1. Background to the study

Poverty is a global phenomenon, which affects continents, nations and peoples differently. It afflicts people in various depths and levels, at different times and phases of existence. There is no nation that is absolutely free from poverty. The main difference is the intensity and prevalence of this malaise. Nations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America are currently with the highest level of poverty and consequently with the lowest level of socio-economic development. They also have the highest level of social insecurity, violence, unrest and generally unacceptable low standard of living.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (2017:1) views poverty as “a state where an individual is not able to cater adequately for his or her basic needs of food, clothing and shelter; is unable to meet social and economic obligations, lacks gainful employment, skills, assets and self-esteem; and has limited access to social and economic infrastructure such as education, health, portable water, and sanitation; and consequently, has limited chance of advancing his or her welfare to the limit of his or her capabilities”.

The World Bank (2016:1) utilized inductive approach to uncover various dimensions of poverty such as well-being, psychological, basic infrastructure, illness and assets. One of such definitions is “the lack of what is necessary for material well-being-especially food, but also housing, land, and other assets. In other words, poverty is the lack of multiple resources that leads to hunger and physical deprivation.” Another of such definitions is “lack of voice, power, and independence that subjects them to exploitation. Their poverty leaves them vulnerable to rudeness, humiliation, and inhumane treatment by both private and public agents of the State from whom they seek help”.

Nigeria, ranked among the 25 poorest countries in the world, started its independent nationhood with poverty level of barely 15% of its population in 1960 and is today struggling to bring it down from about 70% of its current teeming population of about 120 million. Of the number of the poverty stricken people, about 73% is concentrated in the rural areas where illiteracy prevalence is high, potable water and health facilities are rarely available, road and electricity infrastructures are either unavailable or ill-managed (James 2015). The World Bank and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s 2002 Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.461 aptly indicate the deplorable state of the nation’s level of poverty and low human development. This is in spite of the fact that the country is richly endowed with all kinds of water, agricultural and mineral resources. Nigeria’s proportion of the poor has doubled over the last two decades, during which time the country received over $300 billion in oil and gas revenue. Paradoxically, Nigeria’s level of revenue and endowment are in opposite direction with her poverty level. While revenue profile of Nigeria rose from N4 billion in 1975 to N26 billion in 1980, and GNP per capita rose from $360 to more than $1000 in the same period, the percentage of the population that was poor grew from 15% in 1960 to about its present 70%. Furthermore, according to World Bank and

UNDP 2001 statistics, Nigeria which impressively ranked 6th and 7th in Petroleum Export and Petroleum Production respectively, is ranked 194th in GNP per capita and is unenviable classified as the 25th poorest nation in the world. However, the above scenario has not come into being as a result of nonchalant attitude and non-recognition of the problem at hand. It has also not come by as a result of lack of response to the yearning of the poor people to be emancipated from their rather deplorable and frustrating state of near despair. No Nigerian Government, be it military or civilian, has come without introducing and  leaving behind one form of poverty alleviation or reduction programme meant to reduce the level of poverty, give hope and succour to the poor and, or move towards some sort of wealth creation. Strategies, policies and plans have been articulated; programmes and projects have been formulated and executed over the years. For instance, at independence in 1960, poverty eradication efforts in Nigeria centered on education, while Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), the Green Revolution, War Against Indiscipline (WAI), Peoples Bank of Nigeria (PBN), Community Banks, Directorate of Food Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI), Nigerian Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), Better Life for Rural Women, Family

Support Programme (FSP) and National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) existed during the period under review.

Though successive governments have tried to address the issue of poverty as captured above, the effect of the strategies and programmes has been that of mixed feelings. The questions bothering a great number of Nigerians are:

1. If so much efforts have been made towards reducing poverty in

Nigeria, why is poverty on the increase?

2. What is the effect of the increasing poverty rate on the nation’s economy?

3. Are there better ways or strategies of implementing poverty reduction programmes to make them more effective?

1.2      Statement of the problem

It has been known in Nigeria that every government embarks on one form of poverty reduction programm or the other. However, what has remained unanswered is the extent to which these programmes have impacted on the poor the target population. Recent studies on the subject poverty and its reduction agencies as well as programmes indicate that considerable gap exists between the target objective alleviating or eradicating poverty and achievement. It seems that the efforts of various governments are ineffective and therefore not much has been done to actualize the benefits. For poverty reduction agencies, their results do not seem to justify the huge financial allocations to them. Poor people’s perceptions of formal poverty reduction institutions are largely that of ineffectiveness and irrelevance in their lives as government poverty reduction activities contribute little in their struggles to survive and rarely help them to escape poverty. More disturbing is the fact that despite the colossal amount of resources committed to those programmes, the poverty situation aggravates, and more and more people fall into the poverty region instead of escaping.

  1.  Objectives of the Study

The main objective is on the examine the  poverty alleviation programme in Nigeria. The specific objective of the study are as  follows:

  1. To determine the extent  to which the  government poverty alleviation programmes have reduced poverty incidence in Jaba Local government  of Kaduna State.
  2. To determine the impact of government poverty alleviation programmes on job creation in  Jaba Local government  of Kaduna State.
  3. To determine the impact of government poverty alleviation programmes on the reduction of rural poverty in Jaba Local government  of Kaduna State.
  4. To assess their capability for reducing poverty rate in Jaba Local government of Kaduna State.
  5.  To suggest and recommend appropriate poverty reduction strategies for Jaba Local government of Kaduna State.
    1.    Significance of the study

Achieving significant results in reducing poverty often hinges on what is done, how  it  is done, when it  is  done and whom it is targeted at. It is obvious from several studies that Poverty Reduction Strategies in Nigeria have failed to achieve their stated objectives. It therefore requires concerted efforts by all to contribute to the success of this all important but elusive goal. Such efforts can only be meaningful if it stems from an empirical study in order to support the government to realize the global lofty objective of eradicating poverty.

The study is expected to be a concerted effort to identify, articulate and highlight the existence, the causes and effects of poverty in Nigeria with particular reference to the populace of Jaba Local government of Kaduna State, It is a quest to streamlining poverty reduction strategies towards making them more potent.

The study is also expected to be of benefit to a number of groups especially stakeholders of poverty reduction efforts such as public and private sectors strategists, planners, managers, coordinators and monitors of poverty reduction agencies and the poor who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the efforts and indeed the general public.

The research is expected to be part of data bank for operators as well as policy makers in poverty reduction strategies /programmes.  It will arouse the interest of students to conduct more researches in this field of study.

  1. Research Hypothesis

For the benefit of this study, the following hypothesis is raised:

HO: The Government poverty alleviation programme has no significant impact on the poverty reduction in Jaba Local government of Kaduna state.

HI: The Government poverty alleviation programme has a significant impact on the poverty reduction in Jaba Local government of Kaduna state.

  1. The scope and limitation of the study

The study is on the assessment of poverty alleviation programme . The study was conducted at Jaba Local government Area of Kaduna State. The study took a period of four (4) years from 2016 – 2019. The period chosen was appropriate since the study is cross sectional and this allowed the collection of field data, analysis, discussion and writing of the research study.

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