An Assessment Of Government Policies And Programmes Implementation Strategy

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An Assessment Of Government Policies And Programmes Implementation Strategy


This study focused on the assessment of government policies and programme implementation strategies and the extent at which the Kaduna State Poverty Alleviation Programme has not been able to attain its goals of eradicating poverty in the state. The research work pointed out the role of government in policy making and implementation, the problems of policy implementation and a review of past government policies and programmes on poverty alleviation.

The study concluded that the success of any government policy depends on the implementation strategy of government. In other words adequate and effective policy and programme implementation process and national development are connected to each other.

Based on the findings of this research work, government should set up quality goal monitoring and coordinating mechanism for proper policy and programme implementation and the need to minimize bureaucracy and create an atmosphere for value added public service of a purposeful and computer literate human resource personnel.

Chapter One

General Introduction

1.1 Background to the study

The description of Nigeria as a paradox by the World Bank (1996) has continued to be confirmed by event and official statistics in the country. The paradox is that the poverty level in Nigeria contradicts the immense wealth, with the endowed resources in the country. Rather than record remarkable progress in national socio-economic development, Nigeria has retrogressed to becoming one of the 25th poorest countries of the world.

The reduction of poverty is the most difficult challenge facing any country in the developing world where on the average majority of the population is considered poor.

Evidences in Nigeria show that the number of those in poverty has continued to increase. For example, the number of those in poverty increased from 27% in 1980 to 46% in 1985; it declined slightly to 42% in 1992, and increased very sharply to 67% in 1996. By 1999, estimates had it that more than 70% of Nigerians lived in poverty. That was why the government declared in November 1999 that the N470 billion budget for year 2000 was “to relieve poverty.” Before the National Assembly even passed the 2000 budget, the government got an approval to commit N10 billion to poverty alleviation programme. In the 2001 budget, the government has increased the allocation to poverty alleviation programme by 150%. This idea of poverty alleviation was received with high hopes especially given the speed with which this present administration tackled the fuel problem as soon as it came to power. Poverty alleviation was seen as a means through which the government can revamp the battered economy and rebuild self-esteem in majority of Nigerians who had been dehumanized through past military regimes. The present paper assesses not only the efforts of the current administration in poverty reduction, but also the role played by past administrations so as to identify a more pragmatic approach to poverty reduction in Nigeria.

The government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 came up with another programme, the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). A Presidential Panel was set and it coalesced in the formation of NAPEP in January 2001. The scheme has been structured to integrate four sectoral schemes. The first is the Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES). The second is Rural Infrastructure Development Scheme (RIDS). The third is Social Welfare Scheme (SEWESS). Lastly, the Natural/Resource Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS). (http:/www.nigeriafirst-org/printer-263.shtml).

The aim of the present research is to examine the current attempt of NAPEP at eradicating poverty and how it has been able to empower the youth in Bomo village (a settlement located behind Area „C‟ ABU staff Quarters Samaru, Zaria) as well as to identify sources of its setbacks and offer suggestions or recommendations.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Poverty amid plenty is the world‟s greatest challenge. Poor people live without fundamental freedoms of action and choice that the better off take for granted (Sen., 1999). They often lack adequate food and shelter, education and health, deprivations that keep then from leading the kind of life that every one values. They also face extreme vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation, and natural disasters. And they are often exposed to ill treatment by institutions of the state and society and are powerless to influence key decisions affecting their lives. These are all dimensions of poverty (World bank, 2001). Indeed, of the worlds 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion live on less than $1 a day. In rich countries, less than 1 child in 100 does not reach its fifth birthday, while in the poorest countries as many as a fifth of children do not. And while in rich countries fewer than 5 percent of all children under fire are malnourished, in poor countries as many as 50 percent are.

The problem of this study is derived from the pathetic condition in which Nigerians are faced with, particularly the decline in the living standard as well as increase in poverty. The problem is why is the incidence of poverty high in Nigeria despite immense wealth? why have previous poverty alleviation program fail to reduce poverty and empower the youth in Bomo village despite the huge investment on poverty alleviation ? and again how can NAPEP achieve it‟s objective of empowering the youth and reducing poverty? An inventory on the energy resource base of Nigeria , indicates that Nigeria has 367 million tons of proven coal and 980 million tons of inferred resources proven gas , 2.50 trillion cubic matters crude oil reserve of 16.8 billion barrels, an average of 2,000 KWH/M2 of solar energy received on the ground per annum (Rilwanu 1987:3). One would ask, how much of these resources are translated into actual expenditure? Again it is amazing that facts reveal that huge sums of money have been expended on rural development and agricultural production all in an attempt to alleviate poverty in Nigeria. For instance over N3.0 billion was allocated to agriculture and rural development between 1960 and 1980, this expenditure profile continue to increase overtime as explained below.

Between the year 1960-1968, 52.623 million naira was spent by both federal and state governments in the agricultural sector. Between 1970- 1974, 127,286 million naira was spent. Furthermore, between 1974- 1980 2, 301.18 billion naira was spent and in 1981- 1985 8, 327,531 billion naira was spent in the agricultural sector.( Usman 1987 :16). Despite the huge investment explained above the rural areas have deteriorated. In an attempt to contribute to the debate, Onitiri showed that large sum of resource are generated in rural areas in which the development efforts have been sustained largely by the earnings from export commodities produced from rural areas. Ironically, mass poverty still exists in rural areas side by side with enormous riches and affluence in the country.

One is also puzzled to note that in spite of the amount of resources committed into the poverty alleviation and rural development programmes, no tangible benefits has been recorded as OFN, Green Revolution, DFFRI etc have all failed to address issue of poverty in rural areas. Faruqee (1994) maintains that all poverty alleviation efforts in Nigeria were all adhoc and that the structure and strategy adopted by NAPEP were not different from the previous poverty alleviation programmes that failed.

Hence this research seeks to throw more light on the dark corners of NAPEP at eradication of poverty and empowering the youth in Bomo village. Therefore the purpose of this study is to examine the position of the Nigerian state vis-à-vis the rural development programmes and to unveil the role played by Nigerian state actors in the perpetration of poverty. Thus, our point of departure is that in order to promote rural development and eliminate poverty there is the need to evolve a system of social relations that generates and promotes equity that encompasses every body and make everybody part of the society in order for NAPEP to be meaningful and relevant.

  1. Within this context, specific questions which this study attempts to address include.
  2. Why are majority of the youth in Nigeria unemployed ?
  3. What has being the impact of poverty alleviation program NAPEP on youth in Bomo village?
  4. How can NAPEP achieve its objectives and empower the youth in Bomo village in particular?

1.3 Aim of the Study

The aim of the study is to assess government poverty eradication policies and programmes implementation strategy with particular reference to NAPEP in Kaduna

Objectives Of The Study

  1. To assess the impact of poverty alleviation program in Nigeria in particular and to determine why the incidence of unemployment more pronounced among youth in Nigeria.
  2. To find out the impact of the activity of NAPEP in Kaduna and how it affect youth unemployment and empowerment in Kaduna.
  3. To make recommendation with a view to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of NAPEP, thereby alleviating poverty, generating employment and empowerment among youth in Nigeria.

1.4 Significance of the Study.

Poverty as a phenomenon has attracted considerable attention not only from researchers of various discipline but also from technocrat and statement, it is informed by the increasing widening gap that has developed overtime between the rich and poor, between the rural areas and urban areas and even the developing nations and the advanced ones.

In Nigeria with a conservative population of about 140 million (FOS 2008:1), we have 80 percent residing in the rural area and almost on equal numbers wallowing in poverty. It imperative therefore that rural development deserve a critical look to enable us address it much seriously.

Poverty alleviation is an important and critical issue to be taken into consideration in raising the living standard of the population and attaining a sustained socio-economic development. This study is imperative because despite various programmes undertaken by successive regimes, poverty has deepen and expand over the years.

As the government strives once again to make fresh start at tuning the table of pervasive poverty and enhancing the wellbeing of the rural citizen, this research has been largely conceived by the desire to fill in the gap in knowledge.
The relevance is to show how far NAPEP has gone in alleviating poverty and empowering the youth in Bomo village and to provide relevant information on the problems and constrains faced by NAPEP in trying to reduce poverty.

This study also is expected to be a useful addition to the growing literatures and research on poverty alleviation programmes, poverty question and youth empowerment so that those that are concerned with anti-poverty programmes would find it a useful guide in alleviating poverty. The impact of NAPEP in Bomo was not impressive because not many of the inhabitant received training, those that receive the training have no access to loan ,the training again was too short to allow for expertise and lastly most of the youth prefer to enter into quick money making venture like wheelbarrow pushing, achaba boys, street hawking and even thuggery than to waste there time in receiving any training.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What is the impact of poverty alleviation program in Nigeria?
  2. What is the impact of the activity of NAPEP in Kaduna and how it affect youth unemployment and empowerment in Kaduna.
  3. What are the recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of NAPEP, thereby alleviating poverty, generating employment and empowerment among youth in Nigeria.

1.6 Scope

The scope of the study is limited to poverty alleviation programmes and policies in Nigeria with special attention to Bomo village of Sabon-Gari local government area between 2004-2020 there is no gain saying the fact that the problem of poverty has remained a permanent decimal in the menu of development scholars and indeed a source of serious concern and debate amongst technocrats in the last one or two decade. It should be noted that although poverty is attractive for such a study because of Nigeria‟s, enormous wealth and yet hunger exist amidst plenty.

1.7 Sources and Methods of Data Collection and Analyses

The accidental sampling method was used in the collection of data, it is a type of non probability sampling which involves the sample being drawn from that part of the population which is close to hand. That is, a sample population selected because it is readily available and convenient. Simple statistical method such as tabulation and percentages were used in analyzing and presentation of data.

Interview method was also used to get more information from some beneficiaries of NAPEP at Bomo village. The technique of percentage table was used in this analysis for determining the results, 50% and above qualifies any issue for acceptance, while 40% and below qualifies for rejection.

The researcher administered a total of 210 questionnaires, 200 to the inhabitant of Bomo village and 10 for NAPEP staff using the accidental sampling method.

A total of 179 or 89% questionnaires were returned from the ones administered to the people of Bomo and 8 or 80% questionnaires returned from the staff of NAPEP while 20 or 6.5% were not returned the researcher was then left with 179 questionnaires. Thus the analysis of data is therefore based on 179 questionnaires or 89.5% for the Bomo inhabitant and 80 or 8% for the staff of NAPEP.

Two methods were adopted in the course of this research for collection of data relevant for this study.

  1. Sources of Secondary data collection, this include the extraction of relevant information from NAPEP documents and publications, government official documents,
    journals, newspapers, magazine, conference papers, books, radio and television, commentaries etc
  2. Sources of primary data .collection was through survey method which entails the use of questionnaires and interviews methods.

The questionnaire method was employed to ensure the reliability of the information obtained from the respondents. Both open-ended and close ended questions allow the respondents to open his/her response with no restrictions. This gives the respondents an opportunity to include all that maybe necessary in answers to the questions. Interview was used also to enable the researcher gather sufficient Information on the general opinions and feelings of the respondents about the study. This gives room for first hand information and allows for flexibility.

The face to face communication also gives the researcher opportunity for direct interaction or thus interpreting unspoken actions gesticulation and facial expression, the face to face communication therefore gives the opportunity for interpreting unspoken actions, gesticulation and facial expression.

1.7 Conceptual Definitions

The following concepts or terms are important for understanding the basis for this research work.

1. Development:

Goulet (1974) Visualizes development as “a sustained elevation of the entire society and social system toward a better or more humane life”.

2. Poverty:

There is no objective definition of poverty, the number differ greatly according to different plausible definition (Stein and Foss 1995) there are however three broad concept of poverty these are absolute poverty, relative poverty, and subjective poverty.

3. Absolute Poverty:

Means lack of resources to buy a bundle of goods and services such bundle include basic necessity such as food, shelter, clothing etc.

4. Relative Poverty:

Poverty compares welfare of those with the lowest amount of resource with other in the society.

5. Subjective Poverty:

Subjective poverty requires individual (including the poor) to define what they consider to be a decent or minimal adequate standard of living.

6. Poverty Depth:

The average gap or distance between the income of the average poor and the poverty line more specifically the extent to which the incomes of the poor lie below poverty line.

7. Poverty Line:

It is the value of income per person or family that is needed to consume food and provide for other basic necessary goods and services required for healthy living, as such any individual or family whose conception or income fall bellow the poverty line is regarded poor, the international poverty line is US370 per annum as at 1985 and the poverty line in Nigeria was N395 a year and consumption rate was 100% kilocalories.

8. Poverty Incidence:

Also refers to the headcount relation, is define as the fraction of the population below the poverty line, for example, the proportion of people in the total population who fails below N395 a year.

9. Poverty Alleviation:

Poverty reduction measure taken to reduce or eradicate the biting effect of poverty especially as they affect the poor and the less privilege.

Chapter Five

Summary Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary.

Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources but these resources have not been effectively utilized for the benefit of the entire citizens of this country. Real disposable income has declined steeply, malnutrition rates have risen sharply, food production has hardly kept pace with population growth, and the quantity of health and education service have also declined.

Furthermore, despite the large accrued resources from oil over these years, spending by government continued to expand thereby given rise to rapid monetary expansion and excessive government borrowing, the effects of these are high interest rate, hyperinflation rate, and low foreign reserve for the country, the net effect of these economic instability results in low socio/economic indication and the impoverishment of an economic increasing number of Nigerian population.

Successive government since independence embarked on different kinds of programmes to provide basic welfare and social service and to promote agriculture and industry with the hope of ultimately reducing poverty by raising the standard of living of the people, despite these programmes, it has failed to reduce poverty.

This informed the need for this study aimed at assessing the national poverty eradication programme (NAPEP) in terms of its strategies and its impact on the citizenry with special focus on Bomo village of Sabon Gari local government area.

The study made a review of some literature on poverty related issues by some few scholars to give us an insight to issues of poverty and to possibly give some remedies to such problems. The term youth or young people was also defined.

It also explain the concept of government. The study looks at the attributes of poverty which are multidimensional in nature. There are social, cultural and political deprivation. Poverty was defined in terms of low income, inability to provide basic needs of life which include food, clothing and shelter as well as other basic social infrastructure such as transportation, water, electricity, education health and sanitation requirement, poverty could also be absolute or relative this depends on whether the individual or family suffers a total lack of the community.

5.2 Conclusions.

Poverty eradication has become an issue in the world development agenda, it is a problem that is nonetheless of interest in the developing world, available data on poverty confirmed that poverty is very severe among the people of Nigeria, it is noted that some efforts have been made by previous administrations but despite these the menace have been on the increase.

Some apparent reasons for the failure of previous poverty eradication programmes of the government include the multiplication of these implementing institution or agencies, which allows for gross managerial inefficiency, unhealthy and counter productivity rivalries, poorly conceived project, poor staffing and lack of adequate sense of commitment, lack of congruence between national, corporate and individual interest of implementing agencies, waste of public funds human and material resources etc.

Since the above were possible oversight which might have caused current difficulties there is a need to set future targets which may be achieved through correction of the past with a view to solving current difficulties and more forward to ensure a better future. This necessitates the establishment of the national poverty eradication programme NAPEP as a center-coordinating agency for all poverty reduction efforts of the government.

5.3 Recommendations

Having discussed the findings of the study and having drawn some conclusions from the findings, highlighting the problems of the scheme the researcher wishes to offer some suggestions/Recommendations which may help improve the schemes or future similar programmes.

In spite of the concerns past government and the plethora of programmes and policies and poverty reduction, the incidence and scourge of poverty have worsened over the years. the research revealled that not many of the inhabitant had access to be trained and again not all that attended the training had or were opportune to get the loan and lastly the training was to short lo allow for expertise and professionalism. The factors that have constrained the effectiveness of the program and policies have been applying. What are the prospects of achieving the international development goal of reducing by half the incidence of poverty by 2015? This question is pertinent, against the background of the Nigerian economy which is characterized by low economic growth, rapid population growth, mismanagement of available resources and large scale corruption. For NAPEP to make any meaningful improvement there is need for poverty reduction programme to be implemented within the framework of rapid economic growth with equity, control population growth, sound economic management and good governance.
Rapid growth is important for rapid poverty reduction. Therefore, attention must be focused on those macro and micro economic policies and programmes that will ensure the rapid growth of the economy. Economic growth is crucial to conquering poverty because:

  1. Generate income earning generating opportunities for the poor, makes job creation possible, thereby, makes use of the most abundant asset labour.
  2. Produces additional resources for government to use for social programmes aimed at overcoming poverty and
  3. Increases the incomes poor people receive as remuneration for their labour.

Growth also must be accompanied by a deliberate policy of redistribution and equity, promoted by participation. In this direction, broad based growth that involves the poor and generate employment is recognized to have a tremendous impact on poverty.

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