Full Project – ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMMES IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria today with a teaming population of over 140 million people is considered as one of the world’s richest countries in terms of human and natural resources. Despite these abundant human and natural resources, doubts are being cast as regards how beneficial these resources are to her citizens. Data available show a high rate of poverty. For example, Amaka (2007) says that the incidence of poverty has increased from 28.1 percent in 1980 to 46.3 percent in1985, declined to 42.7 percent in 1992 and increased to 65.6 percent in 1996. In absolute terms, these figures translate to 18.26 million, 34.7 million and 67.1 million in 1980, 1985 and 1996 respectively. Also, Iyoha (2007) puts the Nigeria poverty rate for 2006 at about 71 percent, whereas National Bureau of Statistics (2009) puts the figure for the same 2006 at 72.4 percent.
Observably, the Federal Government of Nigeria has made lots of policies towards alleviation of poverty amongst her teaming citizenry. In 1999, the government introduced an economic measure titled Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP). In order to enhance the frontiers of economic growth and poverty reduction in the medium term, the government came out with another economic policy document titled Framework for Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Development (2003-2007). With the lack of significant progress of PAP, the government came up with the National Poverty Alleviation Programme (NAPEP).
Numerous objective and subjective criticisms have been leveled on these policies. There are people who think that these government policies have made strides while others hold different views. This has, therefore, polarized people into different camps. Despite these diverse opinions, there exist individuals who are simply concerned with what should be put in place to alleviate or eradicate poverty in a country believed to be one of the potentially richest countries in the world, because the country is endowed with numerous human and natural resources. How to utilize these human and natural resources to alleviate poverty among Nigerians seems to present an uphill task.
Tunde (1993) remarks that Federal Government method of policy formulation emphasizes incremental values rather than the intervening variables that are likely to stall the laudable objective. On the other hand, Ekaetta (2001) argues that policy formulation is a rational outcome of detailed data analysis with choices optimized to suit existing circumstances. By implication, policies are not rushed. They are wholistically approached. It is the same wholistic approach principle, according to him, that guides the policies of economic recovery and poverty alleviation in Nigeria.
Continuing, Ekaetta (2001) states that public policy is influenced and guided by a combination of philosophies, goals, strategies and resources targeted at the achievement of specific or general goals of government. Remarking on the poverty situation in Nigeria he said, “For a nation so well endowed with human and material resources as ours, the current levels of general poverty and unemployment, especially among the youth, must represent the serious indictment of our past policies and strategies”. He concluded that history will record that all manners of programmes, schemes and projects had been introduced to reduce the unacceptable level of poverty among our people.
These arguments concerning methodologies and approaches to policy formulation and implementation in general and as they relate to poverty alleviation in particular are pointers to the existence of problems which have been obstructing the efforts of the government to eradicate poverty in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Several governments in Nigeria have implemented several policies aimed at controlling poverty. However available statistics show that poverty is still on the increase. The majority of the people are living below the $1.00 (One Dollar) daily income.
Programmes, schemes and projects to reduce the level of poverty among our people have been put in place. These programmes, schemes and projects have suffered from myriad of weaknesses. It is necessary to find out what these problems are and what are responsible for the existence of the problems.
The Federal Government method of policy formulation emphasizes incremental values rather than the intervening variables that are likely to stall such laudable objectives. Other views expressed, concerning polices of poverty alleviation, is that Nigeria is not lacking in ideas rather what are needed are the commitment, leadership and economic will to vigorously pursue policy initiatives that are undertaken.
The existence of these policies of economic enhancement and poverty alleviation along side with serious poverty in most states in Nigeria call for the evaluation of the policies so as to ascertain the root causes of the problems. The statement of the problem of this study put in the form of a question is; why does poverty persist in Nigeria, especially in rural areas, despite policies and programmes that have been put in place to eradicate it?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main thrust of the study is to role of the Government in poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria. However, the objectives of the study are:
- To assess the extent of application of the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies in the South-East of Nigeria.
- To ascertain the effects of the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies in the South-East of Nigeria.
- To identify the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies for education in the rural areas of South-East of Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In line with the stated objectives of the study, the following research questions are asked.
- To what extent has the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies been applied in the South-East of Nigeria?
- What are the effects of the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies in the South-East of Nigeria?
- What are the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies for education in the rural areas of South-East of Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
- HO: The extent to which the Federal Government poverty Alleviation policies were applied in the South-East of Nigeria is not significant.
H1: The extent to which the Federal Government poverty
Alleviation policies were applied in the South-East of Nigeria is significant.
- HO:Poverty alleviation policies of the Federal Government in the South-East of Nigeria do not provide facilities for the urban dwellers and do not neglect the rural dwellers.
H1: Poverty alleviation policies of the Federal Government in the South-East of Nigeria provide facilities for the urban dwellers and neglect the rural dwellers.
- HO:The Federal Government poverty alleviation policies for education in the rural areas of South-East of Nigeria do not provide free education and learning facilities
The Federal Government poverty alleviation policies for education in the rural areas of South-East of Nigeria do provide free education and learning facilities.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The outcome of the evaluation of the Federal Government poverty alleviation policies in the South-East of Nigeria will be of immense importance to the Federal Government of Nigeria and other agencies that are concerned with poverty alleviation. It will enable the government assess itself regarding how successful these policies have been.
The findings of the study will also bring new lease of hope to the people of the South-East of Nigeria as the implementation of the findings will bring them some relief and sense of belonging. Alleviation of poverty in the South-East will also reduce lots of restiveness being experienced in this part of Nigeria as most people attribute these to reactions against poverty and hardship.
The study will in a special way serve as a stimulus to the Department of Management Studies in various Universities in Nigeria to revisit their curriculum in order to ascertain how their management programmes touch the lives of the common people in our society especially as it relates to policy formulation and implementation.
Future researchers in the field of poverty management will also benefit from the work. Since the researcher is interested in poverty alleviation, this work will also be of benefit to him as it may serve as a basis for future works that may lead to award of Ph.D. in Management.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is only on the evaluation of the Poverty Alleviation policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the South-East of Nigeria. The study was carried out among the three randomly selected Poverty Alleviation Programmes in the South-East of Nigeria. These are (1) NAPEP (2) Micro Finance Banks (3) A.D.P. and (4) The poor. Although, the South-East of Nigeria comprises Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State and Imo State, the study is carried out in the rural areas of only six randomly selected Local Government Areas of Anambra and Imo States of Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study was constrained by a number of problems some of which are:
- Time: Due to limited time given for the study the researcher could not visit all the places where data and information relevant to the study could be obtained.
- Financial Constraint: A lot of money is required in data collection, analysis and The researcher is constrained financially. Owning to this constrains, the researcher could not cover all poverty alleviation programmes in the South East of Nigeria but selected only a number of them.
- Attitude of the Respondents: Some of the respondents were unwilling to co-operate with the researcher since they do not derive financial benefit from the study.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Financial Inclusion: This means empowering the masses financially in other that they can set up their own businesses and live happily.
Poverty Alleviation: This means lessening of poverty and its negative effects on the masses
Poverty Alleviation: It means complete erasure of poverty.
Policy: Policy here denotes a plan of action that guides the government in achieving its programmes.
Institutional and Human Inhibitors: These are those at the corridors of power who because of their corrupt office practices put obstacles on the ways of those who are appointed to check or fight corruption.
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Full Project – ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT POVERTY ALLEVIATION PROGRAMMES IN NIGERIA