Poverty Alleviation: The Role Of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) In Benin City
This study assessed the impact of Poverty Reduction Programmes as a Development Strategy in Benin – City through the National Poverty Eradication Programme.
The study examined issues of poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria, attributing it to lack of employment, high rate of illiteracy among the citizenry, poor infrastructure, inadequate access to micro credit facilities, mismanagement of public funds, instability of the governments and its policies.
The study also examined the efforts made by different governments in alleviating poverty. Poverty is multi-dimensional; it is characterized by lack of purchasing power, exposure to risk, malnutrition, high mortality rate, low life expectancy, insufficient access to social and economic services etc. poverty in Nigeria has reach an alarming level and is blamed on non-clear government social policies, across the world government plays a key role in poverty alleviation. In the case of Nigeria, the inability of successive governments to streamlined and harness the enormous potentials for improved services delivery in all the existing structures of poverty eradication has resulted into persistent poverty.
The study seeks to explore the extent to which public policies have affected the poverty alleviation programme in Benin-City with special emphasis on the role of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP).
1.1 Background Of The Study
Poverty is a social problem in which a country is face with cultural, social, political, economic and environmental deprivations. In other words, it is a state of involuntary deprivation to which a person, household, community or nation can be subjected. In recent times, scholars have pointed out that there are reinforcing vicious circles that keep families, regions and countries poor and unable to contribute to national growth (Perry et al, 2006; Okoye and Onyukwu, 2007). In developing countries, poverty level has been on the increase. In Nigeria, for example, the situation has worsened since the late 1990s and can be best described as “inflammable”. As Nnamadi (2003; 60) puts it, poverty in Nigeria has reached an alarming level and has been rising steadily not exponentially.
Aware of the grave consequences of poverty, successive Nigerian governments have designed and implemented numerous policies to tackle the scourge. However, every effort towards this direction has not yielded the expected results. Some believe that bad governance, corruption, low productivity, unemployment, debt-burden and conflicts are associated to failure of poverty eradication. Others attributed the high level of poverty to macro-economic distortion, globalization, high population growth rate and poor human resources development. It is generally believed that acute poverty can be reduced or eradicated through effective policy measure.
The problem of poverty in African is one that has over the years engaged the attention of the international community, governmental and non-governmental organizations including western and African scholars indeed. The issues of poverty and poverty reduction have been a focus of numerous researchers’ discussion, its debates and implementations of the various programmes. In discussing any issue that relates to poverty, one must cast back his mind to the days of the early scholars who contributed immensely on the topic (poverty and poverty alleviation).
According to Anikpo (1995), poverty is the history process of individuals or groups being forcefully eliminated from control of the decision-making machinery that determines the production and distribution of resource in a society. He further explains that poverty manifest in various forms, such as hunger, lack of food, good drinking water, clothes, shelters, good health, poor education and distribution of resources coupled with monopoly of the machinery of decision-making through coercive state apparatus.
The concept of poverty and material deprivation is a critical one in contemporary social discussions. Social sciences literature is replete with attempt by economics and other social scientists to conceptualize the phenomenon. Poverty has economic, social and political ramifications. The poor are materially deprived, socially alienated and politically excommunicated. Basically, poverty has been conceptualized in the following ways;
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