Nigeria; Positioning Rural Economy For Implementation Of Sustainable Development Goals
Nigeria as nation has over the years engaged in lots of developmental activities without actions which makes achievements to elude the people. Development of societies doesn’t happen in the vacuum. Thus, the adoption of Structural Adjustment Program, SAP, by Nigeria leading to the neglect of the custom periodic National Plan at a time when Nigeria had no structure for development was the beginning of journey to widened inequality and large poverty incidence, depth and severity. To close the gap between the rich and the poor, the Nigeria government had designed and implemented some programs and policies whose implementation has not solved the inherent problems. In year 2000,the world leaders subscribed to the Millennium Development Goals to ensure synergized global approach to solving the poverty menace. Programs designed in Nigeria to achieve the MDGs focused on the urban centers thereby relegating the rural areas which are responsible for the feeding of the teeming population of the urban dwellers. Farming households and the general rural communities do not have access to clean water, quality education and health facilities, good feeder roads, affordable and safe energy as well as other socioeconomic and socio-infrastructural facilities that would ensure sustainable living for the people whose contribution to the national economy cannot be overemphasized. This study therefore looks at the structural actions the Nigeria government should embarked upon to ensure that the rural dweller have access to life. As the government would be developing programs and policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals whose priority is the end poverty in all forms and everywhere by2030, this study reveals how to position the rural economy for developmental attention from the policy makers.
1.1 Background to the Study
Poverty is a multi-dimensional societal phenomenon in which people cannot actively live their desired lives, explore resources to make a living for themselves – a situation which incapacitate them from active participation in the socioeconomic and socio-political equations of their society. United Nations (1995) adopted two definitions of poverty: Absolute poverty, a situation conditioned by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food in appropriate quantity and quality, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services. On the other hand, Overall poverty in its multi-conceptual forms, including lack of source of income and productive resources to ensure sustainable living, hunger and malnutrition, ill health, limited or lack of access to fundamental education, increased morbidity and mortality from illness, homelessness and inadequate housing, unsafe environments and social discrimination and exclusion. It is also characterized by lack of participation in decision making and in civil, social and cultural life. Weisfeld Adams and Andrzejewski (2008) revealed that according to the World Bank (2008), people living on less than US$1 per day are living in extreme poverty, and people who earn less than US$2 a day are in moderate poverty. The study further stated that UNDP (2007) revealed that approximately one billion people live on less than US$1 a day. About 2.6 billion live on less than US$2 a day. This amounts to 40% of the world’s population. In SubSaharan Africa, 41% of the population lives on less than US$1 a day (Population Reference Bureau, 2006).
Poverty reduction has received increased focus in development debate in the past two decades. Progress on poverty reduction has become a major measure of success of development policy. In the 1970s and 1980s, the preoccupation was with growth, the need to grow the economies and incomes. Thus, growth was seen as a prerequisite for improved welfare. Many developing countries in the 1980s implemented structural adjustment programmes (SAP) aimed at enhancing growth. Following these programmes, many countries recorded positive real growth rates. The development literature in the 1990s was dominated by the view that growth is central to any strategy aimed at poverty reduction. Studies suggest that countries that made noticeable progress on poverty reduction were those which recorded fast and high growth rates (World Bank 2000, Dollar and Kraay 2000).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Across the globe, especially in third world countries, people wallow in abject poverty – a cankerworm against growth and development. Sometimes, people go to bed with empty stomach without hope of what to eat the following day and perhaps, malnutrition becomes customary. Some don’t have shelter over their heads; health care delivery system and electricity are alien to some communities; pipe borne water, lack of qualitative or limited access to or total lack of education and endemic diseases has taken over some territories; lots of mothers and children die during child birth on a daily basis, some environment are not conducive to human habitation due to environmental degradation; while some still live in the stone age societies where there is basically no form of civilization, presence of social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision making. There are many developing countries in the world with precarious development indices. For example, it is said that more than 1.2 billion people or about 20 per cent of the world population live or survive on less than US 1 per day (Shetty, 2005).
The fight against poverty has been a central plank of development planning since independence in 1960 and about fifteen ministries, fourteen specialized agencies, and nineteen donor agencies and non-governmental organizations have been involved in the decades of this crusade but about 70 per cent of Nigerians still live in poverty, (Soludo, 2003). Literatures have unanimously agreed that successive government’s interventions have failed to achieve the objectives for which they were established (Ovwasa, 2000; Adesopo, 2008; Omotola, 2008). The failure to effectively combat the problem has largely been blamed on infrastructural decay, endemic corruption, and poor governance and accountability (Okonjo-Iweala, et al 2003).
1.3 Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine how rural economy is positioned towards implementation of sustainable development goals.
Specifically, this this study aims to
- Examine the role of rural economy towards implementation of sustainable development goals
- Examine the various sustainable development goals
- Determine the positioning of rural economy for sustainable development
- Evaluate Nigeria progress towards meeting the target date of 2015 of the MDGs vis a vis the approach to sustainable rural development.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the role of rural economy towards implementation of sustainable development goals?
- What are the various sustainable development goals?
- How is the positioning of rural economy for sustainable development?
- What is Nigeria progress towards meeting the target date of 2015 of the MDGs vis a vis the approach to sustainable rural development?
1.5 significance of the Study
This will help to attain a sustainable socio-economic development. Unless Nigerians began to adequately tap their human resources, many of them may remain in poverty for long. (Adeoye, 2005). Simply because Nigeria as a country is richly endowed in both material and human resources, in spite of this, majority of the people still suffer under abject poverty. Also despite various programmes undertaken by successive governments to alleviate poverty, poverty tends to deepen and expand over the years.
As the government strives once again to make a fresh start at turning the table of pervasive poverty and enhancing the well being of the poor populace, especially the youth, hence this research has been largely rationalized by the motivation or desire to fill in the gap in knowledge.
1.5 Scope / Limitation of the Study
The study concerns about rural economy Nigeria towards implementation of sustainable development goals and ways to eradicate this poverty in Nigeria at large from 2007 t0 2015.
Limitation of the Study
In a study of this nature, there is no doubt that the researcher will be confronted with some problems, which may affect the outcome of the research. There is no doubt that the findings and views expressed cannot by any means be exhaustive nor is there any pretension that they are going to be fool proof. In the course of their study we had the following limitations:
One of such problems that may affect this study is inadequate data. As a matter of fact, there may be dearth of data in this area of study. In fact, no human being has all knowledge except the Almighty God. Precisely, because from a few available articles, may therefore difficult for us to gather data, which would have immense help for critical analysis.
Also, at this time of economic crunch and political confusion it will not be out of place to say that financial constraints will serve as a great limitation to this study. This may hinder information and the research’s area of coverage.
Conclusion and Recommendation
This study has been able to establish that no meaningful development will happen in the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy without programs and policies that can stand the test of time and outlive the administrations that established them. Nigeria as a nation have suffered from inconsistency in programs and policies in the agricultural sector due to changes in government over the years. This study has also established the main reason behind the program and policies that are still existing in Nigeria to be the legislative framework provided for them and hence it is almost impossible for any government to discard for political or other reasons. Aligning with the conclusion of Okunola (2016), legislative arm of government of Nigeria has crucial roles to play in sustainable development of the rural areas by providing legislative framework for programs and policies that have proved their worth or whose prospects are bright to insulate them from inconsistency.
The legislature should ensure that the executive provide for budgetary allocation for socioeconomic and socio-infrastructural development of the rural areas in Nigeria and should ensure oversight function for maximum implementation of the budget in the interest of rural dwellers. The legislature should also ensure that it provides frameworks for rural interventions of the executive to allow for sustainability of such interventions. The government should ensure that in the implementation of programs and policies that will be developed toward achieving the sustainable development goals, the rural areas are not neglected as they are crucially important to the future of Nigeria and her people. As the nation would look forward to lift people out of poverty within the time frame of this new developmental goals, agriculture with its enormous proven potentials should be explored to restore the lost economical agricultural prowess of the agrarian Nigeria.
Finally, the government should develop fiscal policy in taxes and subsidies that will empower the farmers in the rural areas and as well as serve as incentives for those who have given almost all of their lives to farming to feed the teeming population. Reduced personal income tax, business tax as well as subsidized input will encourage the farmers to put more efforts into production. Such polices will also ensure accumulation of more income to the farming households and thus allow them to access more basic amenities such as health centers for medical check-ups and quality education for their children and also afford to conveniently feed their households.
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