Poverty And National Development In Nigeria With A Focus On The Sustainable Development Goal One

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Poverty And National Development In Nigeria With A Focus On The Sustainable Development Goal One


This study examined poverty and national development in Nigeria with a focus on the sustainable development goal one.

The research use primary data which involved the interview of some MDAs such as Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Budget and National planning. The research also make use of secondary data which would involve the review of documents such as journals, articles, Newspapers and texbook. The method of data collection is document analysis. The instrument of data collection is the use of secondary documents. The method of analysis is content analysis.

The findings revealed that; Corruption is a major problem affecting all sectors of the Nigerian economy which has invariably led to poverty due to lack of basic infrastructures;. Basic infrastructure such as roads, water, health facilities in the country are in bad states and with the absence of such basic facilities, the nature of development in the country will be significantly affected;. High level of insurgency and conflict among the citizens, destruction of natural resources leading to environmental degradation and reduced productivity have a negative effect on the nature of development in the country;. The poor should be involved in the design and implementation of policies aimed at helping alleviate their poverty. The SDG hasn’t been able to achieve its purpose of eradicating poverty in the country as compared to what is seen in the rate of poverty in the country.

The study concluded that, Poverty is a universal issue that has affected the overall growth and development of many developing and underdeveloped countries including Nigeria. The study further recommends that; The leadership of the country and as well as the Ministry of Education should ensure that, the educational system especially the public schools be made absolute free for the less privilege in the country;. Government should ensure that the issue of corruption that has eaten deep into the general affairs of the country should be well examined and eradicated to the least;. Government should ensure that the provision of basic infrastructure such as good roads, access to water, health facilities, credit facilities, etc are made available to the general masses in the country;. Government and other security agencies in the country should work together and put in place necessary security measures that will foster and promote peace among the citizens in the country;. The government and policymakers should ensure that the poor are involved in the design and implementation of policies targeted at the eradication of poverty in the country.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

Poverty is seen as the denial of opportunities and choices, it violates human dignity, it is the lack of basic capacity to effectively participate in society. This means not having enough to feed and clothe a family or having a school or clinic to go to, not having a job to earn a living and having access to credit (UN Statement 1998 as cited in ucha 2010). Poverty also means powerlessness and exclusion of individuals and communities giving room to susceptibility of violence, it implies living on a marginal fragile environment (Ucha 2010). Poverty is a global phenomenon which have continued to plague nation’s around the world and Nigeria is no exception. Poverty eradication remains a key development challenge in Nigeria because of its large population and poor leadership in the country.

Nigeria is rich with enormous natural and human resources. But despite it, the country is still plagued with extreme poverty with 46.7% of the population living in extreme poverty (Sahara reporters 2018). From 1980s till date poverty has been on a steady rise in Nigeria Compared to other countries with lesser resources and natural endowments (Ozden and Udeh 2018). Presently, Nigeria is ranked the world capital of poverty by the World Poverty clock. The World Poverty Clock has revealed that 91,885,874 people in Nigeria now live in extreme poverty. According to the World Bank, a person can be said to be living in extreme poverty if they live below the poverty line of $1.90 which translates to N693.5 per day ( Sahara Reporters 2019).

Poverty have become a way of living for many Nigerians due to the rapid progressive decrease in the quality of life. Over the past few decades it has evolved becoming a critical development issue, various governments in Nigeria have tried poverty reduction strategies and programs to aid the wellbeing of the citizens. During the period of 1960s- 1970s, the federal government and its agencies embarked on multiple projects that had beneficial impacts on rural inhabitants. This programs includes the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDA), the Agricultural Development programmes (ADP), The Rural Electrification scheme (RES), (RBD) and the rural banking scheme. However, all of these programmes have failed to combat poverty due to the high rate of corruption among the political elites in the county.

Other programs included (OFN) operation feed the nation, the universal basic education(UBE) and the Green revolution. Operation feed the nation was enunciated in 1976 by general Obasanjo’s military regime. The programs intention was increasing food production on the premise that availability of cheap food will raise the nutritional level of ordinary Nigerian and invariably lead to an improved standard of living. Governments efforts were also supported by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in other to help promote sustainable development. The adoption of the millennium development goal (MDG’s) by the (UN) millennium summit was intended to provide third world countries especially Africa with new opportunities and drive to mitigate poverty, it became a representation of the international community’s commitment to provide a global partnership for progressively eradicating poverty ( Ozden and Udeh 2018).

The eradication of poverty in all its forms is necessary for the development and advancement of Nigeria. National development can be described as the overall development or a collective socio-economic, political as well as religious advancement of a country or nation (Adeboye nd) This is best achieved through development planning, which can be described as the country’s collection of strategies mapped out by the government. In Nigeria several Development plans have been mapped out to bring about socio-economic development which will help reduce poverty in the country.

Nigeria’s first development plan was formulated between 1962 and 1968 with the objectives of development opportunities in health, education, employment and improving access to these opportunities, etc. (Ogwumike 1995). the second national development plan 1970 to 1974 was launched, with priorities placed on agriculture, industry, transport, manpower, defense, electricity, communication and water supply and provision of social services (Ogwumike 1995). The third plan, 1975 to 1980 was considered more ambitious than the second plan because it was more focused on rural development and efforts to revive the agricultural sector. The fourth plan 1981 to 1985 recognized the role of social services, health services, etc. The plan was aimed at bringing about improvement in the living conditions of the people. The specific objectives were: an increase in the real income of the average citizen, more even distribution of income among individuals and socio-economic groups, increased dependence on the country’s material and human resources, a reduction in the level of unemployment and underemployment (Ogwumike 1995).

Also various strategies for development have been tried with little or no result; among these were the structural adjustment programme (SAP), Vision 2010, national economic empowerment and development strategy (NEEDS), creation of development centers, seven point agenda etc. (Adeboye nd)

Some of this development plans failed because there was little or no consultation of the general public because planning is supposed to involve even the peasants in the villages. Even, the Local Government officials who are close to the people were not consulted. Also corruption, non accountability and transparency as well as bad governance has continously put millions of Nigerians in a state of extreme poverty.

According to the African Development Bank, 152 million Nigerians live on less than 2 dollars a day, representing about 80 percent of the country’s estimated 190 million population in 2018, the report stated Nigeria still faces significant challenges, including foreign exchange shortages, disruption in fuel supply, insecurity and power supply shortages, the poverty level is unacceptably high, the number of people living in relative poverty was expected to have fallen to 28.78 percent in 2007, if the (MDGs) target was to be met in 2015 (Todaro and Smith, 2011). According to analysis however in every ten Nigerian that year amongst them five were still living in poverty. The analysis of poverty incidence by sectors indicated that poverty was more pronounced in the rural areas than in the urban, unemployment rate in Nigeria had risen from 12 out of 100 working age people from 1999 to 2005 rising in the urban areas than in the rural.

Sustainable development goals(SDG) also known to be Global goals were adopted by all United Nations in 2015, it was a universal call to action to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity, SDG’s consist of 17 goals and 169 target to be achieved by the year 2030. The Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari was part of the team leaders that endorsed the takeoff of the new plan; he affirmed support for SDG’s to succeed especially in Nigeria. However, despite government efforts to eradicate poverty, it is still on the rise plaguing Nigerian masses. This becomes problematic as one wonders whether or not enough is being done to meet the sustainable development goals.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Developmental organisations around the world have posited that poverty alleviation should be the primary or even the overriding goal of cooperation between developed and developing countries. This is because development in any society becomes visible when poverty is reduced or eradicated completely. However, this consensus has being disappointing as millions of people are still living in poverty.

Poverty has impacted negatively on the socio- economic development of Nigeria. Through development process, the interactions between social, economic and institutional processes are continously sustained to meet up with increasing future demands in terms of population growth and continuous use of natural, human and material resources ( Adejumo & Adejumo 2014).

A cursory look at the poverty profile in Nigeria showed that in 2004, Nigeria’s relative poverty measurement stood at 54.4%, but increased to 69% in 2010. In absolute terms, 54.7% of Nigerians were living in poverty in 2004 but this increased to 60.9% (National Bureau of Statistics, 2010) . The failure to effectively combat poverty has largely been blamed on poor leadership, infrastructural decay, lack of adequate data base, endemic corruption, policy inconsistency, and poor governance and accountability (Okonjo-Iweala et al 2003).

According to Oxfam 69% of the Nigerian population lives below the poverty line in 2019 (channelstv 2019). What could be said to be the reason for poverty in Nigeria and the progressive increase in the declination of the quality of life of the average Nigerian citizen, despite various poverty reduction programs that has been implemented in the past, like the green revolution, operation feed the nation, better life for rural woman and others. Despite these efforts none of them has come close to achieving the goal of poverty reduction or even poverty eradication in Nigeria.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine Poverty and National Development in Nigeria with a focus on the sustainable development goal one.

Other specific objectives are:

  1. Identify the factors responsible for poverty in Nigeria.
  2. Examine the nature of national development in Nigeria.
  3. Determine strategies and efforts of the government in Nigeria at poverty eradication.
  4. Examine if sustainable development goal one has been effective in poverty eradication in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the factors responsible for poverty in Nigeria?
  2. What is the nature of national development in Nigeria?
  3. What are the strategies and efforts of the government in Nigeria at poverty eradication?
  4. Has the sustainable development goal one being effective in poverty eradication in Nigeria?.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is significant because poverty eradication is an utmost agenda of every nation around the world. The major importance of this study is to provide solution to the problem of poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria. This study would reveal substantial ways of improving the living standards of the people and by stemming out possible options government should use in reducing the increasing rate of poverty in Nigeria.The study also aims at highlighting the effects of poverty on national Development and to ascertain the effectiveness of the sustainable development goal one in eradicating poverty. The study aims at preserving, improving and promoting the lives of individuals by encouraging development, equality to education, creation of health facilities and other Infrastructures for now and future generations unborn.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The thematic scope of this research involves the analysis of the Sustainable development goal one which is the eradication of poverty at all levels. The research would concentrate on the necessity of poverty eradication and promotion of national development in Nigeria. The researcher would rely on information from NGO’s and experts specialized in the research area and other reliable secondary records concerning the issue.

1.7 Research Methodology

The research design for this study is the case study design. This research would make use of primary data which would involve the interview of some MDAs such as Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Budget and National planning. The research would also make use of secondary data which would involve the review of documents such as journals, articles, Newspapers and texbook. The method of data collection is document analysis. The instrument of data collection is the use of secondary documents. The method of analysis is content analysis.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms


Poverty is multi-dimensional nature, there is no standard of definition of it, this means what one can see as poor may not be viewed as poor by others. Poverty is mostly perceived or described as a situation of low income or low consumption, it is also viewed as a situation in which individuals cannot meet the basic necessities of life such as food, clean water, clothing, shelter, education, security and health care.

National Development

National development refers to the ability of a nation to improve the live of its citizens. Some of the measures are increase in gross domestic product, improving literacy rates, improving medical facilities, and increase in infrastructural develoment and per-capital income.

Sustainable Development Goals

The SDG’ was born at the United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro in 2015, the objective was to produce a set of universal goals that meet the urgent environmental, political and socio- economic challenges facing the world. The sustainable development goals was a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

1.9 Outline of the Study.

This research study is divided into five chapters.

  • Chapter one which is the general introduction contains the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives, research questions, significance of study, scope of the study, research methodolgy and operational defintion of terms.
  • Chapter two consist of literature review and theoretical framework.
  • Chapter three constitues of an Appraisal of Sustainable Goal one in Nigeria.
  • Chapter four focuses on the Analysis of poverty and nigeria national development in relations to SDG goal 1.
  • Chapter five would contain summary, conclusion and recommendation of this research.

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