Poverty – The Effectiveness Of Poverty Alleviation Programmes In Nigeria

Poverty – The Effectiveness Of Poverty Alleviation Programmes In Nigeria

Poverty – The Effectiveness Of Poverty Alleviation Programmes In Nigeria

Poverty is a situation in an economy where there is inadequate level of income and consumption, resulting in insufficient basic necessities of life such as health care, housing, adequate nutrition, adequate clothing etc.

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The World Bank Development report (1995, P.14 Vol.2) identified that over 65 percent of the world’s Populations live in absolute poverty. This phenomenon is rampant among third world countries like Korea, Indian, Ghana, Nigeria etc., where most citizens are unable to adequately provide themselves the basic needs of life like food, shelter, clothing, education, etc. It arises essentially when people are not engaged in meaningful economic activity.

Nigeria is one of the leading third world nations in which a good proportion of the world’s poorest citizens live. (Millennium Summit held 6th. – 8th. September 2000 in New York). The poor citizens in Nigeria are beset with the following conditions:

 High child motility

 Malnutrition

 Sickness

 Inadequate food

 Poor physical health

 High Death rate

 Illiteracy

 Poor access to sustainable water

Following the United Nation’s Millennium Declaration adopted at the millennium summit held 6th. – 8th. September 2000 in New York, Nigeria has been committed to the realization of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The MDGs summarized the development goals agreed on at the international conferences and world summits during the 1990s, which includes 8 goals, 18 targets and over 40 indicators. These includes:

To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

To achieve Universal Basic Education

To promote Gender Equality

To reduce child mortality

To improve Maternal Health

To Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other Diseases

To ensure Environmental Sustainability, and

To develop a Global partnership for development.

These goals were targets for making measurable improvement in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens. A participating country such as Nigeria was expected to articulate policies, strategies and plans which will facilitate the achievement of the eight millennium development goals, while the United Nation’s Development system was to work closely with countries to facilitate the nation’s effort to alleviate poverty.

In meeting the demand of the UN, Nigeria has embarked on many programmes to ascertain the task of reducing poverty in Nigeria. These includes:

The Better Life/Family Support Programmes

The National Directorate of Employment

Self/Help Group for Foundation

The Directorate of Food, Road and Rural

Infrastructure, etc.

Thus, it is therefore the aim of this work to examine this situation critically with respect to poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria.


Poverty seems to have become a natural phenomenon in Nigeria. Successive government in Nigeria has been noted to have made efforts towards poverty alleviation in Nigeria. It is obvious that most poor people in Africa and particularly in Nigeria cannot provide for themselves the basic needs of life. The persistence of poverty in the world and indeed in Nigeria has made it imperative for the Federal Government to embark on some of the development programmes like Family Support programmes, Free Health Services etc. to ensure improved standard of living for the poor masses.

The researcher, therefore intend to find out whether the poverty alleviation programmes so far have actually been effective in alleviating poverty in Nigeria.


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The result of this research work will be of immense benefit not only to policy formulators for Nigeria government in their current effort to eradicate poverty but also to the international communities and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) whose effort laid down in the millennium development goals’ document emphasizes eradication of poverty internationally.

It will also be of use to investors, both domestic and foreign, in their investment decisions. Increased standard of living will result in increased aggregate demand and a larger market for profitable investment decisions. It will also be of use as a reference document in the Ebonyi State University library and in the Economics Department library for further research work.

The individuals, the curious public or the society at large will also benefit from this research work, as it will highlight the various causes of poverty and how the incidence of poverty can be effectively eradicated in Nigeria.

More so, results from this study would help government in the formulation of policies for managing the economy in general and controlling poverty in particular.

It will be of help to other researchers carrying out investigations in similar or related areas in the generation of information on the existing literature.


The poverty assessment and alleviation is the main aim of this work. From studies, the proportion of poor people in the total population of Nigeria has expanded in recent years inspite of her rich petroleum wealth and the efforts of successive governmental and non-governmental organizations towards poverty alleviation programmes. The researcher therefore will tend to find answers to the following questions:

1. What is poverty?

2. What are the causes of poverty in Nigeria?

3. How can poverty be measured?

4. Has the poverty level of rural development in the poverty alleviation programmes increased?

5. What efforts have the government of Nigeria, individuals, non-governmental organizations made to eradicate poverty in Nigeria?

6. Are the poverty alleviation programmes achieving their objectives?

7. What are the problems militating against poverty reduction programmes?

8. What are the ideal ways of handling the poverty problem in Nigeria?


This research work will be guided by the following hypotheses:

Ho: Poverty alleviation programmes have not significantly reduced poverty in Nigeria.

H1: Poverty alleviation programmes have significantly reduced poverty in Nigeria.


The objectives of this study are:

i) To examine the concept of poverty in Nigeria context.

ii) To examine the problem militating against poverty reduction programmes.

iii) To examine the level of rural development in the poverty alleviation programme has increased.

iv) The appraisal of poverty alleviation programme in Nigeria.

v) The possible ways of alleviating poverty in Nigeria.


This is an assessment of poverty alleviation programmes in a developing economy with particular reference to Nigeria within the sample period 1980 – 1999. This period was chosen because that was the time poverty alleviation programmes were applied as tools for improving the economic well being of the poor masses.

The conduct of this research work has not been without some problems and constraints; these constraints are likely to make the findings inaccurate to a large extent.

1. Unavailability of adequate data required for this work.

2. The stipulated time for this research was considered too short for a topic as wide as this to be adequately and effectively handled.

3. The constraint imposed by inadequate finance to enable the researcher reach some important respondents or collects some vital data.

4. Unwillingness of some people to divulge information.

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5. Inconsistency of information given by different respondents.

Apart from all these limitations, all other errors or omissions are precisely those of the researcher.


The concept of poverty is multidimensional in nature. However, in this study our working definition is in terms of low income, inability to provide basic needs of life such as food, shelter etc. Therefore, poverty could be absolute or relative.

1. Absolute poverty:

Absolute poverty is defined as a situation where the resources of individuals or families are inadequate to provide his basic needs of life such as food, shelter, clothing etc.

2. Relative poverty:

Relative poverty is defined as a position of individual household compared with the average income in the country, such as a poverty line set at one-half of the mean income or at the 40th. Percentage of the distribution, and which often varies with the level of average income.



Poverty alleviation in Nigeria consists of series of purposive act and measures designed nationally and internationally or at other levels to address the poverty problem. Initial efforts at alleviating poverty centered on the provision of basic needs by the government. It focuses on meeting the basic requirements for a permanent reduction of poverty through the provision of basic needs as health service, education, water supply, food, minimum nutrition requirements and housing among others. However, it was later realized that poverty alleviation is best addressed based on the peculiarities of the situation under consideration. For instance, some schools felt that poverty in many developing countries arises from structural impediment to growth of the economy leading to low growth rate.

Emphasis in such cases should therefore be on removing the imaginary structural bottlenecks to growth and adopting growth strategies that benefit the poor. Furthermore, poverty alleviation efforts must be focused and targeted at the poor and posses some desired features that would enable them address the need of the poor. Among such desired features is that they must be demand driven and formulated bottom-up with the poor as active stakeholders in the decision making process. Such efforts must thus be properly designed to empower the poor.

In line with money notion of equality, development and poverty alleviation, many analysis and policy makers in Nigeria have sited development programmes. Such programmes include Rural Electrification, Schools, Rural Banking Schemes, Universal Basis Education, Adult Education Scheme, low Cost Housing Scheme, etc.

The result of our findings show that the poverty alleviation programmes adopted so far by the government and non-governmental organizations are achieving its objectives. This is indicated by the significance of the X2 test.

The concern over poverty and the need for its alleviation as a means of improving the standard of living especially of the rural people led to the establishment of various institutions and programmes, poverty alleviation being a broad specimen activity, therefore, cover the following sectors. Agriculture, Health, Education, Water Resources, Transport, Housing, Finance, Employment Generation, Rural and Urban Development etc. The institutions of poverty include National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), National Primary Health Care Scheme, National Agencies for Mass Literacy, The Family Economic Advancement Programmes etc. the efforts of these agencies on breaking the vicious circle of poverty nationally or most especially in the rural sectors have not yielded the desire result of alleviating poverty in Nigeria since the issues is not only economic but also social and political but that does not mean that no meaningful progress have been made. As a matter of fact, a lot of achievement have been recorded through these programmes, schemes and activities of the federal government, non-governmental organization etc in their course to alleviate poverty.

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Nevertheless, there is a lot of room for improvement through economic empowerment for the benefit of all especially with regards to women in view of the following:

i. The number of female university graduates is on the increase.

ii. More women now enter non-traditional fields such as medicine, law, engineering and sciences etc.

iii. Women’s participation in politics has been on the increase globally and

iv. In this information age, public awareness about women’s issue has intensified to such extent that in future they will be viewed as economic issues, family issues, ethnical issues of equal resonance to men and women.

A combination of policies and programmes, some of which are through collaborative efforts has been vigorously pursued in Nigeria. The objective of international assistance is to supplement indigenous efforts in proving much needed for poverty Alleviation in spite the rapidly growing population and poor economic performance which have tended to accentuate poverty. International agencies and institutions which have been assisting the country in different aspects of the poverty issue include the World Bank, United Nation Development Programmes (UNDP), United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) etc. one of the major programmes on Agriculture in Nigeria is the World Bank Assisted Agricultural Development Projects (ADPS). The project seeks to increase food production and thus, improve the standard of living and welfare of the farming population.

An examination of certain indicators of performance indicate that the domestic and international poverty reduction measures have to some extent, been helpful in addressing the problems of poverty.

The various domestic programmes have in general, imparted positively on the living conditions of the poor. However, their tempo of activities which was high at inception has been on the decline for instance, more cottage industries were established at lower costs in the earlier years of the Better Life/Family Support Programme than in more recent years.


One may tend to ask if all the efforts put in place in the past achieved very little, where do we go from here; generally, the ever-riding objective of poverty alleviation is to ensure that every Nigerian irrespective of gender, profession and geographical location is empowered so as to be able to fend for him/ herself the basic needs of life. These include food, portable water, good sanitation, clothing, shelter, basic health services and nutrition others are basic education, communication facilities and guarantee respect for fundamental human rights as a means of improving the vulnerability of the poor.

Poverty is rampant in Nigeria and its incidence has been on the increase. This course has been found to have more biting effect in rural areas where the bulk of Nigerian population lives. It has also been found to be more pronounced among the genders owning to the fact that various attempts at its alleviation have been noted to yield varying success, albeit, rather in a limited sense. The continued fashioning and implementation of policies and programmes aimed at empowering the population through health care, education and improved access to portable water etc. is seen as a potent means of reducing the phenomenon of poverty.


Poverty – The Effectiveness Of Poverty Alleviation Programmes In Nigeria

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183

Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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