Dept: POLITICAL SCIENCE File: Word(doc) Chapters: 1-5 Views: 2


Poverty, either as a plague or cause of other specific underdevelopment ailments, afflicts Nigeria as it does other Nations of the World. The high level of prevalence in the country, which has attained an endemic nature is becoming worrisome. Poverty has made Nigeria to attain an unenviable status such that no Government (no matter the level), Organisation, Community, Clan or Family can survive effectively without introducing one kind of poverty reduction effort or the other. This problem is essentially not that of programme introduction but effectiveness of such programme and strategies so adapted in poverty reduction efforts. Nigeria has not been known to lack in such efforts; yet she is still ranked among the world’s 25 poorest Nations! This study is therefore an attempt at evaluating the effectiveness of poverty reduction efforts in Nigeria, especially in relation to the policy and strategy formulation, implementation, coordination, monitoring, control and review, sourcing and u



1.1       Background of the Study

Poverty is a global phenomenon, which affects continents, nations and peoples differently. It afflicts people in various depths and levels, at different times and phases of existence (Oyebola, 2012). There is no nation that is absolutely free from poverty. The main difference is the intensity and prevalence of this malaise (Noko, 2017). Nations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America are currently with the highest level of poverty and consequently with the lowest level of socio-economic development. They also have the highest level of social insecurity, violence, unrest and generally unacceptable low standard of living (World Bank, 2000).

Poverty is one of the major problems facing Nigeria as a nation; the incidence of poverty could be seen in rising activities of such groups such as Boko- Haram, Nigeria Delta Militancy and incidence of insecurity of lives and property in the country (Abdulai, 2012). The Nigeria Office of Statistics (2012) exposed that over 112 million Nigerian live below the poverty line earning less than one dollar per day. The problem of poverty in Nigeria and Africa in general has over the years engaged the attention of the international community, governmental and non-governmental agencies, including African scholars. Poverty in African countries is massive, pervasive and chronic, engulfing a large proportion of the society (Uma & Eboh, 2013)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (1999:1) views poverty as “a state where an individual is not able to cater adequately for his or her basic needs of food, clothing and shelter; is unable to meet social and economic obligations, lacks gainful employment, skills, assets and self-esteem; and has limited access to social and economic infrastructure such as education, health, portable water, and sanitation; and consequently, has limited chance of advancing his or her welfare to the limit of his or her capabilities”.

The World Bank (2000:1) utilized inductive approach to uncover various dimensions of poverty such as well-being, psychological, basic infrastructure, illness and assets. One of such definitions is “the lack of what is necessary for material well-being-especially food, but also housing, land, and other assets. In other words, poverty is the lack of multiple resources that leads to hunger and physical deprivation.” Another of such definitions is “lack of voice, power, and independence that subjects them to exploitation. Their poverty leaves them vulnerable to rudeness, humiliation, and inhumane treatment by both private and public agents of the State from whom they seek help”.

The prevalence of poverty and misery in Nigeria is however, a paradox. Nigeria should, by no means be a poor nation. Apart from being an oil-producing nation, Nigeria is endowed with other natural and human resources which are enough to put her on a solid path to economic development and greatness. But Nigeria still wallows in abject poverty despite her stupendous wealth. Deep concerns have been expressed about the sustainability of the democratic process in Nigeria, as poverty-induced agitation and violent conflicts spread across the country (Oluwatusin, 2014).

No Nigerian Government, be it military or civilian, has come without introducing and leaving behind one form of poverty alleviation or reduction programme meant to reduce the level of poverty, give hope and succor to the poor and, or move towards some sort of wealth creation (Oyebola, 2012). Strategies, policies and plans have been articulated; programmes and projects have been formulated and executed over the years. For instance, at independence in 1960, poverty eradication efforts in Nigeria centred on education, while Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), the Green Revolution, War Against Indiscipline (WAI), Peoples Bank of Nigeria (PBN), Community Banks, Directorate of Food Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI), Nigerian Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), Better Life for Rural Women, Family Support Programme (FSP), Poverty Alleviation Program (PAP), The National Poverty Eradication Program (NAPEP), The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), The Seven-Point Agenda, the Transformation Agenda, Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), Rural Infrastructures Development Scheme (RIDS), Social Welfare Services Scheme (SOWESS)and the National Resources Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS), existed during the period under review.

Amidst these efforts by the government to permanently eradicate poverty in Nigeria, the effectiveness of these programmes has been of mixed feelings.  The success of these programmes and efforts has been questionable. This is because poverty is still on the increase in Nigeria and is affecting the entire system.

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