An Assessment Of Poverty Reduction Programme

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Abstract


The study assesses poverty reduction programme in Enugu State Local Government system from 2004-2009. The study examined issues of poverty problems of poverty alleviation which include frequent policy changes, severe budgetary allocation, fraudulent activities and mismanagement revealed that poverty reduction initiators in Nigeria had been a failure since 2004 till date and there is no positive impact on the lives of the people who are living beyond poverty level. The findings revealed that political party interest, embezzlement of public funds, poor funding and change of government are the major factors militating against poverty in rural areas of Enugu State. The poverty alleviation programmes from government that suppose to transform the lives of people in the rural areas are urban-biased. The study concludes that poverty reduction programme cannot thrive in an impoverished society where people live below one dollar per day and where diseases, famine and climatic shock are pervasive. Finally, the study suggests a way forward towards poverty reduction in Enugu State.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background To The Study

Poverty is a global phenomenon which affects nations and people differently, it afflicts people in various depths and levels at different times and phases of existence. There is no nation that is absolutely free from poverty. Third world countries have the highest level of poverty and as well the lowest level of socio-economic development. Poverty as a state where an individual is not able to cater adequately for his/her basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, is unable to meet social and economic obligations, lacks gainful employment, skills, assets and has limited access to social and economic infrastructure such as education, health, portable water and sanitation (CBN 1999:1).

Poverty leaves vulnerable rudeness, humiliation and inhumane treatment by both private and public agents of the nation from whom they seek help. They lack multiple resources that subject them to hunger, physical deprivation and exploitation (World Bank 2000:1). In Nigeria, various policy measures has been put in place by various governments for poverty alleviation such as Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), Green Revolution, Better life for rural women (BLP),

Directorate for Food and Rural infrastructures (DFFRI), Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) gave hope to the poor and move towards some sort of wealth creation. A fundamental question to ask is how far having these programmes impacted positively on the poor?


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The Nigerian state has been hit by the twin problems of poverty and underdevelopment. This may be attributed to a number of factors, some of which are mismanagement of human and material resources, indiscipline, lack of political will by the government from post independence to present day Nigeria. Instead of tackling poverty alleviation in the society, our policy makers and leaders have converted their positions into avenues of squandamania, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering to the neglect of the suffering people.

The problem of poverty in Nigeria has woken up to witness anti-social activities like armed robbery, cultism, drug trafficking, prostitution, child trafficking, ritual killings, political thuggery and assassinations. This phenomenon has created mass graduate unemployment and social vices articulated from the foregoing, the highly

skilled trained manpower and infrastructure facilities are underutilized. Despite the colossal amount of resources committed to poverty eradication programmes in Nigeria, it aggravates more and more people fall into the poverty region instead of escaping.

With the above background, the major problems of this work are captioned as follows:

  1. Most Nigerians live in abject poverty.
  2. Poverty gave rise to many social problems which impose enormous economic and social costs in the society
  3. Lack of response to the yearnings of the poor people.

When General Abacha took over power from Shonekan in 1993, he introduced other poverty alleviating measures like Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP). However upon coming to power in the new democratic dispensation in 1999, the Obasanjo Administration in an effort to alleviate the suffering and poverty in the land introduced the National Poverty Alleviation Programme (NAPEP). However well intentioned, these programmes were hijacked by the politicians as the philosophy behind the setting up of these programmes for instance beneficiaries of these programmes are usually party faithful, loyalist and party members instead of genuine members of the society.

The distribution of aids by these agencies are also characterized by victimization, political instability, corruption, lack of acceptability, lack of commitment and the political will by the government have been some of the reasons blamed for the non-performance and sustenance of these measures. Based on the above, the major problems as contained in the research question are

  1. What is the extent of poverty reduction in Enugu State local government system from 2004-2009?
  2. What are the major problems militating against poverty reduction in Enugu State local government system?
  3. What are the causes of these problems?
  4. How can poverty reduction be enhanced in Enugu State local government system.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The objective of the study is to access the strategies and tools used to implement various poverty alleviation strategies between 1960-1999.

The objectives of the study are as follows:

  1. To assess the rate of poverty reduction from 2004-2009.
  2. To identify the major factors militating against poverty reduction in Enugu State.
  3. To investigate the causes of these factors.
  4. To profer strategies on how to enhance poverty reduction programmes in Enugu State local government system.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

Theoretically, the study is significant because it is going to fill the gap of knowledge and in literature which exists in the subject discourse. It focuses on poverty as a universal problem facing mankind with serious consequences. The empirical aspect of the study is concerned with deprivation, prevalent hunger, diseases, dearth in insufficiency of cash in their concerted effort to find acceptable and lasting solution to poverty eradication in Enugu State.

The study will serve as a reference to scholars, administrators and policy makers in a similar research in future on the subject matter; it will be a contribution to the existing literature on poverty.


1.5 Scope And Limitations Of The Study

The study is designed to cover a number of pertinent issues affecting the people who are inhabitants in the study area. It covers the senior and middle staff of National Poverty Eradication Programme Enugu office from grade level 07 and above. Some factors have constituted hindrance to the success of this research work, they include the following;

The time within which this study is expected to be completed is very short compared to the enormous work involved. This made it possible for the work to be as thorough as it ought to be. Most of the workers questioned were unwilling to give detailed explanation on the issues raised; this limits the information available to the researcher.


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