The Effect Of Poverty, Corruption, Social Policy And Social Development In Nigeria
Nigeria has been variously described as a country with strong growth potential. Reports indicate that the Nigerian economy has been growing at an average of 6% per year consistently for over 7 years. Yet despite this growth in the gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment, poverty and inequality have continued to expand (UNDP, 2010; FGN, 2010). The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the percentage of people living in poverty increased from 27.2% in 1980 to 46.3% in 1985, dropped to 42.7% in 1992 and then increased to 65% in 1996. By 2010, the poverty level was at 69%, indicating that about 112.47 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line (NBS, 2010). The main objective of this study is the effect of poverty, corruption, social policy and social development in Nigeria.
The main objective of this study is the effect of poverty, corruption, social policy and social development in Nigeria. The findings revealed From the responses obtained as expressed in the research question above, 78 respondents constituting 78% said yes that social development is affected by the level of poverty, corruption and social policy in the country. The findings also revealed 60 respondents constituting 60% said yes that the level of poverty in Nigeria reflects the level of social development in the country.
Also 56 respondents constituting 56% said yes meaning there is a significant relationship between social policy and social development.
1.1 Background to the Study
Nigeria has been variously described as a country with strong growth potential. Reports indicate that the Nigerian economy has been growing at an average of 6% per year consistently for over 7 years. Yet despite this growth in the gross domestic product (GDP), unemployment, poverty and inequality have continued to expand (UNDP, 2010; FGN, 2010). The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the percentage of people living in poverty increased from 27.2% in 1980 to 46.3% in 1985, dropped to 42.7% in 1992 and then increased to 65% in 1996. By 2010, the poverty level was at 69%, indicating that about 112.47 million Nigerians are living below the poverty line (NBS, 2010). Nigeria is therefore aptly described as a paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty. Eradicating poverty and extreme hunger is at the core of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). MDG reports in Nigeria have been very consistent in showing the difficulties of achieving this goal. In the year 2000, when the MDGs were declared, 60% of Nigerians were officially recognised as living in relative poverty. With the introduction of MDG programmes and initiatives, this rate was expected to drop to 21.35% by 2015. Based on this 15-year projection, it was expected that the rate would be at 28.78% by 2007, the midpoint of the MDG’s lifespan. Instead, the actual percentage of poor people in 2007 was reported to be 54.40%, indicating a variance of about 25.62%. Estimates for 2008 and 2009 were set at 52.4% and 51.58% respectively, indicating a variance of 28.89% and 30.5%. Based on this trend, the updated projection suggested that by 2015 the incidence of poverty would possibly fall to 37.5% against the original target of 21.35% (FGN, 2010). However, with the current level of poverty estimated at 62.8% (NBS 2010), it is almost impossible to achieve even the 37.5% projection in 2015 (Abdu, 2014). Existing alongside this high rate of poverty in Nigeria is a high rate of corruption. Mega corruption has grown to a level of impunity in the last two decades, with the country being variously rated as the most corrupt in the world (ActionAid, Concept Paper 2014). This endemic corruption is linked to the huge incidence of poverty in the country. Corruption is related to the massive stealing of public resources that would have been invested in providing wealth-creating infrastructure and social services for the citizenry, thus reducing poverty.
The relationship between corruption and poverty has received extensive coverage in academic literature. Researchers from several disciplines, particularly economics, sociology, political science and development studies, have tried to establish the impact of corruption on different aspects of development and human welfare. The World Bank, in its 2010 Report, stated that corruption has a negative impact on economic performance, employment opportunities, poverty reduction, and access to public health and police services. Further, the Bank (2001: 102) observed in a report published in 2001 that corruption affects the lives of the poor through several channels, including the diverting of resources from vital social services that benefit the poor, such as education and health clinics. The nature and causes of poverty have also been examined. According to the World Bank, “poverty is an outcome not only of economic processes it is an outcome of interacting economic, social, and political forces”. In the Bank’s view,itis also “an outcome of the accountability and responsiveness of state institutions.
The major indicators of poverty, according to the World Bank, are: lack of freedom of action and choice; lack of adequate food, shelter, education and health; vulnerabilities to ill health; economic dislocation; maltreatment by public agencies; and exclusion from key decision-making processes and resources in society. Poverty, it was noted, “is the result of economic, political, and social processes that interact with each other and frequently reinforce each other in ways that exacerbate the deprivation in which people live”. Poverty remains endemic in Nigeria despite the introduction of several anti-poverty programmes by successive governments. According to statistics, the incidence of poverty has significantly increased in Nigeria since 1980. The percentages of the Nigerian population that were classified as ‘extremely poor’ over the last three decades are as follows: 6.2% (1980); 12.1% (1985); 13.9% (1992); 29.3% (1996); 22.0% (2004) and 38.7% (2010)5. These increases are strongest among the most vulnerable groups. In 2012, for example, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the poverty crisis in Nigeria varied by region, sector and gender, and impacted Nigerian youth, children and mothers more than the adult male population6. Poverty levels also vary widely across the country’s geo-political zones. The proportions of the population in these zones that were ‘food poor’ in 2010 were: North-Central (38.1%); North-East (51.5%); North-West (51.8%); South-East (41.0%); South-South (35.5%); and South-West (25.4%)These statistics contrast sharply with the country’s positive macro-economic performance. The Nigerian economy is reported to be 1 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, with a growth rate averaging about 6-7 percent in the last 10 years8. After rebasing the economy in 2013, gross domestic product (GDP) figures soared to $ 509 billion USD by the end of the year, making Nigeria the largest economy in Africa and the 26th largest in the world. As should be expected, such rapid growth in GDP has been accompanied by other positive economic developments. First, Nigeria’s per capital income has moved from approximately $500 USD in 1999 to $2,500 at the end of 20139 . Secondly, the size of the country’s middle class has grown. Various studies state that by 2010 between 16% and 30% of the population were considered to be middle class (Ibid) . Given that the country’s middle class had almost vanished by the end of the 90s, this represents significant progress.
Corruption has been identified as one of the factors responsible for poverty in the country. In its Annual Report for 2012, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) observed that: Corruption in the public sector remains a sore spot in Nigeria’s quest to instil transparency and accountability in the polity. The failure to deliver social services, the endemic problem of power supply and the collapse of infrastructure are all linked with corruption … Unfortunately, the will to combat corruption in all tiers of government is still very weak. In some cases, especially in the states and local governments, the political will to fight corruption is non-existent, as the workings of the polity are intricately connected with corruption activities … It is no surprise therefore that most of the predicate offences to money laundering are connected with corruption within the officialdom. (2012: 10) Analysis of EFCC data shows that embezzlement and diversion of public funds are the most common forms of public sector corruption. A recent study of fifty-five (55) high profile cases of corruption charged to the court by the EFCC between 1999 and 2012 involved a total sum of one trillion, three hundred and fifty four billion, one hundred and thirty-two million and four hundred thousand Naira (N1,354,132,400,000:00.
The lack of social development has led to criticism of the development strategy in Nigeria. This criticism has generally been formulated from an ideological point of view. Some authors, for example, have concluded that all Nigeria has to do to solve its problems is to turn its back on capitalist ideology and embrace socialism.(1) However, I want to argue here that acting on this position would not present an automatic solution for Nigeria because it is is a position which does not take all the relevant factors into consideration. Social development is not an automatic function of ideology, no more than it is an automatic function of economic growth. Social development should, on the other hand, be viewed as the product of a rational, heuristic system of which ideology is but one component that interacts with other culturally relevant structural and conceptual components. My thesis is that social development in Nigeria is hindered by the lack of these culturally rooted structures and concepts in the country. Such components have not been and still are not integrated into a cohesive system: and until they are, ideological choices per se or economic growth will be irrelevant to any rational effort to deal with social poverty in Nigeria. A historical analysis of the development of social service structures and concepts in Nigeria will provide support for the argument that existing structures and concepts are inadequate to stimulate social development, as well as reveal some of the domestic and international factors that foster this situation After such an analysis, suggestions can then be made as to what needs to be done to move the social development sector into the mainstream of national development planning in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The prevailing economic situation in Nigeria and the importance attached to the social development as a solution to social interaction provides for an examination of its relevance to poverty, corruption, social policy in Minna metropolis. To this end, social development has been described as an empirically elusive concept, yet has also been heralded as the glue that holds communities together. While there has been much debate about its definition see (winter 2000). social development can be understood as network of social relations which are characterized by norms of trust and reciprocity and which lead to outcome of mutual benefits. social development stands for the ability of actors to secure benefits by virtue of membership in social networks or other social structures ( Porte, 1998). If we take a broad view of what is comprised by these “other social structure” then social development is a relevant concept at the micro and macro levels. At the macro level, social development includes institutions such as government, the rule of law, civil and political liberties e.t.c. There is overwhelming evidence that such macro level social development has measurable impact on national economic performance (Knack, 1999). At the micro level, social development refers to the network and norms that govern interactions among individuals, households and communities. However, this study is focused on micro level of social development. Woolook (2002) describe social development as relationship in three dimensions that is bonding , bridging and linking social development.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is the effect of poverty, corruption, social policy and social development in Nigeria.
Specifically, the study aims
- To determine how poverty, corruption, and social policy affects social development
- To determine the effect of poverty level on the level of social development in Nigeria
- To examine the significant relationship between social policy and social development
- To evaluate the effect of level of corruption on the level of social development
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions was formulated and answered
- Is social development affected by the level of poverty, corruption and social policy ?
- Does the level of poverty in Nigeria reflects the level of social development in the country ?
- Is there any significant relationship between social policy and social development ?
- Does level of corruption affects the level of social development?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This is an empirical study of the effect of poverty, corruption and Social policy on social development in Minna was carried out by the use of a collection of data and analysis. The findings will show that poverty, corruption and social policy all affects social development
This outcome notwithstanding, individuals, government and policy makers in Minna, Niger State still need to take into consideration the following measures that would likely improve the flow and effective utilization of Social policy and poverty reduction strategies, which in turn would further reduce the level of poverty in Minna Metropolis.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study on the Effect Of Poverty, Corruption, Social Policy And Social Development In Nigeria will be carried out in Minna metropolis. It will properly examine the poverty level, corruption and social policy and how there all affect the level of social development in Niger state, Nigeria. It will cover a period of 5 years spanning from 2015-2020.
Conclusion and Recommendation
In this study, our focus was to carryout a critical analysis on the effect of poverty, corruption, social policy and social development in Nigeria. The study specifically was aimed at determining how poverty, corruption, and social policy affects social development.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 133 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are all social works, civil servants in Minna metropolis Niger State.
The findings revealed From the responses obtained as expressed in the research question above, 78 respondents constituting 78% said yes that social development is affected by the level of poverty, corruption and social policy in the country. The findings also revealed 60 respondents constituting 60% said yes that the level of poverty in Nigeria reflects the level of social development in the country.
Also 56 respondents constituting 56% said yes meaning there is a significant relationship between social policy and social development
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
- There is the need for government and individuals in the area to recognized the important of social development
- There is need to improve the level of trust in oneself in the metropolis, because with trust, one can engaged in any activities/ transaction without any written agreement.
- There is also the need for both government and individuals in the area to sincerely perform their civic role in a way that it will leads to the reduction of poverty in the area.
- The people of the Minna Metropolis should try to volunteer in activities that can better the needs of the people of that metropolis.
- Targeting certain public services, particularly Education, Health: • Health: Cost of health care is one of the major barriers to access. There are lots of potentials with the existing policy framework in addressing this constraint, particularly with Primary Health Care (PHC). What is required is effective coordination between the three tiers of government. In particular, greater attention needs to be paid to the provision of PHC facilities in the north, where access to health facilities is lower and health outcomes are worse.
- Education: In recognition of the relative differences in educational attainment and outcomes between regions and among States, policies must be discriminatory to reflect these differences. The current framework, the Universal Basic Education (UBE), needs to be reviewed and fine-tuned for greater effectiveness .
Social Protection Policy:
- Develop and implement an effective social protection policy. Nigeria currently doesn’t have a coherent social protection policy. At best social protection at both national and state level is largely ad hoc. Such a policy will help identify vulnerabilities and respond to them in more systematic manner. A more detailed pro-poor policy orientation will need to be put in place, coordinated between the three tiers of government and complemented by private sources and on-going donor interventions.
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