Poverty Alleviation Programmes – The Efficacy In Dependent Societies

Poverty Alleviation Programmes – The Efficacy In Dependent Societies: A Case Study Of National Poverty Eradication Programme (napap) In Ebonyi State

Poverty Alleviation Programmes – The Efficacy In Dependent Societies: A Case Study Of National Poverty Eradication Programme (napap) In Ebonyi State

From independence till date, successive governments in Nigeria have repeatedly adopted different policies and programmes virtually in every aspects of national life.

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Such programmes include those intended to stimulate self-sufficiency in food production and provide necessary infrastructures to regulate economic activities. Others are aimed at reducing unemployment and the improvement of the living condition of the poor masses in an effort to create poverty alleviation in the nation.

Here, substantial efforts by most civilian governments have been intensified over the years targeted at solving identifiable problem of poverty and unemployment in the country. These efforts became more pronounced recently because the Nigerian nation has became bedeviled by situations where many youths graduate from school in geometrical proportion without commensurate employment them.

As a result of these, the Nigerian government, at both the state and federal levels have been making effort at reducing or eradicating poverty by establishing series of programmes which include:

 National Accelerated Food Production (NAFP) in the year 1972,

 Operation Feed the National (OFN) in 1976.

 The Green Revolution (GR) in 1980

 Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986.

 National Directorate for employment (NDE) in 1986.

 Better Life Programme/family support programmes (BLP/FSP).

 The Family Economic Advancement programmes (FEAP) in 1997. etc. (Sources: Central Bank of Nigeria and World Bank (1999); Nigerian Development Projects; Poverty Assessment and Alleviation Study, march, 8).

The success of these programmes in poverty reduction remains an issue of argument. This is based on the premise that previous and subsequent programmes designed towards alleviating poverty by various regimes, have neither yielded a positive result nor became successful. On this note, the federal government introduced Poverty Alleviation programme (PAP), during Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime, which in the course of its development and operation was changed to National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in the year 2000.

These were laudable government programmes meant to bring succour and smiles to the Nigeria poor masses, but never made any headway owing to formulation/implementation differentia.

It is in recognition of the problems that militate against effective execution (implementation) of Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria, that the researcher have decided to embark on this study. “The efficiency of Poverty Alleviation programmes in dependent societies”, using Ebonyi State NAPEP as a case study.

1.2 Statement of the problem

We have established in our previous section that, successive governments in Nigeria had embarked on one Poverty Alleviation programme or the other in their times to provide panacea to devolvement problem that face them. It therefore seems to the researcher, that there arises some exigencies that necessitate the lapses inherent in implementing various poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria. This gaps or short comings between formulated Poverty Alleviation Programmes and its faithful implementation is technically referred to as “formulation/implementation differentia”.

It is in recognition of these ugly trends in the formulation and implementation of poverty alleviation in Nigeria, that the following principal research questions arise:

i. To what extent have the programme reduced poverty in Ebonyi State by providing job opportunities?

ii. To what extent have the programme provided social amenities in Ebonyi State?

iii. To what extent have the programmes improved the standard of living the poor masses in Ebonyi State?

iv. Are the programmes meant for the poor masses in Ebonyi State.

v. What are the factors militating against the proper implementation of the programme?


The general objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness and the veracity of Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAP) in Ebonyi State using NAPEP as a case-study.

However, this study has its specific objectives as follows:

i. To assess how far the programme has reduced poverty in Ebonyi State.

ii. To determine the extent at which the programme has provided infrastructural facilities in Ebonyi State.

iii. To evaluate the extent at which the programme has affected the poor masses of Ebonyi State.

iv. To find out whether the programme is meant for the poor masses in Ebonyi State.

v. To determine the problems militating against the proper implementation of the programme in Ebonyi State.


The study of Poverty Alleviation programmes in Ebonyi State will be very useful to policy makers, politicians, scholars, students, researchers and Nigerians in general. this is because the work will expose the extent to which Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Ebonyi State have affected the lives of the poor in the society.

The work will also be beneficial to the rural poor in a special way. Here, its findings help to enlighten the poor masses of the rural areas on the efforts and programmes of government at alleviating their development problems.


This research work focuses on ascertaining the efficiency of Poverty Alleviation Programmes (PAP) in dependent societies, with special emphasis on NAPEP in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

It’s major focus is to assess how far these programmes have affected the lives of the poor masses in Ebonyi State.

The researcher was faced with a lot of limitations in the course of gathering material for the work.

The greatest limitation to this work, was the refusal of relevant authorities to make materials needed available to the researcher.

The reason being that most of the materials asked for were said to be classified documents and hence not open to public security.

This constraint however, was over-coned through a huge cost to the researcher who employed useful means to obtain alternative documents that yielded the same data that were refered to as classified documents.

Other limitations encountered by the researcher was financial in capacitating as a result of relative lack of money at the appropriate time to facilitate the work.

Again, the researcher had to combine other academic works with the researcher, so as to meet up with the time frame for the completion of the research.

The combination of all these constraints was not easy for the researcher but in the end, the researcher was able to make a headway.


Hypothesis is generally understood to be an assumed answer to a research question. In the words of Anikpo (1986:48), it is a tentative answer to problem; a guide and prelude to the final solution.

In view of the above, the following hypothesis would act as our guide.

i. Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria have not reduced the rate of poverty in Ebonyi State.

ii. Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria have reduced the rate of poverty in Ebonyi State.

iii. Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria have not provided social amenities in Ebonyi State.

iv. Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria have provided social amenities in Ebonyi State.


The theory used to explain this work is based on dependency theory. Dependency theory first emerged in the 1950’s advocated by Raul PREBISCH (1901-1986), an Argentine economists known for his contribution to structuralist economics. His hypothesis formed the basis of economic dependency theory.

Through his research findings, he found out that the wealth of poor nations tended to decrease when the wealth of rich nations increased.

However, dependency theory states that the poverty of the countries in the periphery is not because they are not integrated into the world system or not fully integrated as is often required by right wing development they are integrated into the system.

Nevertheless, the relevance of this theory to this work is to unveil the issue of poverty in dependent states as having been exacerbated by virtue of our dependent nature and how we (dependent states) were enmeshed into the world system.

This theory enables the researcher to understand the dynamic relations which exist between dominant and dependent states in which their interactions tend to not only reinforce but also intensify the unequal patterns.

The theory enables the researcher to note that Dependency is the root-cause of poverty among the dependent states. This tries to explains that until the relationship between the dominant and dependent states in the world system is addressed, every effort towards development of the dependent states becomes a mirage.

Theotonio Dos Santos, in his work “the structure of Dependency,” gave a historical dimension of the Dependency relationship by defining Dependency as…. “ an historical condition which shapes a certain structure of the world economy such that it favours some countries to the detriment of others and limits the development possibilities of the subordinate economics ….. a situation in which the economy of a certain group of countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy, to which their own is subjected”.

Osvldo Sunkel, in his work “National Development Policy and External Dependency in Latin America,” Conceived Dependency as “an explanation of the economic development of a state in terms of the external influence ……. Political, economic, and cultural…..on national development policies”.

In start, dependency theory attempts to explain the present underdeveloped state of many nations in the world by examining the patterns of interactions among nations and by arguing that inequality among nations is an intrinsic part of those interactions.

Moreso, there are still points of serious disagreements among the various strains of dependency theorists such as Raul Prebisch (liberal reformer), Andre Gunder Frank (the Marxist), Paul A. Barany Dos. Santos. I, Fernado herique Cardoso and Immanuel Wallerstein, etc.

This portrays that there is no one unified theory of dependency, as most dependency theorists have some core propositions which seem to underlie their analyses.


POVERTY: This is the inability of one to have the basic necessities of life. That is, basically not having enough food to eat, a high rate of infant mortality, low life expectancy, low educational opportunities, poor water, unemployment; inadequate healthcare and unfit housing. (Aluko, 1975).

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ALLEVIATION: In simple terms, it means to make something less severe: (Oxford dictionary, 2000).

PROGRAMME: It is a plan of things that will be done or included in the development of something (oxford dictionary 2000). A programme is a set of decisions or rules designed to implement a particular policy.

DEPENDENT: This is a situation where by a particular economy services on the primary of another economy, for its development and livelihood.


This refers to the gap that arises as a result of poor policy implementation. Most often, especially in the third world countries, policies are brilliantly formulated, but poorly executed. This breeds gap as policies fail to achieve the goals of their designers/initiators.




Poverty according to D. Olu Aja Kaiye et al (1999) in the work, conceptual and methodological issues in poverty Alleviation is defined as “a living condition in which an entity is faced with economic, social, political, cultural and environmental deprivations”.

In the view of World Bank (1970), “poverty is the inability of certain persons to attain a minimum standards of living.

In the same view, Aluko (1975) defines poverty as “lack of basic necessities of life”. That is, basically not having enough to eat, a high rate of infant mortality, low life expectancy, low educational opportunities, poor water, unemployment, inadequate health care and unfit housing.

However, poverty can no longer be defined in trans of income alone because of its complexity. According to UNDP, poverty is distinguished between income poverty and human poverty. Income poverty, according to UNDP occurs when the income level of an individual falls below a nationally defined poverty line.

Human poverty by UNDP is seen as denial or deprivation of opportunities and choices that would enable an individual to lead a long health creative life and to enjoy a decent standard of living, freedom, dignity, self-respect and respect for others.

To measure Human poverty, UNDP proposed three indices, the first relates to an individuals vulnerability to death at a relatively early age and is measured by the percentage of the population expectant to die before the age of 40; the second relates to an individuals exclusion from the world of reading and communication and is measured by the percentage of adult who are illiterates; the third index relates to the standard of living and is measured by the percentage of people with access to health services, employment, safe water and the percentage of malnourished children less than 5 years old. Mbogurje (2004).

Also, in the view of Balogun (1993) of Economic reforms and National question, “poverty is defined as a situation where a population or section of the population is able to meet only its bare subsistence essential of food, clothing and shelter in order to maintain minimum standard of living”. In order to understand the concept well, this definition requires that a yardstick be set which can be used to determine who is poor and who is not. This led to the emergence of the concept of poverty line based on the level of per capita income or consumption of individuals or households within a region or country, which means the cut-off living standard level below which a person is classified as poor and counting the people whose income is below the line.

For example, in 1990, world development Report used upper poverty line of U.S dollar 370 per capita as a cut-off for absolute poverty. People whose consumption levels fall below U.S dollar 275 are very poor.

Many analysts believed that income and consumption level say very little about the standard of living. This is the reason why World Development Report stressed to include other factors such as health, life expectance, access to clean water and education etc.

According to Engelama and Bamidele (1997) as quoted in Onah, (2006) see poverty as ‘a state of an individual not being able to cater adequately for his/her basic needs of life like food, clothing and shelter……… meeting social and economic objectives, lacks gainful employment, skills, assets and self-esteem, education, health, portable water and sanitation, which reduces the opportunity of advancing his/her well being to the limit of his/her capability”.

In reaction to the above, Onah (2006) explains that poverty is not only the inability of individuals to afford the above basic needs of life, but reduces the strength and prestige of such individuals to participate in any given activity in the society.

Explaining further, Onah viewed poverty in Nigeria as having deprived a good number of her citizens the prestige of citizenship.

For example, the less privileged, unemployed, and landless peasants are not given access to bank facilities as a result of the collateral barrier, which has been placed above their affordable capability.

However, basic education, good water, good environment and healthcare have been made for a class of poverty who are within the enclave of poverty are not opportuned to afford them. This circumstances keep on increasing the poverty scope and creates more inability to the Nigerian poor citizenries.

According to Nnoli (1989), poverty is defined as a section of the population, which has been crushed by the power of money. He divided the society into two; the bourgeoisie and the peasants. He described the bourgeoisie as the rich people who owned and control the means of production and therefore enjoy the power of money and the peasants as the poor ones in the society who do not control or own the means of production and hence they are the victims of the of the power of money.

Fields (1994:3) holds that “poverty is the inability of an individual or family to command sufficient resources to satisfy their basic needs”.

In the same vein, Chambers (1995) sees poverty “as the lack of physical necessities such as assets and income”.

World Bank 1996, as quoted in Onah (2006:71) says that ‘the poor earn below the international measurement of one U.S Dollar per day, which affects their purchasing power to acquire their basic needs”.

Onah (2006:71) quoted Achor when he contends that the poor lack cash income that is sufficient to cover their minimum standard of living. And that poverty is not only a situation of standard of living, but also a state of severe deprivation in the society.

According to Amuguo (2003:1) “poverty is the deprivation of elements necessary for human survival”.

These elements include clean water, food, shelter, health and self-dignity. Deprivation of self-dignity is simply the denial of individual liberty, natural rights, political liberty, civil liberty and property. In situations where these elements are far fetched, the society is left with nothing but “poverty and underdevelopment”.


Dependency theory first emerged in the 1950s as advocated by RAUL PREBISCH (1901-1986), an Argentine economists whose research found that the wealth of poor nations tended to decrease when the wealth of rich nations increased. Some proponents of dependency theory includes; Rual Prebisch, Theotonio Dos Santos, Paul A. Baran, Andre Gunder Frank and Fernando Cardozo etc.

Alapiki (2004) argues that “dependency refers to a situation where one or several economies depend on another, and to that extent, the development of the dependent economy is controlled by the one it depends on”.

Dos Santos (1970:60), in his article titled “The structure of Dependence”, defined ‘dependence’ as “a situation in which the economy of certain countries is conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy to which the former is subjected”.

Santos explained further, that, it is the relation of interdependence between two or more economies, between these countries in question and World Trade assumes the forms of dependence when some countries (the dominant ones) can expand or can be self-sustaining, while other countries (the dependent ones) can do this only as a reflection of that expansion, which can have either a positive or negative effect on their immediate development.

The term Dependency would be viewed from the point of views of the relationship between developed and underdeveloped countries.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) founded in 1948 in Santiago, Chile, states that “the world is divided into centre (first world-that is, the developed industrialized North) and the periphery (the underdeveloped Agricultural South)”. The relationship between these divisions is determined by the structure of the world economy.

The economic activity of the third world countries is based on primary export production. This situation has generated unequal exchange to the advantage of the centre and to the disadvantage of the periphery. It has resulted in the balance of payment crisis with the periphery having to export more in order to maintain the same level of manufactured import.

In the light of ECLA’s view of dependency, the centre maintained the periphery in a state of underdevelopment for purpose of super exploitation. Underdevelopment was not an original or inherent condition, rather it was determined outcome of the historical relationship between dominant and subordinate states. As underdevelopment was a product of capitalist development, it would end when the capitalist system itself collapsed. (Frank, 1975).


The nature of dependency can be conceived in diverse forms.

According to Dos Santos, dependence historically can be identified and distinguished in three forms, thus; colonial dependence, financial industrial dependence and technological industrial dependence etc.

COLONIAL DEPENDENCE: This form of dependence emerged in trade export in nature in which commercial and financial capital in alliance with colonialist state dominated the relations of the Europeans and the colonies, by mans of trade, monopolies of land, mines and power in the colonial countries.

FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL DEPENDENCE: This form consolidated at the end of the 19th century, characterized by domination of big capital in the hegemonic centres, and its expansion abroad through investment in the production of raw material and agricultural products for consumption in the hegemonic centres. A production structure grew up in the dependent countries devoted to the export of these products……………… producing “foreign-oriented development” (or what Amin calls extroverted, or outward looking structures).

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TECHNOLOGICAL INDUSTRIAL DEPENDENCE: This new type of dependence was consolidated in the post world war II period based on Multinational Corporations MNCs) which began to invest in industries geared towards internal market of the underdeveloped countries.

Thus, each of these forms of dependence corresponds to a situation which condition not only the international relation of these countries but also their internal structures in such areas as orientation of production, the forms of capital accumulation, the reproduction of the economy and simultaneously their social and political structures.



According to Onah (2006:76) “Nigeria gained her independence on October 1st, 1960. The years of colonialism brought some set back in Nigeria. The colonial masters built and structured Nigerian economy to facilitate the expropriation of her resources for British economic growth and development, thereby leaving Nigeria with poverty and dependency……….. the resources for the local industries that should have been used to empower the citizenry through employment opportunities are now wasted overseas.


Liberalization policies have been noted as modern day colonialism causing the poverty of the third world countries. Some writers and scholars have suggested that Nigeria should boycott the WTO agreement, because the treaty leads to goods being dumped in the country, leading to the closure of local industries. The will increase unemployment and poverty level of Nigerian citizenries as they depend on import and proceeds from the nation’s oil for their survival.


These affect peoples ability to secure employment and earn a living. Entrenched tribal prejudices and nepotism sometimes determine a person’s chances of securing employment in Nigeria.

The issue of “state of origin” prerequisite for securing employment in the states and local government areas in Nigeria is a case in point. Often, those who relocate to states other than their ‘state of origin’ are being treated as non-indigenes.

Consequently, those in places of authority hire their own people, irrespective of their qualification (Mans field 1977), thereby creating wider road for poverty in Nigeria.


According to Onah, (2006;77) Nigeria’s application of SAP automatically brought about reduction in expenditure on social and public goods in the name of servicing other sectors. Nigeria was tied to opening her economy and being primary commodity exporters in such a way that Nigeria finally found herself unable to compete favourably with other nations.

The SAP brought devaluation of naira, inflation, reduction in workers wage, redundancy and unemployment, which climaxed to low standard of living and poverty.

SAP made Nigeria to be only exporters of raw materials at cheap rate to multinational and other states including importers of finished goods. This has increased poverty and dependency in Nigeria.


Military incursion into Nigerian politics soon after the independence under the disguise of correcting the abnormalies of the civilian regimes saw the introduction of undemocratic governance and heightening of poverty in Nigeria.

However, the military used several instruments to increase poverty in Nigeria. Among which are looting of public treasury at the expense of the masses and the neglect of poverty alleviation programmes.


Weak governance (including corruption) is believed to have contributed significantly to poverty in Nigeria. Governance problems are widely thought to have been among the major reasons why past poverty alleviation programmes had little effect (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy-NEEDS).

Onah (2006:80) gave support to this when he said that “indeed, poor leadership of various civilian governments in Nigeria contributed to poverty in Nigeria”.

Achebe (1983) also stated clearly that “the trouble with Nigeria is purely the problem of leadership.


Empirical evidence shows that poverty and environmental degradation are inextricably linked in Nigeria because, about 75 percent of rural people depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

Environmental degradation reduces opportunities for poor people to earn sustainable incomes. Left with no other viable option, they engage in extractive activities, contributing to the vicious cycle of poverty and environmental degradation. NEEDs (2005).


The economic and social dislocations caused by internal conflicts have negatively affected the economic well-being of individuals and businessmen in various ways. The occurrence-and in several cases reocurrence-of social conflicts in various localities of Nigeria has increased poverty, not only in areas directly affected by the conflict but also in areas affected by inflows of internally displaced people, (NEEDS).

According to state Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy- SEEDS on Ebonyi State, after a workshop on poverty Reduction Strategy, the participants identified the following as the causes of poverty in Ebonyi State;-


The participants believed that development plans, policies and strategies without consultation with the different stakeholders often lead to failure of these plans, policies and strategies. Plans and policies made without the necessary consultations often did not reflect knowledge of local environment and so ran the risk of focusing on the wrong issues.

Secondly, non-involvement of stakeholders often lead to lack of understanding of the objectives of the project and consequently to very low levels of ownership and identification.

The participants of the workshop also believed that it was not enough to involve stakeholders in planning only but also in implementation. In their understanding, exclusion of stakeholders from implementation often resulted in lack of sustainability.


It was identified that many government agencies lacked capacity to deliver services. Various possible reasons were advanced for this. In the first place, there had been considerable determination in the professionalism of the public service due to many years of abuse and neglect. Institutions were by-passed, many servants did not receive regular training and salaries were often owed in arreas.

Also, appointments to some critical offices were solely based on political expediency with no consideration as regards to the capacity of the appointees to perform the job effectively.


Participants in the workshop also identified wastage as well as duplication of resources, as another contributory factor to the failure of government plans and non-consideration of existing structures that could be used to deliver the programmes.

Existing structures they identified include, other state government agencies, agencies of the federal and local government, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community based organizations and business organizations.


Successive governments have tried to address some of the problems of poverty, through the enunciation of poverty related programmes. Whether these programmes have succeeded in either alleviating poverty or not is a moot point.

Suffice it to say, however, that the first of such programmes called, “Operation Feed the Nation” (OFN) was enunciated in 1979 by Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. The programme had the specific focus of increasing food production on the premise that availability of cheap food will mean higher nutrition level and invariably lead to national growth and development. OFN lasted until Shehu Shagari’s government took over in 1979.

Shagari (1979-1983) shared almost the same poverty reduction idea with his predecessor. He came up with his own pet project named “the Green Revolution”, which also emphasised food production.

It must be stated through that lack of continuity and shift in approach trailed poverty alleviation programmes since the ouster of Shagari from power in 1983. Each subsequent military administration came with a different idea or no idea at all. Poverty reduction programmes become more ‘regime specific’ because there was hardly any continuity with those initiated by previous governments.

The military regime of Gen. Muhammed Buhari (1983-1985) did not have a specific poverty alleviation programme as it clearly focused on fighting indiscipline and corruption.

Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (1985-1993) is known to be one Head of State that introduced a welter of poverty alleviation programmes. These include the “Peoples bank” which sought to provide loans to prospective entrepreneurs on soft terms and without stringent requirements of collaterals. It also regulated to an extent the activities of “community bank” that also sprouted as adjuncts of the Peoples Bank and as sources of cheap funds for communities and their members.

Another programme was the Directorate of Food Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI) which sought to open rural areas via construction of feeder roads and provision of basic amenities that would turn them into production centres for the national economy.

Its premise was just not to open the rural areas, but the hinterland, which ordinarily would not have been accessible. It also aimed at promoting rural employment based on the assumption that if rural infrastructure, such as electricity, was available in the villages, many welders, for example, would operate from there, instead of scrambling for spaces in congested urban centres.

Another programme that tried to head-off the scourge of poverty by targeting Agricultural sector was the “Nigerian Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA). The Authority was intended to reduce the prevalence of subsistence agriculture in the country and in its place infuse large scale commercial farming by assisting farmers with inputs and developing land for them to the point of planting, at subsidized rates.

While all these programmes collapsed at one point or the other, nevertheless, at least one of these programmes enunciated by the Babangida regime-the National Directorate of employment (NDE)-has had a 17-year staying power up till date.

By its mandate, NDE was to design and implement programmes to combat mass unemployment and articulate policies aimed at developing work programmes with labour intensive potentials. From its programmes and its staying power, this was a scheme that could be adjudged as the most successful of Babangida poverty alleviation policies.

The regime of Late Gen. Sani Abacha (1993-1998) was known as the midwife of the Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) in Nigeria’s quest for a way out of debilitating poverty, as this was the period that marked Nigeria’s relapse into the global bracket of 25 poorest nations.

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Significantly, FEAP existed for about two years (1998-2000) during which it received funding to the tune of N7billion out of which about N3.3billion was disbursed as loans to about 21,000 cooperative societies nationwide that were production oriented. Such projects targeted for assistance include poultry production, garri making, soap making and animal husbandry.

Tacking into cognizance of all poverty alleviation programmes enunciated over the years in the country, it must be recalled that spouses of Head of State also joined in the fray with novel programmes that not only elevated the status of these first ladies but also focused on issues of poverty, using state funds.

Most noticeable were the Better life for Rural women heralded by Mrs. Mariam Babangida and Mrs. Mariam Sani Abacha’s family support programme (FSP). These programmes also tried to introduce a gender element into anti-poverty programmes, acting on the assumption that women needed special treatment in the light of their immense contributions to the national economy, both as small-scale entrepreneurs and home keepers.

The regime of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo introduced Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) in 2006 but later changed to National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)-a central coordination point for all anti-poverty efforts from the local government level to the national level by which schemes would be executed with the sole purpose of eradicating absolute poverty.

Such schemes already identified include: Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES, Rural Infrastructures Development Scheme (RIDS), Social Welfare Services Scheme (SOWESS) and National Resources Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS) etc.

On the whole, these schemes would spearhead the governments ambitious programmes of eradicating absolute poverty.


Perhaps, due to the complexity and corrosive effects of poverty on humanity many journals, articles and books have tackled the issue of poverty.

Poverty leads to corruption, disruption of family relations and social life as well as rise in crime rate, among other vices.

Poverty is degrading to human beings and the life of those afflicted by it, is comparatively miserable and brief.

Political instability and national insecurity are other negative effects of poverty. According to Onah, (2006:77) “poverty as a state of deprivation makes the deprived to be vulnerable and violent in nature”.

Poverty increases illiteracy and poor performance of political leaders. It deprived the poor electorates of having basic education, since they are not educated, it becomes difficult to impact such democratic values as freedom of choice of candidates, freedom of speech, value and respect for the rights of others, peaceful co-existence etc, on them.

Another negative effect of poverty is its social impact on the poor masses. The exposure of the poor to difficulties makes them vulnerable to criminal behaviour/acts. The unemployed and underemployed always indulge in criminal activities sometimes to enable them afford their basic needs.

Onah (2006;99) has it that “of recent, a good number of Nigerian young girls were repatriated from Europe on account of prostitution, is as a result of poverty.

The implication of this act, not only impacts negatively on Nigerian health record, but also gives bad signal to foreign communities on the state of poverty and health in Nigeria”.

High level poverty could lead to brain-drain. This entails the emigration of most educated elite to rich countries, where they can enjoy a high standard of living.

The poverty of a nation can also lead to human trafficking, prostitution and the spread of HIV/AIDS, child labour and abuse of human and civil rights. (Guardian Online, June 24, 2002).

It also affects one’s disposition to participate in community affairs, inter-personal trust and self-satisfaction. It has been noted that deprivation of elementary capabilities can be reflected on premature mortality, significant undernourishment (especially on children), persistent mobility and illiteracy among other problems.


The consequences of dependency on the dependent societies are as follows:

Dependency leads to surplus transfer of primary products through trade. The Dependent states exports more of its primary products, so as to maintain the same level of manufactured imports from the metropolitan states. This situation as well occasion unequal exchange in their trade relationship.

Secondly, it subjects less developed countries to manipulations of the advanced countries and international organizations such as World Trade Organizations (WTO), International monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank, etc.

Dependency as well leads to high debt crisis which remains the Achille’s heels of the developing countries.

It brings about the use of imported strategies to address the developmental woes of the developing countries such as privatization, devaluation, among others.


Prior to the establishment of NAPEP in the year 2000, it had two mandates which it was enunciated to deliver, thus; “to multi-sectorally coordinate and monitor all poverty Eradication efforts in Nigeria, and to extend specific intervention programmes and projects on critical and sensitive sectors of the economy”.

To ensure that NAPEP achieves its mandate, six multi-sectoral schemes were identified, thus; the Capacity Enhancement Scheme (CES), Community Enlightenment and Sensitization Scheme (COMESS), Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES), Rural Infrastructures Development Scheme (RIDS), Social Welfare Service Scheme (SOWESS), and Natural Resources Development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS), etc.

However, going by the cases and issues of NAPEP in Ebonyi State as a partaker in NAPEP, two schemes will be treated, thus; the Capacity Enhancement Scheme (CES) and the Social Welfare Service Scheme (SOWESS).

The Capacity Enhancement Scheme (CES). This scheme is designed for people who have basic skills, but need additional skills and resources to be gainfully employed and ensure sustainable wealth creation. The CES is implemented through the following:

KEKE NEEP, Micro-Credit Programme, Resource Centres, Demonstration Farms Network and Garbage Trucks and Farm Tractors.

Going by the issue of KEKE-NAPEP allocation in Ebonyi State, it can be said to have been politicized. This is in connection with the statement made by the NAPEP secretary Ebonyi State, Mrs. Christiana Uba, in a workshop on Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s early this year.

Mrs. Uba stated that “the state did not benefit from the second phase of the KEKE-NAPEP programme. She told participants in a workshop on millenium Development Goals (MDG’s) that the state did not benefit because the 35 tricycle received during the first phase were used for political compensation”. She further said that the state lost its quota in phase two because of an outstanding debt of N3.3million of phase one.

(The Tide Newspaper, March 20th, 2008).

Social Welfare Service Schemes (SOWESS) is designed to address the issues related to the provision of needed core social and welfare services under the following programmes:

Farmers Empowerment Programme (FEP) special Education Programme (SEP), Primary Healthcare Programme (PHP), and Social Services Programme (SSP). Etc.

Going by the issue of Farmers Empowerment Programme (FEP) in Ebonyi State, it can be seen as a total failure and to a large extent politicized. The programme can be seen as a cream project only designed to compensate party loyalists at the expanse of the target group (the peasant rural farmers).

Though NAPEP in Ebonyi State may have some acclaimed success stories, like the N4million loan remitted to the Amoji Nguzu Farmers cooperative society and eleven other cooperative societies located at Nguzu Edda in Ebonyi State, to cultivate Cassava. But the fact still remains that, those peasant farmers whom the project was intended for could not benefit from such programme due to some obvious political reasons.

Another instance of the politicized farmers Empowerment Programmes(FEP) NAPEP in Ebonyi State, is the Enyigba Rice Farm owned by the “Alibaruttu farmers cooperative society”, located at Enyigba in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State.

It is of a fact that such cooperative society exists in Enyigba area of Abakaliki which may involve the peasant farmers but the fund or loan per se is being highjacked by some powerful groups among the cooperative society to the detriment of the target group.

These among other reasons can be adduced as being responsible for the poor performance of the activities of NAPEP in Ebonyi State.


Having gone through some of the literature on poverty and poverty Alleviation Programmes in dependents societies using the Nigerian experience, it is pertinent to highlight some areas in which the researcher feels that there is a gap in knowledge in addressing poverty issues in Nigeria.

The government should see our dependents nature as the cause of poverty in our polity. Until the issue of our dependency is addressed, every effort by government towards alleviating poverty will make no head-way.

Secondly, these poverty alleviation programmes were mostly not designed to alleviate poverty. This reveals the elite nature of poverty Alleviation programme in Nigeria emanating from an all-knowing perception of the ruling class (exploiters) and devoid of inputs from the poor themselves. Hence the position in Marxism that the ruling ideas in society are the ideas of the ruling class.

Moreso, the poverty alleviation programmes suffer political interference. This notion can be seen in areas where several government policies on poverty alleviation are not duely accomplished before the tenure of such regime elapses.

However, the programme lack clearly defined policy framework with proper guidelines for poverty alleviation. The government of Ebonyi State per se should look into some states where these programmes have been a success and develop, without seeing it as business-as-usual.

The researcher therefore, intend to evaluate the efficiency or veracity of poverty alleviation programme in dependent societies using the Nigeria experience and a case study of National poverty Eradication programme (NAPEP) in Ebonyi state.

Poverty Alleviation Programmes – The Efficacy In Dependent Societies: A Case Study Of National Poverty Eradication Programme (napap) In Ebonyi State

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