This study titled “Politics of Poverty Reduction in Nigeria” A
study of the activities of Ebonyi State Community Poverty Reduction Agency”
(EB-CPRA) in Abakaliki LGA was carried out.
The broad objective of the study is to ascertain the
effects of politics on poverty reduction in Nigeria with specific focus on Ebonyi
State Community Poverty Reduction Agency (EB-CPRA).
The study was based on descriptive research survey design.
Data for the study were generated through both primary and secondary sources.
In the field survey, copies of structured questionnaire were distributed to a
sample size of 370 respondents through stratified and simple random sampling
techniques. The data collected were analyzed that tables, frequencies and
simple percentages. The chi-square statistical tools was adopted in testing the
three null and alternate hypotheses formulated. Based on the analysis and
interpretation of collected data the following funding were made; that EB-CPRA
takes the responsibility of initiating and executing poverty reduction programmes
in Ebonyi State, poor finding is one of the serious hindrance posed by EB-CPRA
to contribute towards poverty reduction in the state and the depoliticization
of the EB-CPRA in Ebonyi State will elevate their contribution in poverty
reduction in the state. However, it was recommended among others that EB-CPRA
should be insulated from active politics, Adequate fund should be made
available to the institution and Discipline, codes of conducts and work ethics
should be revitalized in EB-CPRA to enforce discipline.
concern about poverty world wide dates back to 1944 when the International
Labour Organization (ILO) in its historic Philadelphia
declaration drawn up after the second world war, stated that “poverty anywhere
constitutes a threat to prosperity”. It was this declaration that necessitated
the crusade for poverty alleviation
world wide especially in the united states of America, where some segment of
the society were identified as being in generally poor state of health and
suffering from inadequate diet and poverty (Denis and Williams, 1973).
has been discovered that reducing the menace of poverty remains one of the most
difficult challenges facing most countries of the world especially the
developing countries where on the average about 67,000 people join the legion
of the poor on a daily basis, representing about 25 million every year
like many other sub-saharan African countries is neck deep in poverty. The
country is characterized by declining per capital incomes, increasing hunger,
rising unemployment and environmental degradation. Despite all the various
efforts made by various government in Nigeria, to improve the lots of the
people through the various poverty alleviation or eradication policies and
programme, it is evident that the proportion of people at poverty level has
continued to increase. For example, the figure increased from 27% in 1980 to
46% in 1985, it declared slightly to 42% in 1992 and increased very sharply to
66% in 1996. By 1999, estimate had it that more than 70% of Nigerian were
living below the poverty line (National
Planning Commission, 2004: 28).
In the words
of Farnsworth (1990), the problem of poverty in Africa
inclusive) does not lie in the quality of individuals aspirations or mental and
entrepreneurial endowments but with the structure of African society and its
economy. Poverty is a crucial matter in Africa
since its inhabitants not only began their independence from an extremely low
level of economic and social development but are the only people whose
situation is expected to worsen in the coming years.
today, more than 70% of a population of about 150 million people lives below
the poverty line (Gbosi and Omoke, 2004). In recent years, the eradication of
poverty has become major goals of Nigerian economic policy. People have become
increasingly aware of the great difference that exists in the economic and
social circumstances of the people in Nigeria. And some Nigerians have
begun to ask whether Nigeria
is really the land of opportunity. Throughout most of the Nigerian history,
poverty was regarded as a reflection of personal inadequacy and people were
expected to pull themselves out of poverty.
Nigerians have come to realize that the causes of poverty are complex and that
often, poverty is the seed of discrimination. Recently, the prevailing view has
been that equality of opportunity ought to be the birth right of all Nigerians.
Thus, poverty could be viewed as a subjective and moral term. For some, it is
In view of the
foregoing, Nigerian government at various time had frowned at poverty by
establishing poverty alleviation programmes aimed at reducing poverty in the
country. The various poverty Alleviation programmes in Nigeria had
different nomenclature, different structures and different out took, but maintained the central objective of reducing
poverty and making life meaningful for the masses.
present Administration came into the office in May, 1999, it observed with
dismay the alarming rate of poverty across the entire country and that Nigeria is
classified among the poorest countries in the world. This was a great challenge
to government. Consequently, poverty Alleviation programme (PAP) was introduced
in the year 2000. Not too long after its take off, it was dawned on the
government that (PAD) was not after all the panacea to poverty pandemic in Nigeria. This
realization led to the establishment of National poverty Eradication
programme/NAPEP/ to replace the former.
It has been
argued that most of these programmes have had little positive impact on the
poor, they have been poorly targeted, sectoral in nature and have often been
imposed from above with little, if any commitment or involvement of
communities, they were ostensibly attempting to help.
there has been a reorientation of the government focus towards developing
community based poverty reduction approaches. The Federal Government constituted a presidential panel to rationalize and
streamline all the poverty reduction strategy document called “Community Action
Programme For Poverty Alleviation (CAPPA) prepared by the National Planning Commission
(NPC), rooted in a community based approach to poverty alleviation.
It was in the
light of the above that the Ebonyi State Community Poverty Reduction Agency
(EBCPRA) was formed to empower the poor through grass-root participatory
decision making. The whole essence was to move from top-down, supply driven and
non-participatory mode of delivering service to communities to a demand-driven
approach to poverty reduction covering multiple sector depending on
specific community determined need.
It is against
this background that the researcher intends to x-ray the extent the EB-CPRA had gone in
empowering the targeted group with particular reference to Abakaliki local
Government Area in Ebonyi
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
in Ebonyi State is a pervasive phenomenon
characterized by low levels of income and social deprivation. It is the state’s
deadliest disease. The Federal Office of Statistics reports that 52.6% of
Ebonyian are poor.
Ebonyi is a
State divinely blessed with diverse rich human and natural resources to be used
for the wellbeing of every Ebonyian. Ebonyi soil is widely acknowledged as the most
fertile soil in the south-East. Despite all these gifts of nature,
sadly enough, most
Ebonyian are living in abject poverty and wants.
practically lack of basic infrastructure and low level of income. Inspite of
the huge sums of money pumped into those National and state poverty reduction
programmes, there is still high
incidence of poverty. People still die of preventable disease. Other suffers
from water born diseases consequent upon poor sources of drinking water.
Village women and aged farmers lack access to basic infrastructure like good
road, electricity supply, clinics etc. Hence, they find it difficult to
evacuate their farm produce to where they can scale it. It appears that the real
poor. Have not benefited from there programmes as this like.
problem is that officials who manage these programmes are corrupt, hence
budgetary allocation for poverty reduction are often times siphoned and
mismanaged leading to failure of such programmes.
politicians do hijack citation of programmes and projects meant for the poor.
This unnecessary politicization has been the bane of efforts targeted at
poverties reduction in Nigeria
and Ebonyi State in particular.
In view of the
above, the researcher posed the following question to guide the study.
1) To what extent does Ebonyi State Community Poverty
Reduction EB-CPRA) contributed to poverty reduction in Ebonyi State.
2) To ascertain how far political interference affects the
performance of EB-CPRA.
3) How does inadequate findings affect the performance of
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
objective of the study is to ascertain the effects of politics on poverty
reduction in Nigeria
with specific focus on Ebonyi State Community Poverty Reduction Agency (EB-CPRA).
1. To ascertain how far EB-CPRA has contributed to poverty
reduction in Ebonyi
2. To find out hoe far political interference has the fight
against poverty in Ebonyi
3. To ascertain how far inadequate finding has affected the
performance of the agency.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1. Ho: EB-CPRA has not significantly contributed
to poverty reduction in Ebonyi
Hi: EB-CPRA has significantly contributed
to poverty reduction in Ebonyi
2. Ho: Political interference has not significantly
hindered the fight against poverty in Ebonyi State.
Political interference has significantly hindered the fight against poverty
in Ebonyi State.
4. Ho: Inadequate funding has not been the bane of poverty reduction proramme in Nigeria.
funding has been that bane of poverty reduction
programmes in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
clarification, the researcher would be discussing the above sub-topic with
reference to its theoretical and empirical significance. This study will serve
as an appraisal of the role of Ebonyi State Community Based Poverty Reduction
Agency (EBCPRA) with emphasis on Abakaliki local government Area in poverty
reduction. Explicitly, the study will be a reference or resource material to
government at all levels, civil servants, policy makers, student and indeed the
general public. The findings of this of this study will be immensely useful to
the growing researcher in different aspect of community development, the
findings of the study will serve as a useful reference point to other
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
focused on the politics of poverty reduction in Ebonyi State
with particular reference to Abakaliki Local Government Area. The research will
cover the period from 23rd august 2005 when the EB-CPRA was
officially flagged off by Dr. Sam Egwu able represented by his Deputy professor
Chigozie Ogbu, till date.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
researcher encountered some difficulties in the course of gathering and
compelling relevant materials necessary to complete this worthwhile academic
exercise. The challenges includes among others;
source materials on related literature constitution its own problem.
Secondly, the staffs were very apprehensive of the
exercise because of the fear of being sacked if it is discovered that they
leaked official information.
were much stress associated with visiting the office in order to gather
information needed for the completion of the research work.
It is however,
pertinent to mention that all those limitation mentioned above, perhaps have in
one way or the other affected the researcher holistic approach to the problem
under investigation. Nevertheless, the researcher went ahead to carry on with
the study irrespective of some of these identified limitation which have in one
way or the other reduced the quality of the research work.
1.8 THEORETICAL FRAMWORK
framework adopted for this study is the Noble Lautreate Amantya’s Human
Development Approach propounded in 1998. this approach emphasizes first and
foremost, the restoration and rehabilitation of the psyche, mind,
socio-psychology and being of the poor. It is not the development that is
understood in terms of the introduction of advanced technology and complex
organization, characteristic of market
oriented capitalist production, in which the sources of initiative and
development are external to the rural community.
(1995-62) one of the major proponents of the human development approach to
poverty eradication, argued that development should not be equated merely with
economic growth because it is not an entirely economic phenomenon, rather it
has always implied a systematic and rising prosperity, though it has been
associated with social change. Among its manifestation are industrialization,
efficiency improved, governance, egalitarian income and wealth distribution and
often functioning institutions, the rule of law and the guaranties government
of individuals liberties.
As a result,
Pitterman, (1995:20) suggested that human capital should be understood not
merely as a collection skills but more broadly as a totality of materials,
knowledge and attitudes that takes the
societal form of culture, deserves more attention as a determinant of the data
of and indeed the capacity for modern development. The human development
paradigm for poverty reduction is not oblivious of this position. The advocate
of this approach to fighting poverty argues that the evolution and inculcation
of good rules, skills and attitudes are impinhibitions of the debilitating
impacts of poverty.
of the human development approach to the study is the reminder that the
objectives of the development effort are to provide all human being with the
opportunity for a full life. When human beings are developed physically and
mentally, they are fit to earn a living and become indepent, fend for
themselves and family, etc and as well reduced the rate of poverty in the
state. All development efforts specifically poverty reduction programmes
pursues this kind of development.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Poverty: Poverty is a condition of lack when one is unable to
provide his basic needs of food, clothing and shelter.
Community: A group of people living together in one place, locality
CBRP: Community-Based poverty reduction programme.