Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria

Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria

Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria – Although poverty is a worldwide phenomenon, it has been observed that Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world despite its abundant natural resources. Nigeria is the 20th poorest in the world; the poverty level in Nigeria has reached an alarming stage where 70% of its population lives below the poverty line. The federal office of statistics (FOS) report for the period 1980 – 1996, indicates that about 67 million Nigerians are living below the poverty level. The report also indicates that during 1980 – 1985, the percent of rural dwellers and urban inhabitants in the core poverty bracket respectively. In that same period, the percentage of moderately poor in the rural areas rose from 21.8 to 36.6 percent and 14.2 to 30.3 percent respectively. The report also indicates that the number of non-poor in both rural and urban areas dropped from 71.7 and 82.8 percent to 48.6 and 56.2 percentages respectively. The number of rural poor (million approximate in 2008 was 28,443, 465.8. life expectancy at birth in 2007 was 46.8 while mortality rate under 5 as at 2009 was 188.8 mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births) in 2007 was 97.2.

The introduction of the structural adjustment programme in 1986 witnessed reduction in poverty among the moderately poor, while the menace of poverty among the core poor deteriorated. For instance, there was increased from 14.8 percent in 1985 to 15.8 percent in 1992, while the moderately poor decreased during the period.

The percentage of the core poor in urban centers increased from 7.5 in 1985 to 10.7 in 1985 to 26.8 percent in 1992. During the 1992 – 1996 periods, the percentage of core poor increased from 15.8 to 31.6 percent. These imply that while rural poverty increased by 22 percentage point between 1992 and 1996. Consequently, there was an overall decline in the standard of living.

Also Read: Poverty in Nigeria – Poverty Reduction Programme in Nigeria

The obvious deduction from the above scenario is that Nigerians in general are becoming increasingly impoverished. This is anchored on their lack of basic choices and opportunities to live a long and healthy life and to enjoy a decent standard of living.

According to the 2009 human development report, the human poverty index (HPI – I), focuses on the proportion of people below certain threshold levels in each of the dimension of the human development index – living a long and healthy life, having access to education, and a decent standard of living. By looking beyond income deprivation, the HPI-I represents a multi-dimensional alternative to the $1.25 a day poverty measure. The HPI-I value for Nigeria is 36.2%.

According to this report the probability of not surviving to age 40(%) is 37. 4%, Adult literacy rate 1% age is and above is 28.0% while the percentage of children under weight/form the age under 5) is 29%.

However, the paradox of this issue which is baffling to development observers in Nigeria is how this situation was allowed to germinate in the midst of abundant natural resources.

Reviews on Current Approaches to Poverty Alleviation 

Foluso Oku (2000) highlighted the current approaches to urban poverty. These approaches are directly to ensure measures that will effectively and sustainably alleviate the poverty level in Nigeria.

The non-Government organization (NGS 2003) focused on education development, health, community organization, loan disbursement schemes and help in the implementation of development programmes of urban poor. NGOs suggested that with the application of the initiated programme (UNDP, 1990) summit on urban poverty is to provide technical workshops, research and consultative programmes with other agencies to reduce the urban poverty in Nigeria.

The united development programme (UNDP 2000) summit on urban poverty is to support the government policies through creation of job opportunities and sustainable livelihood management of socio development and sustainable agriculture, environment and urban development to solve the problem of urban poverty in the cities.

The UNICEF (2002) summit on urban poverty looked at physical and social problems of the urban poor in their environment. Thus, reduction in infant under 5yrs and maternal mortality rate, reduction in malnutrition universal access to safe drinking water and sanitary means of human waste disposal, access to education etc.

The World Health Organization (WHO 2003) summit on urban poverty in the cities of Nigeria emphasizes on health priorities, preventing and contorting such diseases as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis as well as epidemic outbreak like cholera, meningitis and waste while also working in the area of disease related to children and childhood illness to eradicate poverty in Nigeria.

The international labour organization (ILO 1999) summit on urban poverty in an important promotion of an urban employment promotion in different urban centers    was aimed at providing employment, elimination of obnoxious child labour, improvement of labour administration, occupational safety and health issues, respect for human right, social security, labour management information system and good government. The department for international development (DFID 1999) summit on urban poverty strengthens the NGO’s capacity towards sustainable livelihood, democracy, human right and governance, basic education, so that the poor will be involved in all decision and design programme for development.

Strategies for Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria:

Government strategies will be centered on actions that can rapidly lead to a reduction of poverty and establish the frame work to prevent a replace such measures will include the following:

1  In order to achieve the objectives of poverty alleviation programmes, the social environment will be made conducive by ensuring access of the poor to health care services, basic and adult education, good drinking water, and environmental care.

1         Development programmes will be deliberately sensitive to the needs of women and the disadvantaged.

2         Monitoring and evaluating of poverty alleviation programmes will assume a major part of implementing development programmes in Nigeria.

3         Integration of poverty alleviation objectives and programmes into the perspective plan, rolling plans, National and state budgets.

4         Efficient socio-economic management, preservative & conservation of Nigeria’s natural resources will be pursued in order to protect the interest of future generation of Nigerians.

5         Government micro-economic policies will be people oriented and designed to ensure that the people are not marginalized or subjected to unnecessary suffering in the pursuit of their legitimate interest and well being.

6         Development programme will be designed to produce a broad based development of the people and the resources they required to live a useful and productive life, with a view to achieving a balanced, equitable and sustainable economic growth.

7         All effort and assistance to the poor will be complemented by a strong commitment to building the capacity of the individual and communities for self-reliance.

8         Credit will be made available to the grassroots and the poor for productive engagement. In addition, policies will ensure that productive assets are provided at affordable, cost effective and cost-sharing prices.

9         The community and household will be used as the reference joint for poverty alleviation programmes to ensure the participation of the beneficiaries in the initiation, design and management of the projects and high impact for the programmes.

The Concept of Development

Development is a complex phenomenon that involves many aspects of life ranging from health, education, agriculture, polities, economic and social.

Development can also be defined as making people to realize their potential and putting them to action in order to help improving both the entire nation and oneself. It is hard work; lazy individuals develop lazy nation’s hence undeveloped societies. Development is defined as the fulfillment of the necessary conditions for the realization of the potential of human personality which transforms into reduction of poverty, inequality, unemployment, satisfaction of basic needs; such as food, education and certain-social indications such as housing, electricity and general high quality of life.

Aziz (1978) summarized development as: Being focused on meeting the human needs of the entire society through a strategy that would provide rapid increase in the production of certain types of goods and services and the distribution of land and other productive assets as well as a change in the political power structure. It also involves cultural growth through education and community life, creativity and dignity through Job satisfaction and greater sense of participation, freedom of association and expression.

Professor Dudley seers argues that development is about outcomes, that is development occurs with the reduction and elimination of poverty, inequality, and unemployment within a growing economy

Economic development is the development of economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants. From a policy perspective, economic development can be defined as efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and or retaining jobs and supporting or growing income and the tax base. The term economic development on the other hand, implies much more, it typically refers to improvements in a variety of indicators such as literacy rates, life expectancy, and poverty rates. GDP is a specific measure of economic welfare that does not take into account important aspects such as leisure time, environmental quality, freedom or social Justice. Economic growth of any specific measure is not a sufficient definition of economic development.

On the other hand, Sustainable development is that which is economically viable, socially, acceptable and environmentally sound. Development is not sustainable if it does not integrate all three elements. It implies long term synergy through changes in business practices and lifestyles, as well as the adoption of environmental & social standards to stay within the limits of available resources.


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This article was extracted from a Project Research Work Topic


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 Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria








2 Comments on “Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria”

  1. afolabi lawal says:

    Poverty can be alleivated in nigeria through creating job opportunities for the unemployed and also engaging them in skills acquisition

  2. Abdulmajid says:

    the proverty alleviation ni nijeria

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