PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY SOCIO-POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN NIGERIA

0
0

PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY SOCIO-POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN NIGERIA

Introduction Various empirical studies have revealed that poverty is a global phenomenon. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank reported that more than one billion people or one-fifth of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty and that such poverty was a leading cause of mortality1. While the World Bank referred to poverty as an economic situation where a household income is insufficient to meet the minimum nutritional need for growth and long-term survival. It is a vicious circle of multiple adverse circumstance that limit the choices of the poor. People in this category hardly experience any improvement from years to years or sometimes from one generation to another2. In recognition of the global magnitude of poverty, the United Nations declared 1996 as the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. This renewed the attention of the international (development) community on poverty reduction. Policies and programmes that would improve incomes and standard of living of the poor were emphasized3. The Nigerian government has recognized the prevalence of poverty among its people, especially in the rural areas. The latter account for 6.4 million out of the 10 million extremely poor Nigerian4. Successive Nigerian governments since 1960 have attempted to alleviate poverty among Nigerians through various sectoral programmes in agriculture, health, transport, housing and financial
158
sectors. Some multi-sectoral programmes were also introduced. These included the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (DFRRI), Better Life for Rural Women and Family Support Programme, just to mention a fews. To this end, the Nigerian government made poverty alleviation one of its objectives in the 1996 budget. Several programmes were instituted by the Nigerian government to achieve its objective. Community Action Programme for Poverty Alleviation (CAPPA) 1997 and the Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP) 19976 among others. To meet its commitment to these programmes, the Nigerian government earmarked the sum of 4 billion Naira inthel997budget7l48 All these (government) policies have failed to achieve their objectives as millions of Nigerian still remain poor. It is from this standpoint that this paper attt mpts a historical account and analysis of past poverty alleviation measures with a view to highlighting policy errors that bedevilled their implementation. This paper is divided into four sections. Section one contains the introduction, section two looks at poverty in Nigeria and the causes. Section three examines the various programmes that have been introduced to alleviate poverty since the 1980s till date while last section ends the paper with a conclusion. Poverty in Nigeria In Nigeria, poverty has always existed ever before independence. In pre-colonial period, people exchange what they produced for what they needed through trade by barter. This ability to meet their needs was limited to the quantity of their production. During the colonial era, there was self-sufficiency in food but per capital income and social services were low. The oil boom of between 1973 and 1980 brought mixed blessings to Nigeria. The increased revenue was diverted to develop infrastructures, social services, increase in wages especially in non-agricultural sectors and per capital income8 had serious adverse consequences on the agricultural sector leading to a drastic fall (from 60% in 1960 to 31% in early 1980s) in the contribution of agriculture to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Consequently, Nigeria became a net importer of food. Hence, when oil prices began to fall in 1982, the welfare system was affected, per capital income and private consumption dropped. That marked the beginning of real poverty in Nigeria9. According to World Bank reports, poverty in Nigeria is endemic and visible. It is found to be more prevalent in the rural areas. The problem in

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PROJECT MATERIAL

PERSPECTIVES ON CONTEMPORARY SOCIO-POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES IN NIGERIA

 

Leave a Reply