1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Poverty alleviation is one among the foremost challenges facing any country within the developing world wherever, on the common, majority of the population is taken into account poor. Evidences in African nation shows that the quantity of these in financial condition has continuing to extend. As an example the quantity of these in financial condition raised from twenty seventh in 1980 to forty sixth in 1985 and to sixty seven in 1996; by 1999 it raised to over seventieth (Ogwumike, 2001). Financial condition alleviation programmes in African nation square measure suggests that through that the government. Aims to revamp and reconstruct the economy. The high incidence of financial condition within the country has created financial condition alleviation ways necessary in policy choices over the years with varied results. Financial condition alleviation ways starting from Operation Feed the state of 1978, the revolution of 1982, the board of directors of Foods Roads and Rural Infrastructures DFFRI, the National board of directors for Employment NDE, financial condition alleviation programme, PAP up to the National financial condition obliteration Programme, NAPEP were all makes an attempt created by varied governments within the country to curb the menace. The stability of a fledgling democracy depends to a very large extent on the ability of the governing elites to eradicate poverty. Democracy cannot thrive in an impoverished country where people live below $1 per day, and where stresses of diseases, famine and climatic shock are pervasive (Sachs, 2005). Although poverty is a universal phenomenon that affect socio-economic and political well being of its victims whether in a developed or underdeveloped country, however, available statistics shows that poverty in poor country is absolute and more pronounced in the rural areas. In Nigeria, the rural populations that constitute about 73% of the country’s population (Presidential Report, 1999) are backward and underdeveloped. A visit to any rural settlement in Nigeria will reveal dirt and unmotorable roads, women and children walking barefooted and trekking long distance to get water and firewood, pupil studying under trees, a dilapidated and ill equipped health centres and scores of poverty driven problems (Aderonmu, 2007). The rural dwellers suffers on many fronts and are powerless to improve their situation because of ill-health, poor education and lack of access to many opportunities available to them. They are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and economic upheavals as well as to crime and violence. The rural dwellers are often deprived of the basic rights that urban dwellers take for granted. Although successive government in Nigeria since independence to date have attempted severally to eradicate poverty in the country through various programmes, but the assessment of their contributions to poverty reduction is scanty compared to huge amount of resources committed to the programmes (Egware, 1997). Thus the primary focus of this research is to appraise the various poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria since 1999 when the country returns to civilian rule.Though, successive governments have tried to handle and solve the issue of poverty as captured above, the effect of the strategies and programmes has been that of mixed feelings. A fundamental question to ask is how far having these programmes impacted positively on the poor?
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The Nigerian state has been hit by the twin problems of poverty and underdevelopment. This may be attributed to a number of factors, some of which are mismanagement of human and material resources, indiscipline, lack of political will by the government from post independence to present day Nigeria. Instead of tackling poverty alleviation in the society, our policy makers and leaders have converted their positions into avenues of squandamania, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering to the neglect of the suffering people. The problem of poverty in Nigeria has woken up to witness anti-social activities like armed robbery, cultism, drug trafficking, prostitution, child trafficking, ritual killings, political thuggery and assassinations. Poverty alleviation programmes in an economy are aimed at improving the welfare of those who are categorized as poor. The poverty alleviation programmes considered in this study have been in place for about nineteen (19) years. However, available statistics do not appear to be suggesting any remarkable improvement in the poverty situation in Nigeria. Nigeria has consistently been classified among the poorest countries in the world. According to 2005 World Bank report, Nigeria has been rated as the second poorest country in the world, only better than Ethiopia which was reported as the poorest in the world. This research is therefore designed to examine this phenomenon of a myriad of poverty alleviation programmes without commensurate results.
1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine federal government poverty alleviation programme during Obasanjo’s administration. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To assess the rate of poverty reduction from 1999-2007.
2. To examine the major factors militating against poverty reduction in Nigeria.
3. To examine the impact of poverty alleviation programme on the citizens of Nigeria.
4. To examine the problems inhibiting the efficient implementation of poverty alleviation programmes
5. To examine the relationship between poverty alleviation programmes and poverty reduction in Nigeria.
6. To proffer strategies on how to enhance poverty reduction programmes in Nigerian system of government.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How is the rate of poverty reduction from 1999-2007?
2. What are the major factors militating against poverty reduction in Nigeria?
3. What are the impacts of poverty alleviation programme on the citizens of Nigeria?
4. What are the problems inhibiting the efficient implementation of poverty alleviation programmes?
5. What is the relationship between poverty alleviation programmes and poverty reduction in Nigeria?
6. What are the possible strategies on how to enhance poverty reduction programmes in Nigerian system of government?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no impact of poverty alleviation programme on the citizens of Nigeria.
H02: There is no significant relationship between poverty alleviation programmes and poverty reduction in Nigeria h.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Theoretically, the study is significant because it is going to fill the gap of knowledge and in literature which exists in the subject discourse. It focuses on poverty as a universal problem facing mankind with serious consequences. The empirical aspect of the study is concerned with deprivation, prevalent hunger, diseases, dearth in insufficiency of cash in their concerted effort to find acceptable and lasting solution to poverty eradication in Nigeria. The study will serve as a reference to scholars, administrators and policy makers in a similar research in future on the subject matter; it will be a contribution to the existing literature on poverty.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the evaluation of federal government poverty alleviation programme during Obasanjo’s administration (2010-2007), a case study of Lagos state, Nigeria
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Poverty: According to the McGraw Hill (1973) dictionary of modern economics, "poverty is a condition in which income is insufficient to meet substantial needs." Thus, the level of living may be considerably lower than what is deemed to be the adequate standard of living. In some cases, poverty is the inability of a family to have the following: basic needs like food, water, shelter etc.; at least basic education, health services and minimum income.
Poverty Alleviation: In the Nigerian context, we usually refer to efforts aimed at reducing the magnitude of "poverty” defined in terms of the proportion of the population living below the poverty line.
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