The UNDP human poverty index that is measured in terms of three key deprivations; 40 years life span, basic education and underweight children, are not sufficient to explain poverty in the rural areas. Where does lack of basic infrastructure like roads come in? Where there are illiterate adults but who are power brokers in the village, do you regard them as poor? Income poverty should be measured by individual household expenditure capacity (HEC). This will reflect directly every household’s capacity to spend in one day and in one month. Poverty Head-Count versus Poverty Gap Counting the number of people, or households, below a poverty line is also contentious. However, head count alone cannot reveal the extent of poverty of individuals or households. In order words, it does not tell us how far they are below the poverty line.
Thus determination of the poverty gap is necessary in measuring the extent of poverty. This distinction has a fundamental and guiding effect on the policy on poverty. The policies and resources required to lift out of poverty a large number of people just below the poverty line would be different from those required to raise the standard of living of a smaller number of people far below the poverty line. (Liu and Wu, 1998) quoted in Nwachukwu (2014)Poverty head count versus poverty gap although contentious may be the most useful indicators to measure poverty in rural areas in Nigeria.
First, the rural areas have scanty population size that can make it possible for a head count. The poverty gap between the rural dwellers and the urban inhabitants is noticeable wherever it exists. If you want to make use of income level you may be faced with the problem of quantifying the entire life style of the rural people in monetary terms in order to make use of money metric analysis.
Approaches to Measuring Poverty There are several attempts by scholars at measuring the incidence of poverty in certain areas. Some of which are highlighted below; Quantitative Approach: This situation lends credence to the problem of approaches to measuring poverty. Much of the work on measuring poverty has been quantitative in nature, using statistical techniques to count the number of people in poverty. The advantages of quantitative measures are in their scale and their anonymity (Liu and Wu, 1998) captured in Nwachukwu (2014). If a statistical survey employs a large sample and the respondents are carefully chosen, it can provide an objective picture of the broader group or society from which the sample is selected. Poverty research can then be based upon existing statistical information collected by government of the other international organizations.
When the official statistics only provide a limited picture of the extent of poverty, researchers have to collect their own data by conducting surveys to samples of study targets. However, collecting original data is costly and time-consuming. b.
Qualitative Approach: The qualitative approach in measuring poverty is no doubt as useful as the quantitative approach. Any understanding of poverty requires a focus not just on overall numbers and trends, but also on the different individual experience of the poor and the realities of poverty. Although quantitative approach of poverty has dominated much of poverty research, there is also a long history of qualitative descriptions of the experience of poverty. A typical example is the study conducted by Rowntree on poverty in the United Kingdom in 1901 (LIU &.
WU, 1998) cited in Nwachukwu (2014). Some examples of the qualitative approach include the reports issued by Townsend in 1960?s and 1970’s detailing the lives of the poor in the United Kingdom and a research report entitled “Hardship Britain” issued by Professor COHEN also of the United Kingdom in 1992 describing the lives and problems encountered by the poor population in the United Kingdom. A qualitative approach was also used in a research conducted for Hong Kong by Hong Kong caritas in May 1997. The report entitled; the different faces of poverty in Hong Kong.
The objective of the study is to contribute to the understanding of the different forms of poverty in Hong Kong (LIU and WU, 1998), cited in Nwachukwu (2014) The two approaches provide a framework with which to measure the incidence of poverty. Put simply, the qualitative approach offers a more practical and participatory approach to measuring poverty because it is only by experiencing the poor and appreciating the realities of poverty that one can strongly analyze the vagaries of the conditions of the poor. This is not an activity for one day. Go down to the rural areas, stay with the villagers for one week to one month, you will feel the purse of poverty and you shall bring forth a good measurement.2.2.5.
Effects of PovertyPoverty involves a complex array of risk factors that adversely affect the population in a multitude of ways. It has a wide ranging and often devastating effects. World Bank (2016) highlighted five major consequences of poverty. These are: malnutrition and salvation, Infectious disease and exposure to the element, Mental illness and drug dependence, crime and violence and lastly Long-term effect.A direct effect of poverty can be seen in the virtual paucity of basic infrastructure and social amenities such as roads, health, educational institutions, water supply and other social services.
Overt poverty shows up among the under nourished population, particularly the vulnerable groups, most of them children and women (Agena: 2008). Poverty destroys aspirations, hope and happiness. In Nigeria, as in other poverty stricken nations, this is the poverty one can feel. Poverty affects tolerance of others, support of civil liberties and openness towards foreigners, it also affects ones disposition to participate in community activities, interpersonal trust and self-satisfaction (Amoo, 1997; Huglehart, 1997; Fair backs, 2000; 271). Belo (2003) in his contribution asserts that accelerating of rape, armed robbery and all facets of violence can be largely attributed to the incidence of unemployment and poverty; he added that unemployment is one of the core causes of a rising level of social disorder and insecurity permeating the country. The poor is perpetually unhappy with him in a world of material consideration. Taking cognizance of these authors contribution, the researcher is of the view that it is apt to agree that poverty has a great devastation effects on youths family and society in general which unleashes human suffering and untold hardship.
2.2.6. Poverty Reduction Policies in Nigeria from 1999-2015Several poverty reduction programmes have been implemented in Nigeria before 1999; it should be noted however, that some of the poverty reduction programmes in Nigeria especially during the early years of attaining independence, took the form of agricultural revitalization programmes. This was because Nigeria as a country back then largely depended on agriculture before the discovery of oil; bulk of the poor are rural dwellers who are mostly farmers, it is only natural that if government embarks on poverty reduction efforts, it will be geared towards the major source of livelihood of the people.
We shall review some of these projects, stating their implementation strategies and the reasons why they failed to reduce poverty in Nigeria. The government of President Olusegun Obasanjo, from inception on May 29, 1999 had expressed deep concern about the rising incidence of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria. Ogwumike (2012:4), posited that from the inception of that very democratic government, many Nigerians were meant to believe that poverty and unemployment alleviation was the ultimate goals of the government. The government realized that if the worsening poverty situation is not checked, the future of the nation would be doomed. In light of this, the government embarked on poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), aimed at making a dent on poverty and job creation. (Obadan, 2013:10; Ogwumike, 2010:4).
Specifically, Oyesami (2015:10) and Omotota, 2008) reports that government has put in place, a National poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in the year 2001. In the attempt to overcome the inadequacies of previous programmes, the Blue print of NAPEP has the following feature (Aliu 2013); It adopted the participatory bottom up in programme implementation and monitoring;It provides for rational framework which lays emphasis on appropriate and sustainable institutional arrangement; It provides for pro-active and affirmative action’s deliberately targeted at women, youths, farmers and the disabled;It provides for technology acquisition and development particularly for agriculture and industry;It provides for integrated schemes for youth empowerment, development of infrastructure, provision of social welfare services, and exploitation of natural resources; inter alias.According to Elumilade, Asaolu and Aderati (2006), the programme was aimed at eradicating absolute poverty and it consist of four (4) schemes namely:Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), which is concerned with providing unemployed youth opportunities in skills acquisition, employment and wealth creation. To achieve this, the programme was further subdivided into Capacity Acquisition Programme, Mandatory Attachment Programme, and Credit Delivery programme;Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme (RIDS), which deals with the provision and development of infrastructure needs in the areas of transport, energy, water and communication, especially in rural areas;Social Welfare Service Scheme (SOWESS), which aims at ensuring the provision of basic social services, including quality primary and special education, strengthening the economic power of farmers, providing primary health care. And so onNatural Resource Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS), which seeks to promote participatory and sustainable development of agriculture, mineral and water resources. The target of NAPEP is to completely wipe out poverty and unemployment by the year 2010. (Oyesanmi, 2015:9), Obadan (2013:7) maintained that among the early activities of government were the launching of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme, the poverty alleviation programme and the constitution of the Almed Joda Panel in 1999 and the Ango Abduuahi committee in 2000.
The immediate concern of the panel/committee was the streamlining and rationalization of existing poverty alleviation institutions, and the coordinated implementation and monitoring of relevant schemes and programmes. Part of the problems identified with the programme included over centralization, unsustainable design, uncoordinated management, over-politicization, irregular payment, lack of monitoring logistics and high-level and low-level corruptionThe Civilian administration of late president Yar’ Adua that started in 2007 proposed a seven point Agenda of development. The main objectives and principles of the agenda include improving the general wellbeing of Nigerians and making the country become one of the biggest economics in the world by the year 2020. However, to implement these programmes, government placed emphasis on complementation, collaboration and coordination between the various tiers of government on the one hand; and between government, donor agencies, nongovernmental organizations and local communities on the other hand.
Obadan (2013:2), Contributed however that at the end of 2000 budget implementation, many Nigerians were yet to feel the impact of government, poverty seems to have defied the efforts of different administration. However, just like the poverty reduction programmes of the administration of Obasanjo, the programmes under the 7 point agenda failed due to the un-sudden death of the then President Yar’ Adua; the lack of continuity with government policies in Nigeria; Corruption and lack of political will to holistically implement these policies. Again, the government has also tried to reduce poverty and unemployment in recent times through upward review of salaries and wages (Ogwumike 2010:11). According to NBS (2016) under former President Jonathan administration the SURE – P programme was launched on February 2012 with a focus on management and investment of Federal government savings derived from proceeds accruing from the partial removal of the subsidy on petroleum products; the SURE – P is the flagship of recent efforts to provide job opportunities to graduates of tertiary institutions.
It is more or less a whole range of activities and programmatic schemes, including the Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) Community Services Scheme (CSS) Vocational Training Scheme (VTS), and Community Services, Women and Youth Empowerment (CSWYE), among others. One of the more successful schemes of the SURE – P is the GIS, which offered unemployed graduates the opportunity to undergo a one year internship in firms, banks, ministries, government departments and agencies, as well as in small and medium enterprises (SMEs), relevant to beneficiaries’ disciplines. The purpose of GIS is to help beneficiaries acquire the appropriate skills and practical knowledge that will make them more suitable for the job market 50,000 graduates were selected in the first scheme out of some 85,000 applicants. 2000 firms expressed interest to host graduates while only 293 firms were approved.
A firm must show evidence of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Government paid N18, 000 stipends to interns. There were plans to increase by 2014/15 to 100,000 participants.
Similarly, in 2012 the YOU-WIN Program was designed to create job opportunities specifically, again, for graduates of tertiary institutions who decided to go into business as entrepreneurs. Participants are required to develop and execute their own business ideas that will provide jobs for themselves and other unemployed youths who may or may not be graduates. As projected, the programme was meant to provide jobs for between 40,000 and 50,000 job seekers.
According to NPC (2015), by creating 40,000 to 50,000 new jobs, “the program was expected to encourage expansion, specialization and job spinoffs of existing businesses, and enables young entrepreneurs to have a broad professional and business network”. The program has endured. This is an evidence of success. From the analysis on YOU-Win and Sure-P, this study is interested in asking these questions, what has happened to these programmes? Was the objectives of these programmes achieved? Why has the present administration of President Buhari introduced N-Power, rather than continued with these programmes? These questions will keep begging for answers, as Nigerians continue to observe the effectiveness of N-Power as a programme designed to reduce unemployment and poverty in Nigeria. This study, however, admitted that there is no consistent trend of poverty rates in Nigeria.
An increase in one or two years is sometimes followed by a decline in the subsequent years. But the fact remains that the tree of poverty is growing progressively in our contemporary Nigeria, except some radical measures are adopted to retard its growth by the deliberate actions and reactions of genuine leadership.2.2.
7. Constraints to Effectiveness of Poverty Reduction Policies in NigeriaAlthough analyzing each of the Poverty Reduction Strategies in Nigeria looks ideal, such exercise has been done by several studies and they seem to agree substantially on the reasons for the failure of the numerous poverty intervention measures. Jega (2013:6) was unequivocal in his agreement with problems identified by Ajakaiye (2012) as the bane of poverty alleviation/eradication programmes in Nigeria. He stated that ” Ajakaiye has identified the following problems associated with the successive poverty reduction programmes, which I wholly agree with:Policy inconsistency and poor governance;Ineffective targeting of the poor (leading to leakage of benefits to unintended beneficiaries);Unwieldy scope of the programmes resulting in resources being thinly spread among projects; Overlapping of functions which ultimately led to institutional rivalry and conflicts;Lack of complementarities from beneficiaries; Uncoordinated sectoral policy initiatives;Lack of involvement of social partners and other stakeholders in planning, implementation and evaluation; andPoor human capital development and inadequate funding.”The Presidential Panel on Streamlining and Rationalization of Poverty Alleviation Institutions and Agencies in its main report of (1999: 10) listed some reasons it considered most relevant that account for the failure of the wide array of Nigeria’s poverty intervention measures. The reasons accord substantially to those above with the following as additions: Gross mismanagement and lack of financial discipline;Poor and inconsistent funding;Policy inconsistencies occasioned by frequent changes in Government and absence of in-built sustainability mechanism; andAbsence of a coordinating body necessary for effective implementation, co-ordination, planning, monitoring and evaluation of achievements and constraints.
The Poverty Reduction Programmes of Nigeria, like many other programmes in the nation, are always brilliant in conception but their implementations are anything but effective thereby vitiating the objectives. While some of the poverty reduction programmes are vague in scope as a result of the weak and ad-hoc nature of their conception, design and identification, some are conceived ab-initio to fail as they were only designed for the benefit of just very few privileged instead of the target poor. In addition, their targets were vaguely and loosely stated thereby giving room for lack of clear focus. Moreover, corruption, nepotism, unnecessary politicization, over centralization, uncoordinated management, ineffective or poor monitoring mechanisms, etc characterized most of the programmes. Failure to insulate the poverty reduction programmes from instability within the political, macroeconomic and policy environments significantly contributed to the ineffectiveness of poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria.
As it has earlier been pointed out, poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon that must be attacked with a multidirectional and integrative approach. However, the approaches had been so unidirectional that little achievements made in one direction, if any, are usually eroded by problems emanating from other dimensions. The conception and implementation of most of the poverty alleviation programmes were not hinged on research. Where some are based on research, they are not usually based entirely on the result of the said research efforts but are whittled down to the extent that the main thrust of the research would have been lost before its implementation.Gaps in LiteratureThe literatures reviewed, have actually focused on the meaning of poverty, types of poverty, effects of poverty and the concept of development, the factors that leads to poverty in Nigeria and the implementation of poverty reduction programmes from 1999 to 2015. The available literatures have also discussed the why the past programmes failed and why poverty is still growing despite these programmes by government. For instance, it was noted that globalization, poor leadership, lack of proper implementation of programmes by past and present government; and unemployment are some of the major causes of poverty in Nigeria.
However, the literatures reviewed seem to have ignored the level of poverty in Karu local government and its effect on the masses. We may not have to forget the fact that the Karu local government area of Nasarawa state houses most people working in Abuja, yet these poor civil servant can be argue to be amongst the poor in Karu local government and yet few research has been done on why despite their proximity to the FCT, they lack the basic social amenities such as electricity, good motor -able roads; pipe borne water, good health care facilities; qualitative and quantitative education etc. In all the works reviewed, it is evident that the questions we posed have not been adequately addressed. In other words, a gap still exists in the literature. This is so because it has not been ascertained whether or not there is a link between poverty reduction programmes and the level of development in Karu local government area of Nasarawa state.
It is therefore, this lacuna that this research intends to fill in this study.2.3 Theoretical Framework: Elite Theory2.3.1 Elite TheoryThis study seeks to address the subject matter within a framework of elite power theory. Elite theory of power can be traced back to the 19th century and was popularized by Mosca (1939) Pareto (1935) and Michels.(1915) The elite theory accepts a broad division of society into dominant and dependent groups.
To this school of thought, the society is divided into two groups; the rulers and the ruled. The ruling class controls most of the wealth, power and prestige in society and exercises all power, whatever form of government might be adopted. Michels (1915) for instance insisted that majority of human beings are apathetic, indolent and slavish and they are permanently incapable of self-government.
Leaders take advantage of these qualities to perpetuate themselves in power. They employ all kinds of methods- oratory, persuasions, playing upon sentiment in order to fool them, (Gauba, 2006:440; Varma, 2004:149) It is “impossible” to discuss the level of poverty in Nigeria without considering the role of the Nigerian political elite. For in the final analysis it is from the political elite that the recruitment of the political leadership – the operators of democratic institutions and policy makers are made.
One may ask this question-What is the nature of these elite, is it coherent and driven by a national vision? On whose interest are policies formulated and implement? The elite arguably benefits from most of the poverty reduction policies formulated and implemented in Nigeria due to their “corrupt nature”; this has been to the detriment of the masses that leave in abject poverty, resides in slums and are denied basic amenities such as health care, education; power supply; good roads and quantitative and qualitative education by the ruling elites; More so, the elite employ all such of croaked manners to gain power and when they attain positions they use all such of means at their disposals to retain it. Furthermore, the elite are responsible for resource allocation in Nigeria, suffice to say, that, the Nigerian elite allocate resources to the poverty reduction programmes and policies on behalf of the masses, yet, these policies are formulated without considering the masses and in situations where the masses are considered, implementation becomes a problem. It is imperative to state at this juncture that the theory is important to this research as it showed how cohesive the elite are when it comes to decision making at the detriment of the masses.
The elite are also responsible for policy formulation; suffice it to say that the success and level of development is designed, formulated and pursued by the elite in a country. It is in this regard that this study argue that the poor state of development, increase in the poverty level; failure of most poverty reduction policies witnessed in Nasarawa state and Nigeria at large is the fault of the elite who either formulate wrong policies, or failed in the past to implement people center policies Be that as it may, the elite theory like every other social science theory has it criticism; the elite theory has not (so far) provided an efficient universal measurement of unity/disunity .Although it provides a plausible understanding of democratization and democratic erosion, it does not provide a potent tool to predict them. Despite criticism, the elite theory is apt in the discus of this study, as it enables us to understand who formulate and implement policies in general; especially as it as to do with topic under study.2.
3.2 Weakness of the TheoryThe elite theory like every other academic theory, has some limitations and weaknesses, elite theory wrongly assumes inequality as the basis of society. Fundamentally, all are equal in the sense that all are capable of developing their faculties and through these occupy any or every public office.
Secondly, the theory wrongly reposes all faith in the ability of the elite to the total exclusion of the ability of the masses and finally the elite theory involves an inherent and in-built thesis in favour of totalitarian political system. Etc2.3.3 Strength of the Theory The significance of elite theory cannot be overemphasized despite its weaknesses, it is imperative to state at this juncture that the theory is apt to this research as it showed how cohesive the elite are when it comes to decision making at the detriment of the masses. The elite are also responsible for policy formulation; suffice it to say that the success and level of development is designed, formulated and pursued by the elite in a country. It is in this regard that this study observe that, the crisis of poverty in New Karu local government of Nasarawa state and Nigeria at large is the elite who either formulate wrong policies, or failed in the past to implement people center policy.
Also, the elite theory showed that most of the poverty reduction policies failed due to the corrupt level of the elite, the politicization of the policies and the lack of political will by the elite to implement these policies.CHAPTER THREERESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.1 Research DesignThe research design that was adopted for this study was the survey research method.
As the name implies, survey is a research method which focuses on a representative sample driven from the entire population of the study. 3.2. Population of the Study The research population of this study encompassed the total number of people residing in New Nyanya, Mararaba, New Karu, Ado, one man village, and Masaka under Karu local government of Nasarawa state Nigeria. The population, according to Nasarawa State Bureau of Statistics (2016) is 2,142,839District Population Size PercentageNew Nyanya362,863 17%Mararaba705,385 33%New Karu384,729 18%Ado 198, 121 9%Masaka478,165 22%One Man Village 135,76 1%Total 2,142,839 100%3.
4 Sampling TechniqueThe study adopted simple random sampling technique. Simple random sampling defines a sampling technique where every member of the population has equal and independent chance of being selected in the sample to be studied. 3.5 Sample SizeFor effective coverage of the population area, this study adopted the Yamane (1964) formula. n= N1+N (e)2 Where; n=sample sizeN= population sizee= significant level/ error margin1=constant level for the purpose of the study N= 100e=5% = 0.05 2,142,8391+ 2,142,839 (0.
05)22,142,8391+ 2,142,839 (0.0025) 2,142,839 5358.09=399 n= 400To determine the minimum number of respondents from each of the six districts under New Karu local government that will be giving questionnaire, Bowley proportional allocation formula was applied n= (n1)N Where; n = the sample size n1 = No of respondents in each town. N = PopulationDistrict Population Size Sample SizeNew Nyanya362,863 68Mararaba705,385 132New Karu384,729 72Ado 198, 121 37Masaka478,165 89One Man Village 135,76 2Total 2,142,839 4003.6 Sources of data Collection Data was collected by administering copies of well-structured questionnaire to the respondents who are residents in Maraba, Ado, New Nyanya, New Karu, One Man Village and Masaka in Karu local government area of Nasarawa state; copies of the questionnaire will be administered by the researcher to the respondents through face to face contact.
Similarly, textbooks, journals and articles relevant to the research were utilized. 3.7. Technique of data Analysis Simple tables, frequency and percentages was used in the presentation and analysis of data generated for the study. These statistical tools were used because they are suitable means of breaking down and analyzing the generated data from the field. CHAPTER FOURDATA PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS4.
1 Data Presentation Analysis4.1.1 Rate of Questionnaire ReturnsOut of 400 questionnaires distributed to the respondents in Karu local government of Nasarawa state, 399 was successfully filled and returned. The rate of return of the questionnaires by each category of respondents under study was presented in table 4.
1.1 below.Table 4.1.1: Distribution and Return of QuestionnaireArea Number of Questionnaires Administered Number of Questionnaires Returned Percentage of rate of returned on the sampleNew Nyanya68 68 17%Mararaba132 131 33%New Nyanya72 72 18%Ado 37 37 9%Masaka89 89 22%One man village 2 2 1%Total 400 399 100Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.
Shows the total number of questionnaires distributed and returned. 400 questionnaires was administered, 399 questionnaires was successfully returned which formed 100%. Table 4.
1.2: Sex of RespondentsSex Response Percentage (%)Male 203 51%Female 196 49%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.2 revealed that 51% of the respondents were male and 49% respondents were female.
Table 4.1.3: Age distribution of RespondentsAge Response Percentage (%)20 -29 50 12%30 -39 186 47%40-Above 163 41% Total 399 100% Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.
Table 4.1.3 revealed that 12% of the respondents were of the age bracket between 20 and 29, 47% represent respondents between 30 and 39 and 41% respondents represent the age bracket from 40 and above.
Table 4.1.4: Marital StatusVariables Response Male Female Percentage %Single 174 118 56 44%Married 225 85 140 56%Divorced – – – -Widowed/Widower – – – -Total 399 203 196 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.
1.4 showed that 44% of the respondents were single, and 56% of the respondents were married. Table 4.1.5 Level of Education QualificationQualification Response Percentage (%)M.SC/PH.
D 9 2%HND/B.SC 230 58 %OND 77 19%SSCE/GCE 83 21%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.
1.5 revealed that 2% of the respondents represent those with M.Sc. and Ph.
D qualification, 58% represent respondents with HND/ B.Sc. qualifications; 19% of the respondents had OND qualifications and 21% represent respondents with SSCE/ GCE. From these statistics it can be observed that the respondents were educated enough to understand the topic under research.
Table 4.1.6: Are you aware of any poverty alleviation policy of government in New Karu local government of Nasarawa state?Variables Response Percentage %Yes 277 69%No 122 31%TOTAL 399 100% Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.6 showed that 69% of the respondents were aware of any poverty alleviation policy of government in Karu local government of Nasarawa State and 31% of the respondents were not aware of any poverty alleviation policy of government in Karu local government of Nasarawa state. From this table it can be understood that government policy on poverty reduction is existing at Karu local government of Nasarawa state.
Table 4.1.7: Are there effects of poverty in Karu local government of Nasarawa state?Variables Response Percentage%Yes 399 100%No – -TOTAL 399 100% Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.
7 showed that 100% of the respondents believed that there are effects of poverty in Karu local government of Nasarawa state. The statistics above shows that Karu local government area of Nasarawa state has been affected by poverty since its creation.Table 4.1.8: What do you think will reduce poverty in your community?Variables Response Percentage %Education 212 53%Distribution of Bikes – -Giving out soft loans – -Provision of Amenities – -All of the above 187 47%Total 399 100% Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.
8 showed that 53% of the respondent argued that provision of education is the panacea to the reduction of poverty in Karu local government and 47% of the respondents opined that the provision of education, giving out soft loans and the provision of social amenities is the best way through which the government can reduce poverty in Karu local government of Nasarawa state.Table 4.1.9: How would you classify poverty alleviation policies in Karu Local government area?Variables Response Percentage %Sectorial 223 59 %Sub-sectorial 132 33%Reliable – Community Rural Dev. 44 11%Total 399 100Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.
1.9 showed that 59% of the respondents believed that the poverty alleviation policies in Karu are sectorial, 33% of the respondents said the policies are sub-sectorial and 11% of the respondents are community rural development.Table 4.1.10: How would you assess the participation of people in poverty reduction programme?Variables Responses Percentage %Low 238 59%Very low 118 30%High 43 11%Very High – -Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.
1.10 showed that 59% of the respondents were of the view that the participation of people in poverty reduction programme is low, 30%of the respondents were of the view that the participation of people in poverty reduction programme is very low and 11% of the respondents were of the view that the participation of people in poverty reduction programme is high. Table 4.1.11: What do you think has influenced or impeded people’s participation in these programme?Variables Response Percentage %Illiteracy – -Lack of awareness – -Lack of transparency in its implementation 135 34%All of the above 264 66%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.
11 showed that 34% of the respondents were of the view that lack of transparency in it implementation has influenced or impeded people’s participation in these programme and 66% of the respondents were of the view that illiteracy, lack of awareness and the lack of transparency in its implementation has influenced or impeded people’s participation in these programme.Table 4.1.12: Are there some remedies to the problems identified above? Variables Response Percentage%Yes 362 91%No 37 9%TOTAL 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017 Table 4.
1.12 revealed that 91% of respondent agreed that there some remedies to the problems identified above and 9% of respondent said that there some remedies to the problems identified above.Table 4.1.
13: If your answer above is yes, identify them?Variables Response Percentage %Educating the people – -Establishing skills acquisition centres – -Creating awareness to the people – -All of the above 399 100%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.13 showed that 100% of the respondents were of the view that educating the people, establishing skills acquisition centers and creating awareness to the people is the best way to improve the poverty alleviation policies in Karu local government of Nasarawa state.Table 4.
1.14: What are the effect of Poverty in Karu local government of Nasarawa state?Variables Response Percentage %Encourages prostitution 47 12%Encourages Vandalization- -Leads to arm robbery 123 31%All of the above 229 57%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.
14 showed that 12% of the respondents agreed that poverty encourages prostitution amongst females in Karu local government, 31% of the respondent were of the opinion that poverty leads to arm robbery in the area and 57% of the respondents were of the opinion that poverty leads to prostitution, vandalization, and arm robbery in Karu local government of Nasarawa state.Table 4.1.15: Does poverty paralyze development in Karu local government?Variables Response Percentage %Yes 211 53%No 188 47%TOTAL 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.15 showed that 53% of the respondents agreed that poverty paralyze development in Karu local government and 47% of the respondents observed that poverty does not paralyze development in Karu local government.
Table 4.1.16: In what way does poverty affects development in Karu local government?Variables Response Percentage %Reduces revenue generation of the area 180 45 %Discourages fund raising – -Reduces investment – -All of the above 219 55%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.Table 4.1.16 showed that 45% of the respondents agreed that poverty reduces government revenue generation and as such affects development of the area and 55% of the respondents were of the opinion that poverty affect the development of Karu by reducing revenue generation, discouraging fund raising and reduces investment.
Table 4.1.17: Most public policies targeted at poverty alleviation In Nigeria do not address the actual needs of the rural populaceVariables Response Percentage %Yes 351 88%No 48 12%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017.
Table 4.1.17 showed that 88% of the respondents agreed that most public policies targeted at poverty alleviation In Nigeria do not address the actual needs of the rural populace and 12% of the respondents disagreed that most public policies targeted at poverty alleviation In Nigeria do not address the actual needs of the rural populace.
Table 4.1.18: The participation of people in these programmes has been politicized and selective, for political loyalists only.Variables Response Percentage %Yes 367 92%No 32 8%Total 399 100%Sources: Questionnaire administered 2017Table 4.1.18 showed that 92% of the respondents agreed that the participation of people in these programmes has been politicized and selective, for political loyalists only and 8%of the respondents disagreed that the participation of people in these programmes has been politicized and selective, for political loyalists only.
4.2 Discussion of Findings.The study was carried out on poverty reduction Policies in Nigeria: A Study of Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, 1999-2015.
The following were discovered:The various poverty alleviation policies of government e.g. OFN, DFRRI, PBN, NIPE, FEAP, NAPEP etc have not positively impacted on the people. The socio-economic conditions in the country are not conducive for sustainable national development. The country today is faced with threats to national security, and corporate existence arising from the activities of some interest groups, inter-ethnic conflicts, religious conflicts, resource control and youth restiveness; all have potential to destabilize the country and scare away foreign investment in the country and resultant poverty that follows.
Most public policies targeted at poverty alleviation in Karu local government and the country at large do not actually address the needs of the people, especially the rural populace. This is evident in the manipulation and diversion of funds to family members and political loyalists. The programmes are also characterized by lack of honesty, accountability and fairness etc.The non-implementation of poverty alleviation policies by successive governments has negatively affected the populace. This is evident especially during changes of governments, hence the various acronyms and nomenclatures given to these poverty alleviation palliatives e.
g. NDE, DFRRI, OFN, FEAP and NAPEP etc.The upsurge of social vices in the country is as a result of the prevailing poverty in the country. There is mass unemployment, very low GDP, absence of basic infrastructures, poor health care system, and poor educational management, lack of access to capital amongst others.CHAPTER FIVESUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND REOMMENDATIONS5.1 SummaryThe study was carried out on poverty reduction Policies in Nigeria: A Study of Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, 1999-2015.
In other to achieve the objectives of this study, it was structured into five different chapters. Attempts have been made to show that past and existing strategies have not adequately addressed the issues of poverty alleviation in Karu local government area of Nasarawa state. Poverty alleviation is about how to reverse the poverty causing processes. Consequently, poverty alleviation programmes ought to be specific.
The study analyzed the remote and immediate causes of poverty in Nigeria and argues that poverty in Nigeria is prevalent and endemic. The causes identified include: lack of employment, inadequate access to such assets as land and capital, minimal access by the poor to credit facilities, lack of participation by the poor, failure to draw the poor into the design of development programmes and.1arge scale corruption. The study also revealed that although poverty alleviation initiatives have relatively impacted positively on the lives of the people especially the poor, such impact has been marginal and has not led to the overall reduction or the elimination of poverty in Karu Local government area of Nasarawa state.5.2 ConclusionDespite the abundant human and natural resources available in Nigeria, majority of its citizens are extremely poor. The current estimate of people who live below the poverty line is higher than what was obtainable before the discovery of oil in Nigeria.
Historically, the Nigerian poverty situation could be traced to the colonial educational system. The colonialists prepared the early-educated Nigerians for white colar jobs. Therefore, poverty is on the increase in Nigeria and poverty trend could be traced to Nigeria’s colonial history. The oil boom of 1971 to 1973 improved the welfare of Nigerians and poverty declined.
Also, there was an economic growth from 1985 to 1992, which led to a significant reduction in the number of poor people. However, the decline in incomes and welfare from 1993 was due to the reversal of government policies, which increased the percentage of poor people. Therefore, modest economic growth on its own can reduce poverty; while the reversal of government policies could aggravate poverty situations. Certain factors are responsible for the steady increase in poverty within the country.
These include: fluctuating oil prices in the international market, poor macroeconomics and sectorial policies and servicing of huge external debts by the Nigerian government. It is further compounded by government’s investment in unproductive ventures and large-scale corruption in the polity. Consequently, the high standard of living experienced by Nigerians in the 70s declined in the 90s. This could be attributed to falling oil prices at the world market, as earlier on stated.
Poverty is a human condition, which affects about 70 percent of Nigerians. It is characterized by hunger, unemployment, and lack of adequate shelter, clothing and self-esteem. It is also characterized by humiliation, hardship and lack of a sense of dignity.
This has led to the poor persons not to participate or influence the community in which they live. It is clear that both in urban and rural areas, the lower the level of education, the higher and the chance of being poor. Also, in the two extremes of the society, there is a wide consensus that the incidence of poverty amongst women is very high and that they account for a great population of the poor. So, poverty is strongly influenced by educational background, age and gender. It is reported that 70 percent of Nigerians are poor and 95 percent of the extremely poor live in rural areas.5.
3 RecommendationsIt against the findings of this study that , the researcher recommends the following as a catalyst of reducing poverty in Karu local government and Nigeria at large. Government policy on poverty alleviation should follow a multi-sectorial approach where all the stakeholders are given specific roles to play.Government should determine how the intended beneficiaries are to be identified to ensure that the benefits reach them directly.
Government should initiate a comprehensive method of sustaining the policies and programmes over a specified period of time.The poor should be drawn into the design of programmes and policies that affect them. Towards this, a Bottom Top approach should be adopted in the conceptualization and the design of poverty alleviation policies in Karu local government area.Government’s poverty alleviation policies in Karu local government area should be backed by and supported with comprehensive public enlightenment programme at the area such as Mararaba, New Nyanya, Ado and Masaka etc so as to draw the people massively to the programme. Poverty alleviation programmes should be packaged to cater for different vocations in different geographical zones. For instance, the riverine and arid areas should enjoy designed-to-type poverty alleviation programmes to enhance local people engaged in marine life and farming activities.Permanent Ministry of Poverty, Welfare and Rural Development should be created by Nasarawa state, and be tasked with the welfare, poverty reduction and rural development. With this in place, there would be continuity in the programmes relating to poverty and rural development, instead of ad-hoc arrangements so far.All those likely to participate in any form of poverty programmes and rural development should undergo capacity building and ethical orientation training.The Federal, State and Local Governments should prescribe adequate and severe sanctions against anybody or group or corporate entity found to embezzle, misappropriate or undermine the resources provided for poverty programmes and rural development.Legislation on budgetary allocation of at least 40% of total budget or monthly revenue accruable to the States and Local Governments should be made mandatory, for poverty programmes and policies in Nigeria.5.4 Limitation of the StudyIn the course of carrying out this study, a number of constraints were encountered such as, much time was spent on carrying out this research study from the printing and distribution of questionnaires to the target population, rather than whole population which was difficult to do. Carrying out this research involves a lot of money. This includes travelling from one area to the other gathering vital data for the study; money was expended on the printing of questionnaire, typesetting and binding of the research work into a booklet; indeed, generous incentives for both field officers and respondents in order to elicit their co-operation. The researcher was faced with the problem of some respondents not co-operating fully in the providing answers to the questionnaire, seeing the exercise as an unnecessary distraction from their businesses. There was also the problem of some respondents having misconception about the whole exercise, because they thought providing certain information about them on issues were going to implicate them and the availability of some vital materials for the study was not without difficulties. Vital documents like journals, literature and other relevant sources of secondary data collection were encountered with some degree of hardship. Accessing the Internet for vital and relevant data was also not easy. However, in spite of the limitations, the overall objectives of the research were accomplished, as solutions were provided to tackle limitationsREFERENCESAgbebaku, C.A. et.al (2005) “The Eradication of Poverty in the Era of Deregulation in the Downstream Sector of the Nigerian Oil Industries”, in Akpotor A. S et. al (2005): Deregulation and Globalization in Nigeria: Issues and perspectives. Epkoma: Ambrose Alli University Publishing House.Agena, J.E. (2008). “The Politics of Poverty Reduction in Nigeria: A Study of the Activities of Ebonyi State Community Based Poverty Reduction Agency” African Journal of Political and Administrative and Studies (AJPAS) vol. 4 No. 1 Pp. 193-208.Ajakaiye, O. 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Modern Political Theory. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House ltd.World Bank (2015). Poverty in the Age of Globalization. World Bank, WashingtonQUESTIONNAIRE: POVERTY REDUCTION POLICIES IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF NEW KARU LOCAL GOVERNEMNT AREA OF NASARAWA STATE. 1999-2015School of Post Graduate Studies,Department of Political ScienceNasarawa State University,Keffi,Nasarawa state.Dear Sir/Ma, REQUEST FOR COMPLETION OF QUESTIONNAIREI am Abebe Paulinus Osozokhal a PG student of the above named department and Institution conducting research on the Topic ” Poverty Reduction Policies in Nigeria: A Study of New Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, 1999-2015″ in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirement for the Award of Masters of Science in Political Science (Public Policy Analysis).This exercise is purely academic and guarantees confidentiality of responses and comments. Please kindly check the options that best explain your disposition to the questions and ensure that your choices are objective and devoid of biasSECTION A: BIO DATA1. What is your sex? (a) Female (b) Male 2. What is your Age? (a) Between 20 and 29 (b) Between 30 and 39 (c) From 40 and above 3. What is your marital status? Married (b) Single (C) Divorced (d) Widow/Widower 4. What is your educational qualification? (a) SSCE/GCE (b) OND (C)HND/B.SC (d) M.SC/PH.D SECTION BTick (_) to indicate the answer that appeal to youAre you aware of any poverty alleviation programme of government in Karu local government of Nasarawa state?Yes ( ) No ( )Are there effects of poverty in Karu local government of Nasarawa state? Yes ( ) No ( )What do you think will reduce poverty in your community?Education ( ) Distribution of motor bikes( ) Giving out soft loans to youths ( ) provision of social amenities in New Karu( )How would you classify poverty alleviation programme in Nigeria?Sectorial ( ) Sub-sectorial ( ) Reliable ( ) Community Rural Development ( )How would you assess the participation of people in the programme?Low ) Very low( ) High( ) Very High ( )What do you think has influenced or impeded people’s participation in these programme?Illiteracy ( ) Lack of awareness( ) Lack of transparency in its implementation( ) lack of incentives from government ( )Are there some remedies to the problems identified above? Yes ( ) No ( )If your answer above is yes, identify them?(a). Educating the people( )(b). Establishment of skill acquisition centers ( ) (c). creating awareness to the people. ( )(d) All of the above ( ) What are the effects of Poverty in New Karu Nasarawa state? it encourages prostitution among the females ( )it encourages vandalism ( ) it leads to armed robbery( ) all of the above ( ) Does poverty paralyze development in Karu local government?Yes ( ) No ( )In what way does poverty affects development in Karu local government?(a). reduce revenue generation of the local government area. ( )(b). Discourages fund raising for development projects ( )(c). Reduces investment ( )(d). all of the above ( )Most public policies targeted at poverty alleviation In Nigeria do not address the actual needs of the rural populaceYes ( ) No ( )The participation of people in these programmes has been politicized and selective, for political loyalists only.Yes ( ) No ( )