An Assessment Of N-Power Scheme As An Instrument For Poverty Reduction In Kwara State

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An Assessment Of N-Power Scheme As An Instrument For Poverty Reduction In Kwara State


Abstract


This study was carried out to assess Npower scheme as an instrument for poverty reduction using Kwara State as a case study. The study is was specifically set to find out the extent the youth unemployment contribute to the high level of poverty in Kwara state, determine the extent to which N-Power programmes generate empowerment for the youths in Kwara State, find whether N-Power Programmes contributes poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness, and identify the problems affecting N-Power Agency/programmes towards poverty alleviation in Kwara State. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of youths resident in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 147 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that N-Power Programmes contributes to poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness. The result of the findings reveals that the problems affecting N-Power Agency/programmes towards poverty alleviation in Kwara State include; non-payment of stipend to participants as at when due, bribery and corruption, wrong bank verification number (BVN), overbearing hands of politicians in the programme, website and internet hiccups, and poor funding of the programme. Therefore, it is recommended that government should encourage the strengthening of the capability for unemployed rural and urban dwellers. Since unemployed people constitute an increasing portion of the rural dwellers, economic policies should aim at enhancing their youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in Kwara State performance. Equitable access to financial resources and services should be provided. They will need credit and extension services and assistance in adopting improved youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in Kwara State practices and technologies that are suited to their capabilities. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Indeed, the N-Power programme has become a household name and has continued to generate some controversy, although the government is living up to its billing in addressing concerns raised in association with the programme. Explaining the rationale behind the programme, a highly placed government official says, the N-Power Programme of the Federal Government is a job creation and empowerment initiative of the Social Investment Programme, designed to drastically reduce youth empowerment in Nigeria (Obadan, 2017). The focus is to provide our young graduates and non-graduates with the skills, tools and livelihood to enable them advance from empowerment to empowerment, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Perhaps to further demonstrate the fact that it was aimed at addressing the challenges of empowerment, it forerunners categorized it into Graduate Teachers Corps which targeted 500,000 graduates recruitment, N-Power Knowledge targeting 25,000 non-graduates recruitment and N-Power Build which targets 75,000 nongraduates’ recruitment. It was gathered that the 500,000 graduates under the N-Power Corps programme will get computing devices that will contain information necessary for their specific engagement, as well as information for their continuous training and development. Participants are to provide teaching, instructional, and advisory solutions in 4 key areas namely agriculture, health, power tech and community education (Oba, 2017).

The N-Power Agro volunteers are meant to function as intermediaries between research and farmers. They operate as facilitators and communicators, helping farmers in their decision-making and ensuring that appropriate knowledge is implemented to obtain the best results on farms. Through the N-Power Health programme, young graduates who form part of the 500,000 N-Power Corps members are trained to work as public health assistants. They teach preventive health to community members including pregnant women, children, families and individuals. They are also trained to provide basic diagnostic services (Aderonmu, 2017).

The N-Power Teach programme engages qualified graduates for the benefit of basic education delivery in Nigeria. They are deployed as teaching assistants in primary and secondary schools across Nigeria. They are not to replace the current teachers, but are to work as support teachers, assisting with teaching, school management and other functions within the schools. They assist in taking basic education to children in marginalized communities (Aderonmu, 2017).

There is also the N-Power Knowledge programme which is the Federal Government’s first step towards diversifying to a knowledge economy. This programme works alongside the planned eight innovation hubs across the country to provide incubation and acceleration of the technology and creative industries. The programme is a ‘Training to Jobs’ initiative, essentially ensuring that participants can get engaged in the marketplace in an outsourcing capacity, as freelancers, as employees and as entrepreneurs (Federal Ministry of Youth Development, 2017).

Indeed, the programme is carefully designed in such a manner that if well implemented, can help in further addressing the challenges of empowerment and subsequently, reduce poverty among the youths. But then of course, there appears to be some confusion of some sort in the way and manner the programme is being handled. The programme could not kick off in most states as scheduled. Some of the controversies included the fact that the names released so far are reportedly fraught with ‘ghost names’ (Bennel, 2018).

Poverty alleviation remains a major challenge of modern economies around the world today, Nigeria is no exception. Resulting from poor enterprise culture, the poverty alleviation programme in Nigeria is now a major driver of poverty and social vices. The poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria have assumed multi-dimensional phenomena cutting across all facets of age group, educational strata and geographies. Poverty alleviation programmes are unevenly distributed across the age groups with youth between the ages of 18-35 being the greatest beneficiaries. More disturbing today, is the ever-rising trend of youth poverty alleviation programmes in the country. The effective implementation of the programmes will discourage them from engaging in social vices which constrain in Kwara State. This study therefore seeks to examine Npower scheme as an instrument for poverty reduction.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Some systemic hiccups, including insufficient information and wrong Bank Verification Number (BVN) have been identified as factors threatening to wreck the N-Power programme, introduced by the Federal Government, as a social safety net to reduce the rate of graduate unemployment plaguing the country. Specifically, the programme, which took off in December 2016 is designed to provide a stopgap for 500,000 unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions over the next two years (Bennel, 2018).

While the Federal Government is responsible for their monthly stipends, it is in partnership with state governments to verify selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their places of primary assignment. Volunteer graduates are expected to serve in the communities where they are resident.

Under the programme, the first batch of 200,000 participants are to be paid N30, 000 a month and deployed by the respective state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to their different places of assignment, including classrooms as teachers (Federal Ministry of Youth Development, 2017). But some months into the programme, it has started facing different challenges, with about 13,000 participants alleging that they have not been paid their monthly stipend (Aderonmu, 2017).

For instance, the Nigeria Interbank Systems (NIBSS), which provides the technical support for the programme has identified sundry challenges, including failure on the part of the beneficiaries to input correct Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and other details to match the information initially provided for processing. Funmi Olowosulu, a participant who was posted to LGEA Primary School, Lokoguma, Kogi State, where she teaches, is yet to receive her monthly stipend of N30, 000 three months after enrolling in the programme, because of inconsistency in her personal details, as well as her Bank Verification Number (BVN) (Bennel, 2018).

Another beneficiary, Umar Abdulrasheed, who spends N80 daily on transportation to work, has also not received his stipend for the same number of months. Additionally, he is indebted to his neighbours who usually bail him out of financial difficulties in the hope that he would defray same once his stipends are paid. The situation is not different in Kwara, Rivers, Edo, Enugu and Kaduna states, where participants have protested and called on the Federal Government to come to their aid by addressing the numerous challenges facing the smooth operation of the programme. A good number of participants in the programme are frustrated because their expectations were yet to be met, three months after the programme kicked off (Aderonmu, 2017).

Besides, some of the participants are disqualified for various reasons, ranging from being over-age, to falsification of information and being currently gainfully employed. Already, Kwara State government in collaboration with the Federal Government has embarked on another verification exercise in order to afford those that missed out in the first phase come on board. The efforts on the part of the government in alleviating and eradicating poverty among the youth in Kwara State have paradoxically led to more problems for the youth in the state. This study is therefore faced with the problem of appraising the impact of N-Power Programme on Poverty Alleviation in Kwara State, Nigeria.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to assess Npower scheme as an instrument for poverty reduction using Kwara State as a case study. Other objectives of this study are:

  1. Find out the extent the youth unemployment contribute to the high level of poverty in Kwara state.
  2. Determine the extent to which N-Power programmes generate empowerment for the youths in Kwara State.
  3. Find whether N-Power Programmes contributes poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness.
  4. Identify the problems affecting N-Power Agency/programmes towards poverty alleviation in Kwara State

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions will be answered in this study:

  1. What is the extent the youth unemployment contribute to the high level of poverty in Kwara state?
  2. What is the extent to which N-Power programmes generate empowerment for the youths in Kwara State?
  3. Does N-Power Programmes contribute to poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness?
  4. What are the problems affecting N-Power Agency/programmes towards poverty alleviation in Kwara State?
  5. Non-payment of stipend to participants as at when due, bribery and corruption, wrong bank verification number (BVN), overbearing hands of politicians in the programme, high transportation fare paid by the participants to work, website and internet hiccups, poor funding of the programme.

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  • Ho: N-Power Programmes does not contribute to poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness.
  • Ha: N-Power Programmes contributes to poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be of benefit to university lecturers, students, government and the university management. The study will show to them the causes, the effects of poverty and the need for entrepreneurship education e.g N-power in solving the problem of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

To university lecturers, the study will unveil to them the areas to concentrate in the school syllabus in order to develop entrepreneurial minds of students for creative employment and also help the show the need for introducing entrepreneurship education into the school curriculum in Nigeria.

To the parents, the study of their children during child birth and training cannot be determined towards the course of study in higher institution. Lastly, the findings from the study will show to the government the role of entrepreneurship education in solving the problem of youth unemployment in Nigeria.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the assessment of Npower scheme as an instrument for poverty reduction using Kwara State as a case study. Geographically, the study will be delimited to young graduates in Illorin Kwara State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Poverty:

This is the state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person’s basic needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

N-Power Programme

N-Power is a job creation and empowerment programme of the National Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Youth Empowerment

Youth empowerment is an attitudinal, structural, and cultural process whereby young people gain the ability, authority, and agency to make decisions and implement change in their own lives (Obadan, 2017).


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter (chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on assessment of Npower scheme as an instrument for poverty reduction using Kwara State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to assessment of Npower scheme as an instrument for poverty reduction using Kwara State as a case study. The study specifically was aimed to find out the extent the youth unemployment contribute to the high level of poverty in Kwara state, determine the extent to which N-Power programmes generate empowerment for the youths in Kwara State, find whether N-Power Programmes contributes poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness, and identify the problems affecting N-Power Agency/programmes towards poverty alleviation in Kwara State.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are youths resident in Ilorin metropolis, Kwara State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. Youth unemployment has contributed highly to the level of poverty in Kwara state.
  2. N-Power programmes generate empowerment for the youths in Kwara State.
  3. N-Power Programmes contributes to poverty alleviation in Kwara State with it’s level of effectiveness.
  4. The problems affecting N-Power Agency/programmes towards poverty alleviation in Kwara State include; non-payment of stipend to participants as at when due, bribery and corruption, wrong bank verification number (BVN), overbearing hands of politicians in the programme, website and internet hiccups, and poor funding of the programme.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. The government, philanthropist and the well-to-do individuals in the society should come in partnership with the public and private sector to fund and expand the scheme thereby increasing the number of beneficiaries so as to enhance the impact of the scheme on unemployment in the country.
  2. The Federal Government should review the scheme in such a way that it will accommodate the unemployed graduates thereby transforming the volunteers to permanent staff with a commensurate payment.
  3. Federal Government should ensure prompt and timely payment of stipends to beneficiaries of the scheme and should ensure that beneficiaries who have issues that affect payment of their allowances are timely and judiciously treated to solve problems of unpaid allowances.
  4. Government should encourage the strengthening of the capability for unemployed rural and urban dwellers. Since unemployed people constitute an increasing portion of the rural dwellers, economic policies should aim at enhancing their youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in Kwara State performance. Equitable access to financial resources and services should be provided. They will need credit and extension services and assistance in adopting improved youth empowerment and poverty alleviation in Kwara State practices and technologies that are suited to their capabilities.
  5. Government and the stakeholders should increase the opportunities for empowerment. There should be an increase of opportunities for continued participation of both urban and rural unemployed persons in productive work. Efforts should be made to encourage unemployed persons to engage in self-empowerment, which would not only enable them to do things at their own pace but would also encourage them to introduce innovations for productivity and profit. In addition, the provision of opportunities for job training and continued education would enhance their self-employability. Retraining programmes should therefore be initiated to re-educate the unemployed and update their knowledge of modern techniques and skills so that they can continue in their present occupation or take up a new one.
  6. Government at all levels should reactivate moribund industries and enterprises and expand the horizon of N-Power programmes in that direction. In connection with increasing the job prospects and improving the sources of income of unemployed persons, there is a need to reactivate small-scale industries and enterprises in which the rural dwellers can be more involved. For example, production centres for traditional handicrafts could be set up to be run and self-managed by the rural dwellers to provide for the manufacture of basket work, pottery and various leather works.

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