Rural Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria Assignment

Rural Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria Assignment Words: 8463

RURAL POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN Nigeria In addressing this topic; Rural Poverty Alleviation, it is necessary to define each of the words in this phrase. Efforts will therefore be made to clearly describe/define the following words; Rural, Poverty, and Alleviation. WHAT IS RURAL? To define what is rural is daunting task, because the word rural is an inexact term that can mean different thing to different people. For example, what is considered rural in a place like United States of America and United Kingdom may not resemble what is considered rural in a place like Nigeria and other West Africa countries.

However, for the purpose of this paper efforts will be made to describe the word Rural and the general Characteristics of rural areas. Rural is the opposite of urban or city; it refers to a place with small population size and consists of homogeneous people whose primary occupation is agriculture. Rural area is characterized with open spaces and scattering villages. There are other features of rural areas that that are Nigeria specific but which may not qualify as standard feature of rural areas in other nations of the world like United States of America and United Kingdom.

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For instance, illiteracy is one of the characteristics of Nigeria rural population; More than 90 percent of rural people are predominantly illiterates. Again, lack of safe water, and other basic infrastructure, such as primary health care, road network are all features of Nigeria rural areas. The United Kingdom National Statistics describe Rural thus; rural areas are generally observed to have particular attributes which give them distinctive character.

These attributes include tracts of open countryside, low population densities, a scattering of small to medium size settlements, less developed transport infrastructure and lack of access to services and amenities especially of the type provided in large urban centers. WHAT IS POVERTY? In order to know what helps to alleviate poverty, it is important to describe or define what poverty is. Poverty is hunger. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness and not being able to send a child to school. Poverty is also a lack shelter.

In the World Bank reports, 1995 and 2001, Barker made the following observation regarding poverty definition: ” No one common definition of poverty is accepted by all countries. Poverty is generally categorized as material deprivation. Generally, poverty is defined as the state of being poor or deficient in money or means of subsistence (Barker 1995). Increasingly, the concept of basic subsistence is measured by the availability of infrastructure services, such as safe water, sanitation, solid-waste collection and disposal, storm drainage, public transportation, access roads and footpaths, street lighting, and public telephones.

In some countries, other neighborhood amenities such as safe play areas, community facilities, electrical connections, and social services become important in helping increase the standard of living so that the poor can break the cycle of poverty (World Bank 2001). Now breaking away from cycle of poverty is another way of saying alleviating poverty. WHAT IS ALLEVIATION? To alleviate is to make something less painful; it is to take measure (s) to cause reduction in the painful effect of something.

That something is poverty, and the essence of this work is to critically examine and conduct a research on Rural Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria. The research problems are: (1) What are the factors that are responsible for rural poverty and (2) How can rural poverty in Nigeria be alleviated. The objective of this research is to identify some of the factors that are contributing to the rural poverty and to come up with the recommendations on how the rural poverty can be alleviated in Nigeria. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO RURAL POVERTY

The dramatic increase in the magnitude of rural poverty in Nigeria in the last ten years is an indictment of government and other stakeholders in terms of counter-productive policies, poorly executed development programmes and lack of transparent integrity and public accountability. While advances are made in the area of communications and information technology and substantial growth recorded in this sector, but sadly no parallel investment was made by both the government and the private investors on poverty alleviation.

The aforementioned and those outlined below are some of the factors contributing to the rural poverty in Nigeria. Neglect of agriculture: Before the discovery of oil in Nigeria, agriculture used to be the main sources of revenue and foreign exchange earning for government but regrettably this has been neglected. And since this is the major occupation of the rural people, their income has been the decline ever since. Neglect of infrastructure: There has been a deliberate neglect of infrastructure facilities in the rural areas.

Basic amenities such as road network, piped water, primarily health care centers, electricity, schools etc are all contributing factors to the rural poverty. Lack of poverty programme coordination: Various levels of government are claiming to be doing one thing or the other to reduce the suffering of the rural dwellers; the Federal, the State, and the Local government, but lack of proper coordination of their programmes make the impact not be felt by the rural community. Lack of government commitment: No serious commitment on the part of the government to the rural poverty alleviation initiative.

Local power structures and vested interest: Many good rural poverty reduction programmes of the government are made un-implement able because of selfish interest on the part of government officials. So also is local power structure and lack inbuilt programme monitoring mechanism. All this accounted for rural poverty. RURAL POVERTY ALLEVIATION: Past?? governments?? have?? engaged?? in?? the?? past?? time?? of?? glorifying?? poverty?? alleviation?? on?? the?? pages?? of?? newspapers?? and?? news?? conferences?? but?? have?? failed?? to?? deliver. The??earliest??poverty??alleviation??programmes??were??the??1972??Gen.

Yakubu?? Gowon’s?? National?? Accelerated?? Food?? Production?? Programme??(NAFPP) and?? the?? Nigerian?? Agricultural?? and?? Co-operative?? Bank,?? entirely?? devoted?? to?? funding?? agriculture. The?? NAFPP?? turned?? out?? to?? be?? a?? colossal?? waste?? and?? nothing?? was?? achieved. There?? was?? the?? much?? publicised Operation?? Feed?? the?? Nation?? in?? 1976?? by?? the?? then?? military?? strong-man,?? Gen. Olusegun?? Obasanjo,?? “which?? expended?? much?? money?? and?? effort?? in?? getting?? ill – prepared?? university?? undergraduates?? to?? go?? to?? the?? rural?? areas?? to?? teach?? the?? peasants?? farmers?? how?? to?? farm.

A?? kind?? of?? teaching?? an?? old?? dog?? a?? new?? trick. A?? theoretical?? farming?? graduate?? teaching?? a?? farmer,?? who?? makes?? his/her?? living?? out?? of?? farming,?? how?? to?? farm. The?? scheme’s?? only?? success?? was?? in?? creating?? awareness?? of?? food?? shortage?? and?? the?? need?? to?? tackle?? the?? problem. The?? 1979?? Shehu?? Shagari’s?? Green?? Revolution?? Programme?? had?? the?? twin?? objectives?? of?? curtailing?? food?? importation?? while?? boosting?? crop?? and?? fibre?? production. The??overall??objective??was??big??(mechanised) farming. Many?? senior?? civil?? and?? military?? officers,?? both?? in?? and?? out?? of?? office,?? used?? their?? access?? to?? the?? state?? to?? the?? advantage?? of?? the?? wide?? range?? of?? facilities?? committed?? to?? the?? Green?? Revolution. These??bureaucrats – cum – farmers??were??also??joined??by??many??private??businessmen. Some?? new-breed?? farmers?? were?? only?? interested?? in?? getting?? Certificate?? of?? Occupancy?? for?? large?? tracks?? of?? land. The?? land?? can?? then?? be?? used?? for?? speculative?? purposes,?? for?? example,?? as?? collateral?? for?? securing?? loans”.

When?? the?? programme?? ended?? in?? 1983,?? 2 billion?? naira?? tax?? payers’?? money?? was?? wasted. That?? is?? more?? than?? two?? hundred?? billion?? naira?? in?? today’s?? exchange?? rate. Buhari’s?? government?? introduced?? the?? Go?? Back?? to?? Land?? programme?? with?? variations?? such?? as?? the?? former?? Rivers – State?? governor,?? Fidelis?? Oyakhilome’s?? School?? to?? Land?? programme?? and?? his?? Lagos – State?? counterpart,?? Gbolahan?? Mudashiru’s?? Graduates?? Farming?? Scheme. Initially?? the?? Oyakhilome’s?? scheme?? worked?? wonders?? in?? Rivers,?? made?? headline?? news?? in?? some?? newspapers.

But?? like?? everything,?? Nigerian,?? it?? fizzled?? out?? and?? died. There?? is?? a?? believe?? that?? one?? of?? the?? major?? reasons?? for?? the?? failure?? of?? all?? these?? agricultural/poverty?? reduction?? programmes?? was?? that?? they?? were?? based?? on?? “faulty?? philosophy”. The?? belief?? is?? that?? food?? programmes?? such?? as?? the?? Gen. Gowon’s?? National?? Accelerated?? Food?? Production?? Programme;?? the?? Gen. Obasanjo’s?? Operation?? Feed?? the?? Nation;?? the?? Shehu?? Shagari’s?? Green?? Revolution,?? and?? the?? Gen. Buhari’s?? Go?? Back?? to?? Land?? Programme?? “failed?? because?? of?? the?? far fetched?? objectives?? of?? making?? farmers?? out?? of?? all?? Nigerians,?? and?? that?? no?? country?? attains?? self – sufficiency?? in?? food?? by?? seeking?? to?? turn?? all?? its?? citizens?? in to?? farmers,?? that?? farming?? should?? be?? left?? for?? those?? whose?? business?? it?? is?? to?? farm”. In?? 1986?? Gen. Babangida?? established?? the?? Directorate?? of?? Food,?? Roads?? and?? Rural?? Infrastructure ( DFRRI )?? for?? rural?? development. This?? was?? meant?? to?? provide?? feeder?? roads,?? electricity,?? and potable water and toilet facilities?? for?? the?? rural?? dwellers. The?? projects?? gulped?? N1. b ( about?? N80 billion?? today’s?? value )?? without?? Nigerians?? benefiting?? from?? them. Various?? projects?? were?? set?? up?? for?? poverty?? alleviation?? purposes. Amongst?? them,?? are?? the?? Peoples?? Bank?? of?? Nigeria?? and?? the?? Community?? Bank?? of?? Nigeria. Neither?? did?? these?? financial?? institutions?? lived?? up?? to?? their?? expectations,?? nor?? did?? they?? actualised?? their?? aims?? and?? purposes. Babangida’s?? wife,?? Maryam,?? also?? went?? in?? to?? the?? business?? of?? caring?? for?? the?? Nigerian?? poor. She?? set?? up?? Better?? Life?? Programme??(BLP) and?? ended?? up?? making?? millionaires?? out?? of?? the?? BLP?? officials?? and?? friends.

The?? better?? life?? for?? rural?? women?? became?? the?? better?? life?? for?? rich?? women. The?? Nigerian?? poor?? did?? not?? know?? what?? hit?? them,?? before?? the?? poor?? could?? say?? “Food?? At?? Last”,?? the?? food?? was?? taken?? away?? from?? them,?? they?? were?? left?? gapping?? and?? hungry?? as?? usual. In?? 1993?? Abacha and?? his?? wife?? found?? a?? gold – mine?? in?? the?? business?? of?? pretending?? to?? care?? for?? the?? poor. The?? Family?? Support?? Programme??(FSP) and?? the?? Family?? Economic?? Advancement?? Programme?? were?? set?? up. The?? Nigerian?? poor,?? again,?? were?? taking?? for?? a?? ride.

According?? to?? the?? Tell?? magazine?? of?? 3/8/98?? “FSP?? gulped?? over?? N10 billion?? of?? tax?? payers?? money?? at?? a?? time?? her?? husband,?? Abacha,?? was?? retrenching?? hepless?? civil?? servants?? nation-wide”. Poverty reduction is understood as a process of enabling people to gain access to basic goods and opportunities. In the report tittled ” the state of the World Rural Poverty” published by the International Fund for Agricultural Development in 1992, starts from the premise that poverty may be reduced on a sustainable basis through productive investments in the capabilities of the rural poor.

Sustainable poverty reduction consists of broadly based economic growth to generate efficient income-earning opportunities for the poor and improved access to education, health care, and social services. It was not the intention of this work to suggest that the existing poverty programmes be abandoned, rather there was seen to be a need for the fine-tuning, better coordination of, and longer term commitment to the existing measure. METHODOLOGY: The method adopted in this research work is mainly review of literatures.

Written reports of previous work on rural development were considered and several text books that covered the subject ??? matters were reviewed. The books and the reports of the previous work reviewed during this research work are listed in the bibliograpy. BIBLIOGRAPHY Joseph, Mullen, Rural Poverty Alleviation: In association with the Institute for Development Policy and Management Lewis, T. , Preston, The World Bank, Washington, D. C. Poverty Reduction Catherine H. , Lovell, Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, The BRAC Strategy Anthony, Maduagwu, aka ??? Toniman, Africa Economic Analysis: Alleviating World Bank Reports. 1995 and 2001, Global Poverty The world may be categorized into seven major areas for ease of study and understanding. They are: Latin America and the Caribbean; the Middle East and North Africa; Africa???Sub-Sahara; Europe, and Central Asia; East Asia and the Pacific; South Asia; and North America. In a major study of global poverty, the World Bank (2001) estimated that 1. 2 billion people lived in poverty in these seven major areas. Additionally, UNICEF (2001) reported that in a $30 trillion global economy, this figure represents one-fourth of the human race that is living in conditions of almost unimaginable suffering and want.

Nearly 1 billion people in the world are illiterate. Approximately 1. 3 billion people lack safe water. Over one-half of the developing world’s population (2. 6 billion people) is without access to adequate sanitation. The United Nations Department of Public Information (1996) estimated that more than twothirds of the world’s poor people live in only ten African and Asian countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, central and western China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

In Africa, the majority of the countries that are poor gained their independence from European colonial powers in the second half of the twentieth century. In Asia, most of the poverty is concentrated in the southern and eastern areas. More than a billion people still live on less than $1 a day (World Bank 2001). The majority of the world’s poor people are women and children. Most of these reside in rural areas. More than 110 million children of school age do not attend school.

Easily preventable diseases (pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria, and measles) account for the deaths of nearly eleven million children under the age of five each year. Between 600 million and 700 million children, representing about 40 percent of all those in the developing world, are poor (World Summit for Social Development and Beyond web site). Measuring Poverty Each country measures poverty according to its level of development, societal norms, and values. Because of these differences, the poverty level may change from country to country; thus, there is no uniformity in the poverty line.

The poverty line is a measure of the amount of money a government or a society believes is necessary for a person to live at a minimum level of subsistence or standard of living (Barker 1997). In the United States, the poverty line measurement was developed in the mid-1960s by Mollie Orshansky (1965). Essentially, a poverty level (line) was determined by figuring out how much a family needed to maintain a minimally adequate diet and then multiplying by three (represents the number in a family). The United States government adopted this standard, and, with minor yearly adjustments, has used it ever since (Ellwood 1988).

The establishment of a poverty line has political implications. Poverty lines are established at given points of time, and they are usually adjusted, minimally, on a yearly basis. The question of who to count and what to count remains important because a poverty line reveals what a country does and does not do in addressing the needs of its poor citizens. When estimating global poverty, the United States poverty line is not used. Although there are disagreements on its use, the World Bank uses poverty lines that are set at $1 and $2 per day (U. S. ollars) in 1993 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms. The PPPs measure the relative purchasing power of currencies across countries. It was estimated that in 1998, 1. 2 billion people worldwide had consumption levels below $1 a day???24 percent of the population of the developing world???and 2. 8 billion people lived on less than $2 a day. For purposes of analysis, the World Bank uses the poverty lines that are based on the norms for respective countries (World Bank 2001). Welfare Response Welfare is defined as a condition of physical health, emotional comfort, and economic security.

The term also characterizes the efforts of a society to help its citizens achieve that condition, and is used as a synonym for public assistance or other programs that provide for the economic and social services needs of poor people (Barker 1997). Welfare refers to government efforts that provide money, programs, medical care, food, and housing, for instance, to those who are poor. All countries differ, however, on how much they spend on welfare as compared to social insurance or the size of the overall economy (Garfinkel and Waldfogel 2001).

Typically, European countries have universal programs that provide free medical and hospital care, family allowances, and retirement pensions. The Scandinavian countries, such as Norway and Sweden, have extensive government programs; these are so comprehensive that poverty is considered practically nonexistent. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom all spend large shares of their economies on the needs of the poor. Aid is provided by employers and families in East Asian countries, such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

Less developed countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia have lower overall budgets for welfare than other nations. South Africa, however, has one of the most developed social welfare systems, with a particularly comprehensive health care system. Uruguay has a well-developed welfare system. India and Sri Lanka provide smaller benefits and serve fewer recipients (Garfinkel and Waldfogel 2001). Categories of Dependence Dependence can be divided into two categories: generational welfare dependence and situational welfare dependence.

Welfare families who raise children who, in turn, become welfare recipients are the generational welfare dependent. Generational welfare dependency is the hardest type of poverty for a family to overcome. Over time, this kind of poverty creates a poverty of spirit that can affect a person’s and family’s entire being. The last thirty years of social welfare history in the United States, for example, reveal that such poverty usually destroys the family unit. In the worst cases, poverty of this sort overtakes entire neighborhoods, towns, and communities by thrusting them into hopelessness and despair (Carlson 1999).

Situational welfare-dependent families are those who have moved from a state of financial independence to welfare dependence, generally due to crises. Causes of sudden financial hardship include abandonment, divorce, debilitating illness, economic recession, natural disasters, and civil strife (Carlson 1999). A Welfare Program Example In the United States, federal cash assistance for dependent children began in 1935 with the enactment of the Social Security Act. At that time, most poor single mothers were widows, and the cash assistance appropriation was designed to help mothers stay home with their children.

Through the years, that initial program, which was called Mother’s Pension, changed in both the titles of the cash assistance programs and the requirements placed on the mothers who participate in these programs. During the 1960s, the United States Congress passed laws that provided incentives to poor mothers to find jobs or to be in job skills training programs. Efforts were also made by the federal government to require fathers of poor children receiving governmental aid to pay child support.

By the 1980s, the generalized picture of most poor single mothers revealed that they had never been married or were separated or divorced. Two decades of moderate to conservative governmental leadership resulted in the U. S. Congress making major changes in the nation’s welfare system in 1996. It passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). Within this act, the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program also replaced the former federal program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

Under AFDC, the federal government required the states to provide aid to families whose income was below the poverty line. Under TANF, the federal government distributed cash payments directly to the states. The respective states determined the recipients of the cash assistance. The major shift in TANF from AFDC was that recipients must be working within two years, with five years being the maximum time that poor families could remain on government aid. The results of this ideological paradigm shift were mixed. Some statistics reveal decreases in the welfare caseload.

Other statistics revealed that more poor people, especially women, were employed although many of the jobs paid only minimum wage. Anecdotal evidence abounded about to the number of poor women with children who had to choose between paying their utilities and purchasing food. Some estimates suggested that by the early twenty-first century, TANF would result in 2. 6 million more people living below the federal poverty line (OneWorld web site). Understanding Poverty What is poverty? Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter.

Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom. Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place and across time, and has been described in many ways (for a collection of readings, see??Poems and Personal Accounts of Poverty). Most often, poverty is a situation people want to escape.

So poverty is a call to action — for the poor and the wealthy alike — a call to change the world so that many more may have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and a voice in what happens in their communities. |Alleviating?? Poverty?? in?? Nigeria | |By?? Anthony?? Maduagwu ( aka -Toniman ) | |The?? Nigerian?? government?? is?? once?? again?? embarking?? on?? another?? attempt?? to?? alleviate?? poverty.

This?? present?? one?? looks?? | |like?? it?? is?? heading?? the?? same?? way?? the?? past?? ones?? headed?? and?? subsequently?? failed. Amongst?? the?? reasons?? why?? the?? past?? | |poverty?? alleviation?? attempts?? failed?? were?? – ( 1 )?? the?? politics?? of?? personal?? rule -???? a?? distinctive?? type?? of?? political?? | |system?? in?? which?? the?? rivalries?? and?? struggles?? of?? powerful?? and?? willful?? men,?? rather?? than?? impersonal?? institutions,?? | |ideologies,?? public?? policies,?? or?? class?? interests,?? are?? fundamental?? in?? shaping?? political?? life.

It?? is?? a?? monopolistic?? | |politics?? as?? against?? pluralistic?? or?? multiparty?? politics. It?? is?? usually?? a?? civilian?? one – party?? state?? or?? a?? military?? | |dictatorship?? ( There?? is?? overwhelming?? believe?? that?? Obasanjo’?? PDP?? government?? is?? shifting?? towards?? a?? full?? blown?? one – | |party?? state ). It?? is?? the?? politics?? of?? Big – Men?? who?? are?? a?? considerable?? distance?? from?? the?? ordinary?? people. Politics?? | |of?? no?? accountability,?? transparency?? and?? responsibility.

Other?? practices?? in?? personal?? government?? are?? conspiracy,?? factional??| |politics,?? clientelism,?? and corruption, purges and rehabilitations and secession manoeuvres. In?? this?? type?? of?? monopolistic?? | |politics?? there?? is?? little?? or?? no?? time?? for?? the?? governed. When?? the?? governed,?? the?? ordinary?? people,?? are?? eventually?? | |remembered,?? a?? not – well – thought?? of?? system?? is?? put?? in?? place?? to?? alleviate?? their?? sufferings. At?? the?? end?? the?? | beneficiaries?? of?? the?? systems ( Poverty?? Alleviation?? Programmes )?? are?? the same?? big – men?? that the?? political?? system?? is?? made| |- up?? of. Nigerian?? politics?? since?? independence?? (?? perhaps,?? with?? the?? exception?? of?? the?? Balewa?? government )?? to?? the?? last?? | |military?? rule?? have?? been?? monopolistic?? in?? practice. Hence?? the?? lukewarm?? attitudes?? towards?? the?? impoverished?? majority?? and?? | |the?? badly?? managed?? programmes?? that?? supposed?? to?? alleviate?? their?? sufferings. |?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? | |( 2 ) the?? top-down-big-man?? from?? Lagos?? (and?? now?? Abuja) approach -?? the?? master?? and?? servant?? relationships?? associated?? with?? | |the?? programmes?? to?? alleviate?? poverty. Government?? claims?? to?? know?? and?? understand?? what?? poverty?? is,?? who?? the?? poor?? are?? | |and?? what?? they?? need?? in?? order?? to?? alleviate?? their?? poverty. The?? Abuja?? big?? men?? can?? not?? possibly?? claim?? to?? understand?? | |what?? it?? is?? to?? be?? poor.

Only?? the?? poor?? understands?? poverty?? and?? it?? is?? also?? the?? poor?? that?? knows?? how?? their?? poverty?? | |could?? be?? alleviated. A?? sick?? man?? knows?? where?? it?? hurts?? him. So?? it?? stands?? to?? reason?? that?? the?? viable?? alternative?? to?? | |the?? big?? man?? telling?? the?? small?? man?? what?? to?? do,?? is?? the?? ordinary?? man?? telling?? the?? big?? man?? his?? problems?? and?? how?? he????| |thinks?? the?? problems?? could?? be?? solved. The?? fact?? is?? that?? the?? poor?? usually?? have?? quite?? good?? perceptions?? of?? their?? own?? | |needs?? and?? goals?? and?? of?? what?? would?? be?? required?? to?? satisfy?? and?? make?? progress?? toward?? them.

According?? to?? the?? theory?? | |of?? Humble?? Approach?? to Development,?? it?? is?? appropriate?? for?? government?? “to?? ensure?? their?? citizen’s?? active?? participation?? | |in?? formulating?? and?? implementing?? projects?? of?? which?? they?? are?? supposed?? to?? be?? the?? beneficiaries”. | | | |Government?? should?? not?? presume?? that?? they?? know?? what?? will?? benefit?? the?? poor?? better?? than?? the?? poor?? themselves. Projects?? | |should?? be?? embarked?? upon?? because?? the?? people?? need?? them. ,?? not?? because?? some?? contractors (who?? stands?? to?? profit?? from?? the?? | |projects) are?? pushing?? for?? them. If?? development?? is?? about?? people,?? it?? cannot?? happen?? without?? the?? participation?? of?? the?? | |people. The?? citizens?? should?? clarify?? their?? own?? needs?? and?? priorities. They?? should?? speak?? up?? and?? stand?? up?? for?? what?? | |they consider?? their?? priorities,?? and?? speak?? and?? act?? against?? white?? elephant?? projects”.

It?? is?? also?? reasonable?? that?? | |before?? forms?? and?? loans?? are?? dished?? out?? to the?? public,?? the?? government?? should?? do?? well?? to?? take?? stock?? of?? the?? past?? | |attempts?? at?? alleviating?? poverty?? in?? this?? country. The?? point?? is?? that?? when?? a?? program?? has?? been?? failing?? each?? time?? it?? | |is?? attempted,?? the?? ideal?? thing?? to?? do?? would?? be?? to?? study?? the?? past?? attempts?? to?? see?? where?? the?? mistakes?? lies. The?? | |concept?? of?? the?? above?? analysis?? is?? sometimes?? referred?? to?? as – participatory?? development,?? bottom – up,?? sustainable?? | |livelihoods,?? humble?? development?? approach,?? and?? so?? on. |Past?? Attempts?? to?? Alleviate?? Poverty?? in?? Nigeria | | | |Past?? governments?? have?? engaged?? in?? the?? past?? time?? of?? glorifying?? poverty?? alleviation?? on?? the?? pages?? of?? newspapers?? and?? | |news?? conferences?? but?? have?? failed?? to?? deliver. The?? earliest?? poverty?? alleviation?? programmes?? were?? the?? 1972?? Gen.

Yakubu?? | |Gowon’s?? National?? Accelerated?? Food?? Production?? Programme?? and?? the?? Nigerian?? Agricultural?? and?? Co-operative?? Bank,?? entirely?? | |devoted?? to?? funding?? agriculture. The?? NAFPP?? turned?? out?? to?? be?? a?? colossal?? waste?? and?? nothing?? was?? achieved. There?? was?? | |the?? much?? publicised?? Operation?? Feed?? the?? Nation?? in?? 1976?? by?? the?? then?? military?? strong-man,?? Gen. Olusegun?? Obasanjo,?? | |”which?? expended?? much?? money?? and?? effort?? in?? getting?? ill – prepared?? university?? undergraduates?? to?? go?? to?? the?? rural?? areas?? | |to?? teach?? the?? peasants?? farmers?? how?? to?? farm.

A?? kind?? of?? teaching?? an?? old?? dog?? a?? new?? trick. A?? theoretical?? farming?? | |graduate?? teaching?? a?? farmer,?? who?? makes?? his/her?? living?? out?? of?? farming,?? how?? to?? farm. The?? scheme’s?? only?? success?? was?? | |in?? creating?? awareness?? of?? food?? shortage?? and?? the?? need?? to?? tackle?? the?? problem. | |The?? 1979?? Shehu?? Shagari’s?? Green?? Revolution?? Programme?? had?? the?? twin?? objectives?? of?? curtailing?? food?? importation?? while?? | |boosting?? crop?? and?? fibre?? production. The?? overall?? objective?? was?? big?? (mechanised) farming. Many?? senior?? civil?? and?? | |military?? officers,?? both?? in?? and?? out?? of?? office,?? used?? their?? access?? to?? the state?? to?? the?? advantage?? of?? the?? wide?? range?? | |of?? facilities?? committed?? to?? the?? Green?? Revolution. These?? bureaucrats – cum – farmers?? were?? also?? joined?? by?? many?? private?? | |businessmen. Some?? new-breed?? farmers?? were?? only?? interested?? in?? getting?? Certificate?? of?? Occupancy?? for?? large?? tracks?? of?? | |land. The?? land?? can?? then?? be?? used?? for?? speculative?? purposes,?? for?? example,?? as?? collateral?? for?? securing?? loans”.

When?? the??| |programme?? ended?? in?? 1983,?? 2 billion?? naira?? tax?? payers’?? money?? was?? wasted. That?? is?? more?? than?? two?? hundred?? billion?? naira??| |in?? today’s?? exchange?? rate. | |Buhari’s?? government?? introduced?? the?? Go?? Back?? to?? Land?? programme?? with?? variations?? such?? as?? the?? former?? Rivers – State?? | |governor,?? Fidelis?? Oyakhilome’s?? School?? to?? Land?? programme?? and?? his?? Lagos – State?? counterpart,?? Gbolahan?? Mudashiru’s?? | |Graduates?? Farming?? Scheme. Initially?? the?? Oyakhilome’s?? scheme?? worked?? wonders?? in?? Rivers,?? made?? headline?? news?? in?? some?? | |newspapers.

But?? like?? everything,?? Nigerian,?? it?? fizzled?? out?? and?? died. There?? is?? a?? believe?? that?? one?? of?? the?? major?? | |reasons?? for?? the?? failure?? of?? all?? these?? agricultural/poverty?? reduction?? programmes?? was?? that?? they?? were?? based?? on?? “faulty?? | |philosophy”. The?? belief?? is?? that?? food?? programmes?? such?? as?? the?? Gen. Gowon’s?? National?? Accelerated?? Food?? Production?? | |Programme;?? the?? Gen. Obasanjo’s?? Operation?? Feed?? the?? Nation;?? the?? Shehu?? Shagari’s?? Green?? Revolution,?? and?? the?? Gen. |Buhari’s?? Go?? Back?? to?? Land?? Programme?? “failed?? because?? of?? the?? far – fetched?? objectives?? of?? making?? farmers?? out?? of?? all?? | |Nigerians,?? and?? that?? no?? country?? attains?? self – sufficiency?? in?? food?? by?? seeking?? to?? turn?? all?? its?? citizens?? in to?? | |farmers,?? that?? farming?? should?? be?? left?? for?? those?? whose?? business?? it?? is?? to?? farm”. | |In?? 1986?? Gen. Babangida?? established?? the?? Directorate?? of?? Food,?? Roads?? and?? Rural?? Infrastructure ( DFRRI )?? for?? rural?? | |development. This?? was?? meant?? to?? provide?? feeder?? roads,?? electricity,?? and potable water and toilet facilities?? for?? the?? rural?? | |dwellers.

The?? projects?? gulped?? N1. 9b ( about?? N80 billion?? today’s?? value )?? without?? Nigerians?? benefiting?? from?? them. Various??| |projects?? were?? set?? up?? for?? poverty alleviation?? purposes. Amongst?? them,?? are?? the?? Peoples?? Bank?? of?? Nigeria?? and?? the?? | |Community?? Bank?? of?? Nigeria. Neither?? did?? these?? financial?? institutions?? lived?? up?? to?? their?? expectations,?? nor?? did?? they?? | |actualised?? their?? aims?? and?? purposes. Babangida’s?? wife,?? Maryam,?? also?? went?? in?? to?? the?? business?? of?? caring?? for?? the?? | |Nigerian?? poor.

She?? set?? up?? Better?? Life?? Programme?? and?? ended?? up?? making?? millionaires?? out?? of?? the?? BLP?? officials?? and?? | |friends. The?? better?? life?? for?? rural?? women?? became?? the?? better?? life?? for?? rich?? women. The?? Nigerian?? poor?? did?? not?? know?? | |what?? hit?? them,?? before?? the?? poor?? could?? say?? “Food?? At?? Last”,?? the?? food?? was?? taken?? away?? from?? them,?? they?? were?? left?? | |gapping?? and?? hungry?? as?? usual. | |?????? | |In?? 1993?? Abacha and?? his?? wife?? found?? a?? gold – mine?? in?? the?? business?? of?? pretending?? to?? care?? for?? the?? poor.

The?? Family?? | |Support?? Programme?? and?? the?? Family?? Economic?? Advancement?? Programme?? were?? set?? up. The?? Nigerian?? poor,?? again,?? were?? taking?? | |for?? a?? ride. According?? to?? the?? Tell?? magazine?? of?? 3/8/98?? “FSP?? gulped?? over?? N10 billion?? of?? tax?? payers?? money?? at?? a?? time?? | |her?? husband,?? Abacha,?? was?? retrenching?? hapless?? civil?? servants?? nation-wide”. | |Would?? this?? present?? measure?? by?? Obasanjo?? be?? any?? different? Would?? there?? be?? succour?? at?? last?? for?? the?? poor? The?? | |previous?? measures?? all?? started?? like?? today’s?? own.

The?? Better?? Life?? for?? Rural?? Women,?? the?? Family?? Support?? Programme?? and?? | |the?? Peoples?? Bank?? were?? particularly?? interesting?? because?? they?? were?? directed?? to?? the?? poor. Shame?? that?? the?? government’s?? | |objectives?? and?? purposes?? ran?? parallel?? to?? the?? Nigerian?? poor?? expectations. Shame?? that?? they?? were?? bent?? on?? taking?? the?? | |Nigerian?? poor?? for?? a?? ride. | |Corruption?? and?? Poverty?? Alleviation | |I?? was?? one?? of?? the?? Nigerians?? who?? sincerely?? believed?? in?? Babangida’s?? economic?? policies.

When,?? in?? 1986,?? he?? embarked?? on?? | |the?? structural?? adjustment?? programmes?? and?? some?? people?? criticised?? the?? idea,?? I?? was one?? of?? those?? who?? believed?? Nigeria?? | |needed?? SAPs?? because?? I?? had?? (and?? still?? have)?? the?? opinion?? that?? if?? each?? time?? “Peter” (Nigeria)?? is?? in?? need?? of?? money?? | |he?? goes?? to?? his?? neighbour?? “Paul” (USA?? or?? Europe)?? to?? lend?? him?? some?? money?? and,?? frequently,?? Peter?? does?? not?? honour?? his??| |debt?? repayment,?? the?? neighbour,?? Paul,?? has?? the?? moral?? and?? economic?? right?? to?? seat?? the?? frequent?? borrower?? down?? to?? | |discuss?? the?? terms?? of?? the?? next?? lending.

Terms?? such?? as,?? Peter,?? no,?? I?? am?? not?? lending?? you?? money?? this?? time?? unless?? | |you?? tell?? me?? what?? you?? intend?? to?? do?? with?? the?? money, ( for?? I?? believe?? you?? have?? not?? been?? using?? the?? previous?? lending?? | |judiciously?? well,?? and?? that?? is?? why?? you?? keep?? coming?? back?? for?? more?? and?? also?? you?? have?? not?? been?? honouring?? your?? debts)??| |and?? if?? I?? do?? not?? like?? your?? plan,?? I?? will?? advise?? you?? on?? what?? I?? think?? will?? benefit?? you?? and?? me. On?? take?? it?? or?? | |leave?? it?? bases. I?? understand?? that?? bilateral?? and/or?? multilateral?? lending?? is?? not?? as?? clear?? cut?? as?? is?? put?? here. |There?? are?? much?? more?? to?? country?? lending?? than?? just?? Peter?? and?? Paul. | |The?? fact?? was?? that?? Babangida?? inherited?? a?? steadily?? declining?? economy?? from?? his?? predecessor,?? Buhari,?? who?? ran?? out?? of?? | |new?? ideas?? on?? how?? to?? revamp?? the?? recalcitrant?? economy. The?? regime’s?? counter – trading?? economic?? policy (exchange?? of?? oil?? | |for?? raw – materials,?? spare – parts,?? machinery?? and?? consumer?? goods)?? was?? worsening?? the?? economy,?? international?? debts?? were?? | |not?? being?? honoured?? and?? IMF?? conditionalities?? did?? not?? appeal?? to?? Buhari?? and?? Idiagbon.

Babangida?? implemented?? the?? | |conditionalities?? and?? the?? rest?? as?? they?? say?? is?? history. Nigerians?? are?? quick?? to?? criticise?? SAPs?? for?? the?? country’s?? woes??| |but?? the?? question?? is,?? did?? SAPs?? fail?? Nigeria?? or?? did?? Nigeria?? fail?? SAPs? I?? think?? Babangida?? failed?? Nigerians,?? not?? the?? | |other?? way?? round. Babangida?? wasted?? more?? than?? 100?? billion?? naira?? in?? phantom?? projects.

Projects?? such?? as?? his?? wife’s?? | |Better?? Life?? Programmes?? for?? the?? poor,?? DFRRI,?? People’s?? Bank?? of?? Nigeria,?? two?? democratic?? transition?? experiments,?? big?? | |time?? corruption?? in?? which?? members of the Babangida regime?? enriched?? themselves. So?? it?? goes?? without?? saying?? that?? according?? | |to?? the?? book?? implementation?? of?? SAPs?? would?? do?? any?? country?? good. | |When?? also?? the?? Peoples?? Bank?? was?? established,?? I?? supported?? the?? august?? idea,?? hoping?? that?? the?? measure?? would?? do?? well?? to??| |ease?? the?? plight?? of?? the?? Nigerian?? poor. |My?? optimism?? was?? premised?? on?? the?? knowledge?? that?? the?? idea?? had?? been?? tried?? and?? tested?? somewhere?? in?? the?? world?? and?? it?? | |worked?? and,?? guess?? what,?? the?? idea?? is?? still?? thriving?? now?? as?? you?? are?? reading?? this?? article. The?? country?? in?? question?? | |is?? Bangladesh?? and?? their?? own?? Peoples?? Bank?? is?? called?? Grameen?? Bank. In?? fact?? Nigeria?? got?? the?? idea?? of?? the?? Peoples?? | |Bank,?? as?? an?? effective?? way?? of?? alleviating?? poverty,?? from?? the?? Bangladesh’s?? Grameen?? Bank.

So?? one?? is?? forced?? to?? ask?? why??| |is?? it?? that?? when?? something?? is?? working?? perfectly?? well?? in?? one?? country, when?? the?? idea?? is?? imported?? to?? Nigeria?? it?? stops??| |working. As?? my?? mother?? used?? to?? say,?? it?? is?? not?? what?? you?? do,?? but?? how?? you?? do?? it. The?? Nigerian?? problems?? lie?? in?? the??| |lacklustre attitudes?? to?? execution?? of?? government?? projects. If?? Obasanjo?? can?? correct?? that?? ugly?? aspect?? of?? the?? Nigerian?? | |factor?? (lacklustre?? execution),?? the?? country’s?? problem?? is?? half?? solved.

A?? tall?? order,?? maybe,?? but?? the?? success?? of?? this?? | |country?? movement?? forward?? or?? backward?? hinges?? on?? three?? things :?? ideas,?? implementations?? and?? executions. | |Had?? Buhari?? been?? honest?? in?? his?? management?? of?? the?? petroleum?? trust?? fund,?? PTF,?? the?? amount?? of?? money?? that?? was?? in?? his?? | |disposal,?? he?? would?? have?? alleviated?? Nigerian?? poverty?? ten?? fold. Obasanjo?? has?? earmarked?? N10 billion?? to?? fight?? poverty,?? | |but?? according?? to?? a?? newsmagazine?? report ( Newswatch ),?? Buhari?? had?? an?? average?? of?? N52 billion?? every?? year?? to?? spend?? on?? | |Nigeria.

At?? the?? end?? of?? the?? PTF?? reign?? Nigerian?? poverty?? and?? underdevelopment?? level?? remained?? the same,?? if?? not?? worse,?? | |as?? prior?? to?? the?? establishment?? of?? the?? PTF. Nigerians?? were?? fooled?? by?? the?? two?? former?? Head?? of?? States,?? Buhari?? and?? | |Abacha. Dr?? Haroum Adamu’s?? interim?? report?? says?? that?? N135 billion?? out?? of?? the?? N146 billion?? was?? squandered,?? possibly?? | |through?? over?? invoicing,?? over?? supplies,?? supplying?? expired?? materials,?? wrong?? project?? priorities,?? settling?? perceived?? | |trouble?? spots,?? like?? the?? army?? and?? the?? police,?? and?? blatant hievery. | |It?? was?? like?? Buhari?? was?? out?? to?? punish?? Nigerians?? for?? God – knows – what. As?? one commentator?? put?? it,?? “In?? a?? country?? | |where?? poverty?? has?? remained?? pervasive?? in?? spite?? of?? the?? oil?? wealth,?? such?? a?? huge?? amount?? could?? have?? provided?? succour?? | |to?? millions?? of?? Nigerians?? by?? way?? of?? the?? provision?? of?? basic?? infrastructure. For?? decades?? after?? independence,?? Nigerians?? | |cannot?? even?? have?? potable?? water?? despite?? the?? huge?? sums?? of?? money?? sunk?? into?? boreholes.

Safe?? for?? some?? few?? roads?? | |lopsidedly?? selected?? by?? the?? PTF,?? the?? roads?? network?? in?? the?? country?? especially?? in?? the?? eastern?? parts,?? can?? only?? draw?? | |tears?? even?? from?? the?? man?? with?? the?? heart?? of?? stone. The?? educational?? sector?? has?? even?? suffered?? more?? degradation?? despite??| |the?? intervention?? of?? the?? PTF?? under?? Buhari”. | |The?? whereabouts?? of?? the?? Babangida’s?? Gulf – war?? windfall?? is?? still?? a?? mystery?? to?? Nigerians. “Earnings?? from?? the?? sale?? of?? | |crude?? oil?? during?? the?? Gulf?? war?? was?? put?? at?? $12. billion?? but?? government?? eventually?? declared?? deficits?? of?? N21. 7 billion?? | |and?? N35. 31 billion?? in?? 1990?? and?? 1991?? respectively”?????? Pius?? Okigbo – led?? panel?? set?? up?? in?? 1994?? to?? look?? in?? to?? the?? | |matter?? “returned?? a?? verdict?? of?? a?? gross?? abuse?? of?? public?? trust?? and?? of?? payments?? that?? were?? surreptitiously?? and?? | |clandestinely?? done”. A?? French?? paper?? put?? the?? overall?? worth?? of?? IBB?? at?? N450 billion. IBB’s?? ministers,?? generals,?? | |contractors?? and?? indeed?? Abacha’s?? ministers?? and?? generals?? are?? all?? untouchables.

John?? Fashanu?? found?? $6 billion?? debt?? buy??| |back?? scam?? that?? was?? perpetrated???? by???? IBB,?? is?? once?? again?? reminding?? Obasanjo?? that?? IBB?? should?? not?? be?? left?? untouched. | |When?? you?? see?? gloomy?? political?? and?? economic?? statistics?? from?? the?? World?? Bank?? or?? any?? other?? august?? body?? on?? Nigeria,?? | |you?? know?? why?? and?? how?? Nigerian?? came?? to?? that?? sorry?? level. Statistics?? such?? as?? $250?? GDP?? per?? capital,?? life?? expectancy?? | |of?? about?? 50?? with?? illiteracy?? rate?? of?? 45%,?? that?? between?? 1985 – 1986,?? 34. 1%?? of?? Nigerians?? lived?? below?? poverty?? level. |That?? figure?? had?? jumped?? to?? 56%?? in?? 1996. The?? same?? report?? also?? revealed?? that?? 26?? million?? Nigerians?? were?? core?? poor?? in??| |1996?? unlike?? 13 million?? in?? 1985,?? an?? indication?? of?? rising?? poverty?? level. The?? figure?? also?? show?? that?? 60%?? of?? rural?? | |dwellers?? and?? close?? to?? 48%?? of?? urban?? dwellers?? are?? in?? poverty. The?? report?? ranked?? Nigeria?? as?? the?? 12th?? poorest?? country??| |in?? the?? world,???? ranks?? 146?? out?? of?? 174?? in?? the?? Human?? Development?? Index,?? has?? 112?? per?? 1,000?? (live?? births)?? infant?? | |mortality,?? 50%?? of?? the?? population?? has?? access?? to?? clean?? water. 0%?? of?? Nigerians?? have?? access?? to?? electricity. ( Sunday?? | |Vanguard?? 30-1-00 ). | |The?? Demise?? of?? the?? New?? Initiative | | | |Obasanjo ,?? perhaps?? to?? correct?? the?? wrongs?? of?? the?? operation?? feed?? the?? nation,?? or?? to?? prove?? to?? the?? Nigerians?? that?? his?? | |government?? can?? actually?? alleviate?? poverty?? in?? the?? country,?? has?? vowed?? to?? improve?? the?? welfare?? of?? the?? poor?? lot?? and?? in??| |so?? doing?? stop?? the?? rot?? of?? the?? country’s?? economy.

But?? the?? signs?? are?? that?? this?? quest?? to?? alleviate?? poverty?? may?? go?? | |the?? same?? way?? as?? the?? past?? attempts. It?? is?? becoming?? obvious?? that?? this?? administration?? maybe?? paying?? lip?? service?? on?? | |the?? question?? of?? the?? plight?? of?? the?? Nigerian?? poor. The?? new?? administration’s?? policy?? and?? law?? makers?? are?? already?? | |enmeshed?? in?? corruption,?? allegations?? and?? accusations?? of?? corruption. The?? rate?? of?? official?? profligacy?? in?? this?? | |administration?? is?? fast?? approaching?? the?? level?? of?? the?? Shagari’s?? administration.

Obasanjo?? and?? his?? elected?? members?? are?? | |running?? haywire?? with?? the?? tax?? payers?? money. The?? law?? makers?? “senators?? welfare”?? allowances?? as?? contained?? in?? the?? | |Senators?? Committee?? on?? Insurance?? and?? Allied?? Matters?? Budget?? proposal?? for?? insurance?? cover?? on?? 109?? Senators?? are?? seen?? by?? | |ordinary?? Nigerians?? as?? a?? rip-off?? by?? the?? government. There?? are?? also?? ridiculous?? allowances?? under?? the?? 2000 Recurrent?? | |Expenditure , which?? covers?? such?? things?? as?? over-head?? costs?? for?? self,?? aides,?? family,?? children?? and?? other?? dependants. |These,?? in?? addition?? to?? the?? N5 million?? each?? law?? maker?? received?? for?? furniture?? allowances. Governing?? Nigeria?? has?? become?? | |business?? as?? usual. Direct?? and?? indirect?? appropriation?? of?? public?? funds. The?? poor yet?? again?? are?? being?? left?? behind,?? as??| |if?? they?? are?? not?? part?? and?? parcel?? of?? Nigeria. The?? big-men?? are?? sharing?? the?? spoils?? while?? the?? poor?? looks?? on. Just?? | |like?? the?? old?? saying – the?? rich?? are?? getting?? richer?? while?? the?? poor?? are?? getting?? poorer.

The?? proposal?? would?? enrich?? the??| |law?? makers?? each?? to?? the?? tune?? of?? several?? million?? naira,?? serving?? or?? retired. ( See?? May?? 6?? 2000,?? Weekend?? Concord?? for?? | |an?? exhaustive?? details?? about?? these?? rip-offs?? )?????? | |The?? anti – corruption?? policy?? stance?? of?? this?? administration?? can?? only?? be?? achieved?? if?? greed?? mentality?? is?? addressed?? | |through?? proper?? management?? of?? the?? national?? wealth?? and?? through?? proper?? implementation?? of?? the?? on-going?? poverty?? | |alleviation?? programmes.

The?? fact?? is?? that?? it?? is?? poverty?? and?? greed?? that?? breeds?? corruption,?? so?? it?? goes?? without?? saying??| |that?? where?? poverty?? is?? alleviated,?? corrupt?? practices?? would?? be?? minimal?? or?? alleviated?? as-well?? (for?? corruption?? can?? never??| |be?? eradicated,?? and?? never?? has?? it?? been?? eradicated?? in?? anywhere?? in?? the?? world). As?? one?? commentator?? put?? it,?? “poverty?? | |makes?? people?? compromise?? on?? moral?? values?? or?? abandon?? moral?? values?? completely. Poverty?? has?? created?? frustration,?? loss?? of??| |hope,?? prospects?? and?? value?? for?? life.

Loss?? of?? the?? meaning?? of?? life,?? purpose?? of?? living,?? something?? to?? live?? for?? and?? | |disillusionment?? about?? morality?? because?? criminals?? are?? living?? best. In?? order?? words,?? poverty?? is?? a?? cause?? of?? corruption?? | |while?? corruption?? is?? a?? consequence?? of?? poverty?? and?? loss?? of?? moral?? values”. | |On?? the?? issue?? of?? Obasanjo’s?? anti-corruption?? crusade?? or?? selective?? crusade,?? as?? it?? is?? beginning?? to?? look?? like. It?? is?? | |true?? and quite?? pleasing?? to?? know?? that?? the?? administration?? is?? making?? good?? their?? promise to fight corruption in Nigeria. |Nigerian?? Monies?? are?? frequently?? being?? identified?? and?? recovered?? from?? all?? over?? the?? world. It?? is?? also?? true,?? or?? so?? it?? | |seems,?? that?? Obasanjo?? is?? carefully?? picking?? his?? battles. Those?? battles?? that?? he?? thinks?? he?? might?? lose,?? he?? develops?? | |selective?? amnesia?? and?? refuses?? to?? know. All?? the?? corruption?? probes?? today?? seem?? to?? be?? centred?? on?? Abacha?? and?? his?? | |government?? alone,?? no?? probes?? on?? Babangida?? and?? Abubakar’s governments. These?? people?? are?? untouchables,?? in?? the?? sense?? | |that?? Obasanjo?? has?? chosen?? not?? to?? probe?? them.

Would?? Obasanjo?? be?? preaching?? anti – corruption?? today?? if?? Abacha?? was?? | |alive? So?? long?? as?? this?? administration?? continues?? to?? pick?? their?? battles?? on?? whom?? to?? probe?? or?? not?? to?? probe?? in?? their?? | |anti-corruption?? stance,?? so?? long?? will?? the?? sincerity?? of?? the?? probe?? remains?? questionable. | |Essentials of Poverty Alleviation | | | |Inflow?? of?? foreign?? investments?? cannot?? materialise?? in?? an?? environment?? of?? political?? and?? economic?? instability.

Officially?? | |Nigeria?? is?? politically?? an?? unstable?? country. As?? a?? newspaper?? put?? it -?? “From?? the?? far?? north?? where?? forces?? campaigning?? | |for?? sharia?? seem?? to?? have?? all?? the?? governors?? in?? agreement,?? the?? south-east?? where?? MASSOB?? holds?? sway,?? to?? the?? south-west?? | |where?? the?? Oodua?? Peoples?? Congress?? had?? been?? championing?? a?? violent?? form?? of?? ethnic?? nationalism,?? right?? down?? to?? the?? | |creeks?? of?? the?? Niger?? Delta?? where?? the?? youths?? are?? in?? a?? virtual?? state?? of?? rebellion. The?? trend?? has?? been?? to?? pull?? | |away,?? not?? pull?? together”.

As?? the?? saying?? goes?? “money?? is?? a?? coward,?? it?? does?? not?? go?? where?? it?? is?? not?? safe. Nigeria?? | |is?? directly?? calling?? foreign?? investors?? to?? come?? and?? invest?? in?? the?? country,?? while?? indirectly?? letting?? the?? would – be?? | |foreign?? investors?? know?? that?? they?? and?? their?? money?? are?? not?? safe?? in?? Nigeria. | |On?? the?? economic?? front?? the?? government?? is?? not?? making?? clear?? it’s?? economic?? policy. Past?? regimes?? had?? their?? economic?? | |policies?? spelt?? out?? for?? Nigerians?? and?? the?? world?? to?? know.

Buhari?? had?? his?????? trade – by – barter?? policy?? ( counter – | |trading ),?? Babangida?? had?? his?? structural?? adjustment?? programmes,?? and?? Abacha?? had?? one?? economic?? policy?? for?? every?? other?? | |year?? until?? his?? death. There?? were?? structural?? adjustment?? programmes?? for?? one?? year,?? controlled?? economy?? for?? another,?? | |guided?? economic?? policy?? for?? one,?? and?? sundry?? others. The?? point?? here?? is?? not?? whether?? these?? policies?? worked?? or?? not. | |Nigerians?? know?? that?? they?? all?? failed?? badly,?? either?? because?? the?? policies?? were?? not?? implemented?? in?? good?? faith?? by he?? | |Nigerian?? leaders?? or?? that?? the?? economic?? policies?? were?? not?? suitable?? for?? Nigeria?? The?? point?? is?? that?? Nigerians?? knew?? | |which?? economic?? policies?? their?? governments?? were?? implementing. And?? that?? made?? it?? possible?? for?? government?? watchers?? to?? | |criticise,?? suggest?? an?? alternative (s)?? or?? praise?? a?? particular?? policy (s). | |Obasanjo?? at?? this?? moment?? in?? time?? do?? not?? have?? a?? clear?? cut?? economic?? policy?? for?? the?? Nigerian?? economy. As?? at?? now?? all??| |that?? the?? government?? have?? as?? economic?? policy?? are?? poverty?? alleviation?? and?? loot?? recovery.

The?? policy?? of?? providing?? jobs??| |for?? the?? unemployed?? without?? stimulating?? production?? is?? tantamount?? to?? papering?? the?? wall?? cracks. Money?? will?? be?? provided?? | |to?? the?? states?? and?? the?? local?? governments?? so?? as?? to?? be?? able?? to?? employ?? the?? unemployed. What?? happens?? when?? the?? | |stipends?? from?? the?? federal?? government?? dries?? up?? or?? late?? in?? coming,?? like?? it?? is?? usually?? the?? case,?? retrenchment?? | |surfaces?? again?? and?? back?? to?? square?? one.

But,?? as?? an?? observer?? put?? it,?? “if?? production?? is?? stimulated?? in?? a?? market?? as?? | |huge?? as?? ours,?? jobs?? will?? automatically?? be?? created. In?? fact?? many?? of?? those?? who?? are?? now?? unemployed?? are?? likely?? to?? | |become?? the?? job?? creators?? and?? employers”. | |?????? | |No?? doubt,?? Nigeria?? is?? the?? most?? attractive?? country?? to?? do?? business?? with?? in?? Africa. The?? largest?? market?? in?? Africa,?? | |with?? population?? of?? around?? 120 million?? people,?? twenty?? percent?? of?? them?? with?? qualitative?? education.

But?? at?? present?? the?? | |truth?? is?? that?? Nigeria,?? since?? the?? Buhari?? government?? to?? this?? day,?? have?? become?? the?? most?? dangerous?? country?? to?? do?? | |business?? in. In?? addition?? to?? the?? already?? enumerated?? catalogues?? of?? woes?? that?? besiege?? the?? country,?? political?? | |instability?? is?? the?? most?? serious?? of?? them. Forget?? about?? the?? chicken?? or?? the?? egg?? debate?? of?? which?? one?? comes?? first,?? | |political?? stability?? or?? economic?? growth.

In?? the?? developing?? world?? where?? foreign?? investment?? is?? the?? pillar ( the?? be?? all?? | |and?? end?? all )?? of?? economic?? growth?? and?? sustainable?? development,?? political?? stability?? comes?? first. Investors?? do?? not?? feel??| |save?? in?? a?? volatile?? environment,?? hence?? the?? Nigerian?? problems in?? attracting?? them. But?? in?? the?? rich?? western?? world?? | |where?? foreign?? investment?? is?? important,?? but?? not?? as?? crucial?? as?? is?? the?? case?? in?? the?? poor,???? economic?? growth?? and?? | |political?? stability?? have?? equal?? position. One?? compliments?? the?? other. |???? | |Fiji’s?? tourism,?? and?? perhaps?? other?? aspects?? of?? economic?? activities,?? are?? today?? suffering?? from?? lack?? of?? patronage?? due?? to??| |the?? political?? instability?? in?? that?? country?? today. The?? country’s?? much?? needed?? foreign?? exchange?? is?? fast?? drying?? out. The??| |country?? may?? face?? international?? isolation,?? much?? more?? serious?? to?? the?? one?? Abacha?? government?? faced. | |Why?? do?? you?? think?? the?? South-Africa’s?? Nelson?? Mandela?? chose?? peace?? and?? reconciliation,?? in that?? country’s?? post – apartheid?? | |government,?? to?? political?? vendetta.

The?? reason (s)?? being?? to?? avoid?? instability,?? protect?? the?? economy,?? attract?? new?? | |foreign?? investors?? and?? encourage?? the?? ones?? that?? flee?? the?? country,?? due?? to?? apartheid,?? to?? come?? back. | |Recent?? reports?? have?? it?? that?? there?? are?? signs?? that?? foreign?? companies?? have?? completed?? plans?? to?? haemorrhage?? out?? of?? the?? | |northern?? region?? for?? fear?? of?? sharia. The?? report?? said?? that?? thousands?? of?? employees?? may?? lose?? their?? jobs?? in?? the?? | |process. So?? much?? for?? the?? government?? that?? has?? employment?? creation?? as?? one?? of?? the?? ways?? of?? alleviating?? poverty?? in?? | |Nigeria.

In?? Kano?? 20?? companies,?? amongst?? them,?? Impresit?? Bakolori?? Plc,?? the?? KLM?? Royal?? Dutch?? Airline,?? Pulama?? Associates,?? | |and?? Star?? Model?? Paper?? Mills,?? are?? on?? their?? way?? out?? of?? the?? region. So?? much?? for?? the?? government?? that?? globe-trot?? round??| |the?? world?? convincing?? potential?? investors?? to?? come?? to?? “business?? friendly?? Nigeria”?? and?? | |invest. | |The?? instability?? in?? the?? Niger-Delta?? region?? is?? probably?? the?? most?? crucial?? concern?? for?? the?? country’s?? survival.

This?? | |region?? is?? where?? the?? Nigeria’s?? GNP?? is?? based,?? where?? the?? country’s?? foreign?? exchange?? is?? earned,?? where?? the?? country’s?? | |budget?? is?? based,?? where?? this?? government?? poverty?? alleviation?? fund?? is?? obtained?? and?? yet?? the?? region has?? one?? of?? the?? | |worst?? forms?? of?? marginalisation,?? only?? second?? to?? that?? of?? the?? Ibos. If?? Niger-Delta?? region?? were?? to?? be?? in?? the?? Hausa?? | |land,?? Hausas?? would?? have?? gone?? their?? separate?? ways?? for?? long,?? the same?? goes?? for?? the?? Yoruba?? land.

I?? am?? not?? from?? the?? | |Niger-Delta?? region?? but?? I?? know?? that?? they?? have?? been?? hard?? done?? by. The?? Ibos?? (Oguta?? in?? particular)?? have?? a?? saying?? | |that?? “as?? the?? rain?? beats?? the?? goat,?? the same?? rain?? is?? also?? beating?? the?? person?? who?? is?? dragging?? the?? goat”. The?? | |Niger-Delta?? region?? is?? the?? bread?? winner?? of?? Nigeria,?? it?? is?? imperative?? that?? the?? region?? is?? well?? fed?? if?? everybody?? in?? | |the?? country?? is?? to?? expect?? continuous?? food?? from?? the?? region.

Nigeria?? will?? never?? be?? at?? peace?? as?? long?? as?? the?? | |Niger-Delta?? question?? is?? not?? settled?? to?? the?? satisfaction?? of?? the?? Deltians. | |The?? Nigeria’s?? age?? old?? problem?? of?? inadequate?? business?? infrastructure?? is?? begging?? for?? proper?? attention. Erratic?? power?? | |supply,?? water,?? telephone,?? fuel?? (more?? so?? as?? Nigeria?? is?? an?? oil?? producing?? country),?? inefficient?? civil?? service,?? | |inadequate?? crime?? control,?? poor?? judicial?? system,?? inadequate?? primary?? health?? care,?? and?? less?? than?? average?? educational?? | |system.

Nigerian?? infrastructure?? problem?? is?? legion,?? but?? has?? to?? be?? tackled?? squarely?? if?? any?? economic?? development?? is?? to??| |occur. All?? these?? public?? services,?? since?? independence,?? have?? been?? consistently?? inconsistent?? in?? their?? service?? to?? the?? | |public. Another?? dimension?? to?? this?? constant?? inconsistencies?? in?? the?? public?? service?? is?? the?? fact?? that?? a?? good?? number?? of??| |these?? public?? services?? problems?? are?? contrived. They?? are?? being?? manipulated?? by?? powerful?? group?? of?? people?? who?? gain?? | |enormously?? by?? the?? ineffectiveness?? of?? these?? authorities.

NEPA?? and?? oil?? refineries?? are?? two?? of?? the?? fingered?? authorities?? | |that?? are?? being?? manipulated. It?? is?? the?? job?? of?? the?? government?? to?? fish?? out?? these?? elements?? of?? anti – progress?? and?? | |deal?? with?? them?? accordingly. | |To?? illustrate?? the?? importance?? of?? one?? of?? the?? important?? public?? services,?? electricity. Lets?? assume?? a?? would – be?? business | |- man,?? lets?? call?? him?? “Onesi”,?? borrowed?? money?? from?? the?? alleviation?? fund?? and?? set?? up?? a?? barbing saloon.

Due?? to?? the?? | |electrical?? nature?? of?? the?? equipment?? in?? use?? these?? days,?? it?? goes?? without?? saying?? that?? constant?? supply?? of?? electricity?? | |would?? be?? one?? of?? his?? major?? requirements?? and?? with?? today’s?? Nigeria?? epileptic?? electricity?? supply,?? his?? barbers (assuming?? | |he?? employed?? one?? or?? two?? barbers?? to?? help?? him)?? and?? himself?? could?? be?? idling?? about?? most?? of?? the?? days,?? not?? making?? | |money?? because?? there?? has?? been?? no?? electricity?? supply?? for?? days.

At?? the same?? time?? Onesi?? is?? still?? expected?? to?? pay?? the?? | |barbers,?? feed?? his?? family,?? pay?? the?? land-lord?? and?? honour?? his?? loan?? repayment. Power?? failure?? is?? just?? one?? of?? the?? | |numerous?? epileptic?? public?? services?? Onesi?? could?? be?? facing. Obviously?? with?? these?? experience?? Onesi?? would?? not?? be?? able?? | |to?? make?? ends?? meet,?? not?? to?? talk?? of?? repaying?? the?? loan. It?? would?? not?? be?? long?? before?? customers,?? landlord?? and?? hard?? | |life?? force?? him?? out?? of?? business.

The?? state?? that?? gave?? him?? loan?? to?? better?? his?? life,?? to?? be?? out?? of?? poverty,?? the same??| |state?? has?? indirectly?? aided?? him?? back?? to?? where?? he?? was,?? poverty?? line,?? by?? relegating?? on?? the?? social?? contracts?? signed?? | |by?? the?? government?? and?? the?? governed. | |The?? fact?? is?? that?? the Nigerian State?? today?? is?? collapsing. Some?? say?? the?? state?? has?? already?? collapsed,?? that?? the?? state,?? | |like?? the?? other?? embattled?? African?? states,?? remains?? relevant?? only?? in?? the?? juridical?? sense.

The?? state?? has?? relinquished?? | |it’s?? functions?? and?? obligations?? to?? the?? highest?? bidder (s). There?? are?? now?? 120?? million?? miniature?? states?? in?? Nigeria. | |Each?? providing ( or?? hoping?? to?? provide )?? their?? own?? electricity?? supply,?? water?? supply,?? education?? for?? their?? children,?? | |security?? of?? life?? and?? property,?? roads?? and?? air-port ( Ibos,?? through?? voluntary?? and?? involuntary?? contributions?? have?? built?? | |roads?? and?? air-port,?? to?? alleviate?? their?? transport?? problems ).

Nigerians?? now?? rely?? on?? vigilante?? groups,?? like?? the?? | |Onitsha?? Traders?? Association,?? the?? Bakassi?? Boys,?? the?? O’odua?? People’s?? Congress?? and?? sundry?? associations,?? to?? protect?? their??| |lives?? and?? property. The?? state?? has?? no?? legal?? answer?? to?? the?? all-powerful?? armed?? robbers,?? ritual?? killers,?? hired?? | |assassins,?? swindlers?? and?? sundry?? life?? and?? property?? threatening?? crimes. Even?? the?? government’s Police?? Affairs?? Minister,?? | |David?? Jemibewon,?? and?? the?? Anambra?? State?? Governor,?? Chinwoke?? Mbadinuju,?? are?? strongly?? in?? support?? of?? vigilante?? alternative??| |to?? the?? proper?? rule?? of?? law.

Their?? support?? for?? illegal?? methods?? of?? combating?? crimes?? in?? Nigeria?? demonstrates?? the?? | |height?? of?? loss?? of?? confidence?? in?? the?? ability?? of?? the?? government,?? they?? are?? serving,?? to?? provide?? sufficient?? security?? | |for?? lives?? and?? property. | |Proper?? rule?? of?? law?? is?? primary?? for?? economic?? growth?? and?? development. This,?? not?? only?? ensures?? life?? and?? personal?? | |security,?? it?? also?? provides?? a?? stable?? framework?? of?? rights?? and?? obligations?? which?? can?? help?? to?? reduce?? political?? risk?? to??| |investors?? and?? to?? cut?? down?? transportation?? costs.

Lack?? of?? proper?? rule?? of?? law?? not?? only?? drives?? away?? foreign?? | |businesses,?? but?? also?? hinders?? domestic?? businesses. Business?? do?? not?? thrive?? in?? an?? environment?? of?? unchecked?? abuses?? of?? | |political?? power,?? unchecked?? violence?? by?? security?? personnel,?? and?? unchecked?? corruption ( official?? and?? non-official ). In?? | |the?? case?? of?? unchecked?? corruption,?? the?? poor?? are?? regularly?? forced?? to?? pay?? a?? premium?? for?? public?? goods?? and?? basic?? | |services,?? such?? as?? access?? to?? education,?? water,?? public?? transport,?? health-care,?? medicines,?? and?? official?? information.

The?? | |1997?? World?? Development?? Report?? concluded?? that?? markets?? cannot?? exist?? without?? effective?? property?? rights,?? and?? that?? | |effective?? property??

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Rural Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria Assignment. (2021, Oct 16). Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://anyassignment.com/sociology/rural-poverty-alleviation-in-nigeria-assignment-53983/