The term paper evaluated poverty alleviation programs in saki east local government of oyo state.It also identified various poverty programs in saki east local government of oyo state and examined the implementational strategies for these programs in the local government.It also assessed the impact of the poverty alleviation programs on the people of saki east local government area,
This was necessitated by the need to make poverty alleviation more effective and beneficial to the people of the local government.
The paper utilized primary and secondary data.Primary data were questionnaire while secondary data were textbooks,journals,internet sources etc
The term paper revealed that there is a need to shift emphasis to target approach to poverty reduction in Nigeria.It also revealed that there is for target women and other vulnerable group of poor people in order to prevent bias against women in accessing information above poverty alleviation programs.
The paper concluded that poverty alleviaton plans should be well comprehensive coordinated and well funded in order to make it more effective and beneficial to the people of saki east local government of oyo state,
1.1 Background to the Study
A family lives in poverty when its basic needs exceed its available means of satisfying them. A family needs have many determinants; its size, its health, the ages of its health, the ages of its members, and so forth. Poverty, as we know is no respecter of religious beliefs; ethnic and polity.
Despite the various efforts of government at various levels from independence till today, poverty has been on the increase among the people of Nigeria. Statistical data available indicates that by 1960s, the poverty level in Nigeria covered about 15% of the population and by 1980, it grew to 28%. In 1985 the poverty level was 46% and it dropped to 43% by 1992. By 1996, the Federal office of statistics estimated the poverty level in Nigeria at about 66%. According to World Bank reports (1999) Nigeria is placed among the 25th poorest nations in the world. Nigeria’s life expectancy at birth was 51%, literacy rate was 44% and 70% of the rural population do not have access to portable water, health care facilities and electricity.
Poverty is one of the most serious problems confronting Nigeria today; it is generally associated with condition under which people lived. Poverty can be simply put as a condition where a person is unable to satisfy the most basic and elementary requirements for human survival in terms of food, clothing, shelter, health, transport education and recreation i.e. it is the absence of access to the basic human needs of the citizenry.
The poverty level in Nigeria contradicts the country’s immense wealth of human, Agricultural, petroleum, Gas and solid minerals.
With all these resources available at the country’s disposal. The country ought to have done better than it is doing presently. Poverty in Nigeria tends to be concentrated in communities that are usually cut off from, the benefits of development by the absence of social amenities, access roads and other facilities. There are marked spatial disparities reflecting the different agro-climatic conditions and economic structure with high concentration of the poor living in the rural areas and the urban fringes.
Poverty eradication is however, an objective, desired by all and should be a task that must be accomplished by all concerned. No single stakeholders could be expected to deal effectively with the problems of poverty alleviation, hence the integrating roles and responsibilities of the major factors in poverty alleviation include: Government, private sector, individuals, community based organizations, Non-governmental Organizations and donor agencies etc (Abdullah Aliyu 2001).
Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed that World poverty is the paramount challenges of the 21st century and that the fight against poverty will succeed only if it is based on a strategy designed by the country itself rather than one imposed from outside.
Some of the Poverty Alleviation Programmes in the Local Government are:
Local Economic, empowerment and Development Schemes (LEEDS), Rural Infrastructures Development Scheme (RIDS) Nigerian Agricultural and Rural Development Bank (NARDB) and Agricultural Policy on Poverty Reduction. For instance a preliminary observation reveals that between 2004-2010 alone more than N160 million has been budgeted on agriculture out of which about N132 million have been actually spent (Oyegoke, 2010).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Despite the expressed concerns and the plethora of poverty alleviation programmes which past governments had initiated and implemented, the incidence and scourge of poverty have worsened over the years.
Several people have worked on poverty alleviation in Nigeria. World Bank’s report indicated that Nigeria’s Human Development index (HDI) was only 0.416 and that about 70 percent of the population was vegetating below the bread line. According to Opara (2010) poverty is a situation were a population or a section of the population is able to meet only its bare subsistence the essentials of foods, clothing and shelter in order to maintain a minimum standard of living. Tollens (2002) observed that poverty is not an intrinsic attribute of people, but a product of livelihood systems and the Socio-Political forces that shape them. Obi (2007) opined that the second and forth national development plans contain both direct and indirect allusions to, as well as objectives of policies and programmes aimed at minimizing the cause of poverty.
Eguuatu (2008) argued that over 500 million of the World’s population lives under very poor conditions but they are economic active.
All these past works of poverty alleviation dwelt on poverty alleviation at the National policy level but not on implementation of the policy at the grassroots which is the feedback on the policy implementation and not in Saki East Local Government Council Area of Oyo State. Hence, this study on evaluation on poverty alleviation programme in Saki East Local Government Council area of Oyo State.
Further analysis as revealed by the Economic Policy Watch (2002) shows that the growth rate in Nigeria is sluggish; poverty and inequality are widespread, deep and severe. Seven years ago, the NHDR rated Nigeria 136th in Human Development Index (HDI), the country currently ranks 151st out of 174 countries. This confirms the deepening poverty level of over 70%. In 1996, 65.6% of Nigerians live below the poverty line. This presents a marked deterioration from the previous level of 27.2% in 1980; 46.3% in 1985 and 42.8% in 1992.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are to
(i) identify the various poverty alleviation programmes in Saki East Local Government Area.
(ii) examine the implementation strategies for these programmes in Saki East Local Government
(iii) assess the impact of the poverty alleviation programmes on the people of Saki East local government area.
1.4 Research Assumptions
1. The state has been ineffective in tackling the menace of poverty
2. Poverty is an outcome of more than economic process but also include social and political processes that interact with and reinforce each other.
3. Poverty is not only about income, but also about access to all basic needs.
4. The growth of poverty in Nigeria has assumed an epidemic proportion.
1.5 Research Questions
- Is poverty alleviation appropriate for developing countries like Nigeria?
- What influence do the donor agencies and other international agencies have on poverty alleviation programmes that are being implemented in the country?
- How has government’s concept of the programmes affected their success?
- Has poverty alleviation programmes especially rural credit schemes reduced poverty?
- Can agriculture reduce poverty?
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
Saki East Local Government Council as a selected Council area in this study was carved out of the defunct Ifedapo Local Government in I996. Under the then military government of General Sanni Abacha. It is one of the seven hundred and seventy-four (774) local government areas recognized by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also one of the sixteen (33) local government governments in Oyo State.
The headquarters of the local government is the ancient town of Agoamodu. It comprises of many urban and rural settlements which are not very distance from one another. The local government is noted for agricultural activities, majority of the farmers engage in large scale production of food and cash crops such as cocoa, kolanut, Yam, Palm products, Orange, Plantain, Maize, Cassava, Cocoyam etc. Although peasant farming is mostly prevalent in the area, a sizeable percentage of farmers engage in other forms of agricultural practices such as poultry-keeping, animal husbandry, fishing and bee-keeing. Other occupation of the people of the local government include Blacksmithing, hunting, dyeing, weaving, petty trading among many others.
The local government comprises thirteen (4) towns and various farm settlements such as:Sepeteri,Ogbooro,Agoamodu,Agbonle.
The people of Saki local government area are mostly Christians and Muslims while traditional religion worshippers also abound. Aside from this, the people are predominantly Yorubas but other ethnic groups are also resident in the area in large members.
Since this research is purely an evaluation of poverty alleviation programme, the scope of the study will be limited to estimations and projections as well as data or information obtained from governmental and non-governmental bodies. But for the fact that the treatment involves issues that are both trickiest and complex, some of the data can hardly be relied upon. This study due to a number of constraints involving time and resources, shall concentrate on indicators such as the Poverty Rate (PR), Income Gap (IG), Human Development Index (HDI), Gender Development Index (GDI), Unemployment Rate (UR), Inflationary Rate (IR) and host of other related indicators.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The concern over increasing poverty levels especially in the developing countries and the need for its alleviation as a means of improving the standard of living of the people has led to the conceptualization and implementation of various targeted or non-targeted poverty alleviation programmes worldwide. Nigeria now faces three inter-related development challenges that are key both to welfare improvements for the general population and to poverty reduction in particular.
First, it has to establish a viable and stable macroeconomic framework and to streamline the incentive regime. Second, it needs to downsize the public sector and establish an enabling environment with accountability and transparency. Third, and most importantly, it really must adopt sectoral policies and rearrange priorities in public expenditures to promote efficient economic growth, increase productivity and target the poor. These challenges point to the need for Nigeria to make a fundamental shift away from policies and institutional arrangements that promote rent-seeking and towards policies, programmes and institutions that promote efficiency, sustainable, and broad based growth and job creation. In the light of the issues raised, this study intends to evaluate poverty alleviation programme in Saki East local government area of Oyo State.
To date, poverty situation in Nigeria remains a problem, at least from two perspectives. Firstly, poverty in Nigeria is a problem because the poverty level appears as a contradiction considering the country’s immense wealth. Secondly, poverty situation has worsened despite the huge human and material resources that have been devoted to poverty reduction by successive governments in Nigeria with no substantial success achieved from such efforts. Nevertheless, since poverty remains a development issue, it has continued to capture the attention of both national governments and international development agencies for several decades. Indeed, since the mid-1980s, reducing poverty has become a major policy concern for governments and donor agencies in all poverty-stricken countries, Nigeria inclusive.
Fundamentally, the importance of this study lies in the fact that it is out to examine the relationship or correlation that exist between – economic growth, inequality and poverty in Nigeria. The study is also significant in that it proffers recommendation to government, policy makers, donor agencies, as well as NGOS’ and other stakeholders in the current war against poverty and inequality in Nigeria. The study will also added to the existing literature in the field, which is now receiving utmost attention from academicians, administrators and the general public alike.
1.8 Definition of Terms
This is the inability to attain a minimum standard of living.
This is the provision of money to the states and the local governments so as to be able to employ the unemployed.
These are secular or religious organization which focus on humanitarian programmes which cut across many sectors of the economy. Examples of this types are the Lions Club, Rotary Club, The Red Cross, etc.
These focus on economic programmes or self-help objectives among members They usually operate in the form of professional groups or act as co-operatives to enhance members’ productivity and economic progress.
The issue of poverty has been a major concern to many nations, particularly the developing countries. It is pervasive throughout the country. While poverty is more prevalent in rural areas, it has become a significant problem in urban areas in Nigeria.
The World Bank (2006) noted that conditions could be described as poor if per capita income or consumption of the individual is below US $370 or very poor of it is below US $275 at any period of time.
Eguuatu (2008) argued over 500 million of the Worlds population lives under very poor conditions but they are economic active. They lack access to basic necessities of life: food, shelter and primary care. They earn their livelihoods by being self developed as micro entrepreneurs or by working in micro enterprises. This set of people has no hope for expansion of their enterprise because of inability or incapability of accessing banks for credit. In Nigeria poverty has increased significantly between 1980 and 2000 the proportion in extreme poverty rose from 6 percent to 49 percent. With a nation population of around 140 million these proportion imply that 109 million Nigerians remain below the poverty line and 30 million are extremely poor (AERC, 2009).
2.1 Poverty Concept
Poverty describes a wide range of circumstances associated with need, hardship and lack of resources. For some, poverty is a subjective and comparative term; for others, it is moral and evaluative; and for others, scientifically established. The principal uses of the term include:
- Descriptions of material need, including deprivation of essential goods and services, multiple deprivation, and patterns of deprivation over time.
- Economic circumstances, describing a lack of wealth (usually understood as capital, money, material goods, or resources especially natural resources). The meaning of “sufficient” varies widely across the different political and economic areas of the world. In the European Union, poverty is also described in terms of “economic distance”, or inequality.
- Social relationships, including social exclusion, dependency, and the ability to live what is understood in a society as a “normal” life: for instance, to be capable of raising a healthy family, and especially educating children and participating in society (World Bank, 2006.
According to Okpara (2010) poverty is a situation were a population or a section of the population is able to meet only its bare subsistence the essentials of foods, clothing and shelter in order to maintain a minimum standard of living.
Poverty can also be defined to include the inability of the state and its agents to redistribute resources and wealth to that group of the society that has limited access to basic needs. Central to the quest for politics and programmes that will reduce poverty is the issue of the conceptualization of poverty. Conceptually, three dominant views are identified as the meaning of poverty in the literature (Oyeranti and Olayiwola, 2005).
The first view sees poverty as a severe deprivation of some basic human needs at the individual or household level. Put differently, poverty is a material deprivation and this can be assessed in monetary terms. While this conceptualization of poverty makes the quantitative analysis of poverty straightforward and permits comparisons over time and between countries, it fails to recognize non-material forms of deprivation such as illiteracy and social discrimination among others.
The second view has a direct link with the work of Sen (1999) and it defines poverty as the failure to achieve basic capabilities such as being adequately nourished, living a healthy life, possession of skills to participate in economic and social life, permission to take part in community activities to mention a few. This conceptualization forms the basis for the belief that ‘poverty is multi-dimensional’. Although, the capabilities framework offers many advantages over the income/consumption conceptualization, yet it is argued that it requires a greater variety of data and that no consensus exists on how capability deprivation at the household level is to be computed. This conception of poverty has been used in the development of the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Index (HDI) and Human Poverty Index (HPI).
The thirds conceptualization of poverty came into limelight in the 1990s and has a fundamentally different approach to the understanding of poverty: subjective poverty assessments. The core of this view of poverty is that poverty must be defined by the poor themselves or by the communities that poor people live in. According to Chambers (1994), the view came out of the work on participatory appraisal of rural projects and has direct relationship with as publication known as ‘Voices of the Poor series’ which has three volumes: Can Anyone Hear Us? Crying Out for Change, and From Many Lands. The subjective view of poverty posits that, poverty has both physical and psychological dimensions. Poor people themselves strongly emphasize violence and crime, discrimination, insecurity and political repression, biased or brutal policing, and victimization by rude, neglectful or corrupt public agencies (Narayan et al, 1999).
Karlsson (2001) presented five conclusions from the ‘Voices of the Poor Series’, these are:
1. Poverty needs to be viewed in a multidimensional way. Hunger is part of everyone’s understanding of poverty. Equally strong is the sense of powerlessness, voicelessness, and humiliation that comes with being poor.
2. The state has been ineffective. People everywhere fear police, they hate corruption, and they trust only their own institutions.
3. Non-governmental organizations play a limited role. People rely on informal networks.
4. Households are under deep stress. Gender relations are crucial to understanding poverty, particularly the position of men.
5. The social fabric is often poor peoples saving grace, and it is under threat.
The World Development Report (2000/2001) recognizes many of the conclusions on the meaning of poverty and then develops three principles that directly augment what is known of poverty previously and how to attack poverty. These principles are:
- Empowerment with as pro-poor state and voice for the community
- Security-against natural disaster, war, violence, and unforeseen changes in income and health
- Opportunity – promoting assets and enhancing the return on them through public and private policies.
Given the present understanding that poverty goes beyond material and capabilities deprivation, it is acknowledged in the literature that business as usual will not eliminate or reduce poverty (Karlsson, 2001). In other words, poverty reduction requires more than just delivering money and advice.
The World Development Report (World Bank, 2000) extends the concept of poverty beyond income and consumption plus education and health, to include risk and vulnerability, as well as voicelessness and powerlessness. It is not necessarily the case that shocks affect the poor disproportionately, but it is clearly the case that they are more vulnerable, since their economic margin is slim. This poor are often exposed to highly fluctuating incomes, and, particularly, in rural areas, it is common for households to move in and out of poverty (Dercon, 2000; and World Bank, 2000).
Tollens (2002) observed that poverty is not an intrinsic attribute of people, but a product of livelihood systems and the socio-political forces that shape them. Thus, poverty reduction is highly desirable. However, some reduction in rural poverty is sometimes accompanied by increased urban poverty as rural poor chooser to move to cities, without finding employment and income there. In contrast, successful rural poverty reduction usually works by raising the productivity of the poor, while most urban poverty alleviation efforts are welfare – oriented. Moreover, rural poverty alleviation may reduce migration, thus helloing to reduce urban poverty. Poverty is multidimensional. This suggests that poverty reduction efforts must be multi-targeted and are expected to show wide and diverse dimensions. Solutions to rural poverty have to straddle different disciplines and must encompass economic, social, political and institutional factors. (Oyeranti and Olayiwola, 2005).
2.2 Characterizing poverty in Nigeria
The problem of poverty in Nigeria has for a long time been a cause for concern to the government. Initial attention focused on rural development and town and country planning as a practical means of dealing with the problem. The second and fourth national development plans contain both direct and indirect allusions to, as well as objectives of policies and programmes aimed at minimizing the causes of poverty (Obi, 2007).