Title Page                                                                                           i

Certification                                                                                       ii

Dedication                                                                                         iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                       iv

Table of Contents                                                                               v

Abstract                                                                                             vii


Chapter One: Introduction                                                                1

1.1             Background to the Study                                                          1

1.2             Statement of the Problem                                                                   4

1.3             Research Questions                                                                            8

1.4             Research Hypothesis                                                                 8

1.5             Purpose of the Study                                                                 9

1.6             Scope of the Study                                                                    9

1.7             Significance of the Study                                                          10

1.8             Limitations of the Study                                                           10

1.9             Operational Definition of Terms                                                         11


Chapter Two: Literature Review                                                       12

2.1             Introduction to the Study                                                                   15

2.2             Current Literature Review                                                                  20

2.3             Relevant Theories of the Review                                                         27

2.4             Summary of the Chapter                                                           42


Chapter Three: Research Methodology                                             40

3.1             Research Design                                                                       40

3.2             Population of the Study                                                            40

3.3             Sampling/Sampling Technique                                                  41

3.4             Instrumentation/Materials                                                                  41

3.5             Data Collection/Analysis                                                           41

Chapter Four: Data Analysis, Interpretation and Discussion             43

4.1             Presentation and Data Analysis                                                 43

4.2             Interpretation of Result                                                             52

4.3             Discussion of Findings                                                              54


Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations            56

5.1             Summary                                                                                 56

5.2             Conclusion                                                                               60

5.3             Recommendations                                                                    61

References                                                                                65

Appendices                                                                               67



While poverty eradication programme is important to every individual and nation, poverty eradication remains one of the global problems and rising challenges facing both rural and urban residents particularly in most developing countries in Nigeria. National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) on economic development as a study looks at the programmes of the agencies over the years and their impact on the socio-political and economic development of our country Nigeria using Ohaukwu Local Government Area as a case study. It is our view that careful study of the role of (NAPEP) will help us ascertain whether the programme has been fruitful or a waste of air scarce resources. The study aims at analyzing the framework of NAPEP in order to ascertain the impact of the programme on the people of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as it affects the well being of the people in improving their standard of living vis-à-vis poverty eradication. Purposeful and simple random sampling technique was used to sample 220 respondents in the study area. Data was collected from the respondents using the interview schedule and a total of 179 questionnaires were used for the analysis. The principal results of the study reveal the failure of poverty alleviation programme with special reference to NAPEP in Ohaukwu Local Government Area. Hence this study therefore recommends that National Poverty Eradication Programme as an agency of the government with the sole aim of coordinating all poverty alleviation efforts in the country should work in harmony with other ministries and agencies that are stakeholders in the fight against poverty, the provision of credit facilities and skills training should be one of the central focus in poverty eradication and government should adopt a holistic approach to poverty alleviation in the country.




The concept of poverty is critically one of the contemporal social discussion of which attempts are made by economists and other social scientists to conceptualize the phenomenon of poverty in economic, social and political ramifications. The problem is that the poverty level in Nigeria contradicts the country immense wealth. The country is enormously endowed with human agricultural petroleum, gas and large untapped soil mineral resources.

The poverty profile in Nigeria showed that the incidence of poverty increased from 28.1% in 1980 to 43.6% in 1985 but declined to 42.7% in 1992 and rose again to 65.6% in 1996 Federal office of statistics (FOS, 1999). Since 1990 the country has been classified as a poor nation. Human development indices (HDI) for 2001 ranked Nigeria as the 142 and with human development indices of 0.40 among the poorest countries from 1980 – 1996. The percentage of the core poor increased from 62% in 1980 to 93% in 1996 whereas the moderately poor only rose from 28.9% in 1992 to 36.3% in 1996.

The programme and scheme were in effective and effectual in the light of the present government which shows deep concern for the widest spread and scourging poverty. This paper review, preview and gave current initiative to the poverty eradication/reduction in Ohaukwu Local Government, and examine some permanent issues on the way forward.

The concern over increasing poverty levels in Nigeria and the need for its eradication as a means of improving the standard of living of the people has led to implementation of the various poverty eradication and alleviation programmes both in Nigeria government and donor agencies have been advice on the efforts of analyzing and finding solutions to the increase of poverty level. Government programmes and agencies designed to impact on poverty include:

a.                  The Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI).

b.                 The National Directorate of Employment (NDE)

c.                  The establishment of the People’s Bank of Nigeria in 1989

d.                 The Better Life Programme (BLP)

e.                  The Family Support Programme (FSP)

f.                   The Agricultural Development Programme (ADP)

g.                 National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA)

h.                 The Nomadic and Adult Education Programme established in 1986.

Most recently, with the return of democracy on May 29, 1999, the Federal Government looked into poverty reduction programme specifically, the government put up the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in the year 2000. It was aimed at absolutely eradicating poverty and it consist of four schemes namely:

i.                   Youth Empowerment Scheme, Rural Infrastructures and Development Scheme.

ii.                 Social Welfare Services Scheme

iii.              Rural Resources Development

iv.               Conservation Scheme

To implement these programmes, the government placed emphasis on implementation, collaboration and coordination between the various tiers of government on the one hand and between government, Donor/Agencies, Non-governmental organizations and local communities on the other. A multi-agency implementation structure with coordination, monitoring and evaluating organization was introduced in order to ensure cost effective delivery target with optimal social benefit, particularly this programme NAPEP is being implemented in Nigeria till date.

It is a fact that the state government has no control over macro economic policies, which generally determine the level of economic activities in the whole country. But they could invest wisely, reduce consumption and they could also provide incentive for investment. These will stimulate economic activity and in the long run raise the standard of living of most of the people of the state since production will be increased.

This research work will not claim to provide all the solution to the problems of poverty in Eastern Nigeria precisely in Ebonyi State because many have written on this issue and the members of that state collaborate with the state government and they have made an attempt of suggesting ways that will provide alternative source of revenue. This research project review previous and current initiative at poverty eradication/reduction in Nigeria and examine some pertinent issues on the way forward.  


Today, poverty is widely addressed as a global problem. It is important to know that most of the poor people live in the developing worlds of Africa, Asia and Latin America on the average 45 – 50 percent of sub-Saharan African live below the poverty line and in Nigeria about 43% of the population was living below the poverty line in the year 1985 prices (World Bank, 1996).

This has been purging upward to over 60% in recent time poverty is indeed a global problem to this effect the United Nation declared 1996 as the international year of eradication of poverty. In pursuance of this target, government in both developed and developing countries became increasingly aware of the poverty problem and several development efforts to alleviate poverty therefore  have been embarked upon worldwide. There is a high incidence of poverty in Nigeria today, especially the incidence of poverty is very high among the unemployed, the un-educated women and the rural dwellers (Gbosi, 2004).

In 1980, the poverty level was only 28.1% but by 1996 it had jumped to 66.6% having been mindful of the implication to the economy the government needs to make concerted efforts in order to reduce poverty in the country, this is because a high incidence of poverty is not good for a developing country like Nigeria.

A review of the economic history of Nigeria shows that successive government have expressed concern of the need to alleviate poverty in the country. Unfortunately, the issues of poverty eradication has proved to be the most difficult challenge facing the less developed countries (Nigeria inclusive) where majority of the people live in absolute poverty. However, the government has continued to respond in order to ameliorate the worsening conditions of the poor by shifting public expenditure board poverty eradication different poverty eradication programmes and projects to cushion the effects of poverty which have been initiated over the years. This was received with high hopes, poverty eradication was seen as a means through which the government could revamp the battered economy and rebuild self-esteem in majority of Nigerians.

Consequently, on assumption of office in 1999, president Obasanjo indicated that the poverty situation in which over 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty line requires concerted efforts to prevent it from becoming worse. In this vein the government in addition to previous efforts (aimed at poverty eradication) introduced a number of programmes and measures aimed at tackling poverty these include:

a.                  The launching of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) which has poverty reduction as one of the four primary goals (NEEDS documents, 2004).

b.                 The launching of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme.

c.                  The Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP).

d.                 The constitution of the Ahmed Joda Panel in 1999 and

e.                  Ango Abdullahi Committee in 2000 (Ibadan, 2001).

The immediate concern of the panel of committee was the streaming and rationalization of existing poverty alleviation institutions and the coordination, implementation and monitoring of relevant schemes. These resulted in the introduction (in early 2001) of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in Nigeria.

Data has it that over N25 billion from 2001 till date have been received by NAPEP for the fight against poverty in Nigeria. Unfortunately, poverty level seems to be unresponsive to these windfall of resources addressed for the fight. In spite of the huge resources devoted to NAPEP, deterioration in fiscal discipline, corruption and inconsistent policies which had undermined past efforts still makes poverty eradication in Nigeria a paradox. The rate of unemployment has continued to rise and the poverty situation has exacerbated in a reaction of an allegation of MB management of funds meant for the war against poverty in Nigeria by the Nigeria senate, NAPEP said that it has generated funds from other sources and expended N21.725 billion on the programme from 2001 to 2008

The National coordinator of the programme and special assistant to the president Dr. Magnus Kpakeol explained that since inception of 2001, the programme has received N11.8 billion as budgetary allocation,


N4 billion for procurement of Keke NAPEP, N10 billion from state governments and commercial banks for multi-partnership programme and N8.2 billion from the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) this totals N34 billion.

However, the NAPEP boss explained that about N21.7 billion has been spent so far (Daily Champion, Wednesday February 18, 2009 page 7). In a motion titled “Dismal performance of the National Poverty Eradication Programme” Senator Kure observed that poverty have continued to be on he increase with about 70% of the Nation’s population currently living below poverty level. He lamented that since its establishment in 2001, the agency have not efficiently impacted on the lives of Nigerians despite huge resource committed through budgetary allocations and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) fund as a matter of fact the need arises to take a careful look at issues of poverty in Nigeria coming against the background of continuing efforts on the part of the government to address it if close to N30 billion has been gathered for poverty eradication in 8 years and these resources are utilized efficiently, there should have been significant improvement in the living standard of the generality in the people  and the poverty level should ordinarily be reduced.

However, in order not to pre-empt the outcome of this study, this is aimed at finding out how the activities of NAPEP has impacted negatively or positively on Economic Development and the generality of the lives of Nigerians from 2005 till date.

1.3             RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.                 Does National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) boost economy?

2.                 Does National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) exist in your community or local government?

3.                 Has NAPEP helped in improving the standard of living of people in your local government?

4.                 Are you aware of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)?

5.                 What is your general assessment on the activities of NAPEP on economic development?



H0:     National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has not impacted positively on the economic development of Nigeria.

H1:     National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has  impacted positively on the economic development of Nigeria.


H0:     A lot of people did not believe that the operations of NAPEP could boost economic development in Nigeria.

H1:     A lot of people believe that the operations of NAPEP could boost economic development in Nigeria.



H0:     NAPEP has not help in improving the standard of living of Nigerians in the rural areas.

H1:     NAPEP has help in improving the standard of living of Nigerians in the rural areas.

1.5             PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

Broadly, the purpose of this study is to examine the impact of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) on the economic development of Nigeria. Though this study uses Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as a case study, the conclusions derived shall be used to generalize on its impact on the whole country.

The specific objectives include:

a.                  To access whether National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) has achieved its objectives of poverty eradication in Nigeria.

b.                 To identify areas of deficiencies, problems and failure and proffer  some recommendations based on the findings of the study.

1.6             SCOPE OF STUDY

This study covers the impact of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) on economic development in Nigeria, a case study of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The period of study covers from 2005 – 2014.




To the masses this research work intends to publicy the activities and programmes of NAPEP and how it has affected the well being of Nigerians. To the government and policy makers, it identifies and reveals the successes and failures, challenges and prospects of NAPEP and affords them the opportunity of designing and implementing a holistic approach, procedures and strategies and better ways of tackling. This hydra-headed menace called poverty.

Also to the students and fellow researchers, it reveals the operations and the impact of NAPEP on the people. While it serves as an addition to the stock of knowledge, it also serves as a basis for further research.  


Being a programme that has lasted for just nine (9) years, I had difficulties in assessing materials done in this area. Also combining this research work with my classroom work was very demanding.

Financial constraints to a large extent also affected the way this work may have been carried out. Finally, the secondary data used in this work cannot be qualitatively guaranteed by me as they were compiled by different bodies with regards to the primary data, some respondents may not return their questionnaires while some may be damaged in the process.





a.                 Poverty: It could be defined as a situation where one’s income is too low to allow the purchase of goods and service that will satisfy his basic needs and when it has no financial resources kept in the form of accumulated or acquired wealth.

b.                 Poverty Line: It is defined as the money cost of a given person at a given time and place of a reference level of welfare. The people who do not maintain this level is called the poor and those who do not.

c.                  Poverty Level: It is used to denote those living below the poverty line.

d.                 Respondents: These are people whom the research questionnaires were given to for responses.

e.                  Programme: This can be seen as a plan, organized in order to bring about the development of the citizens.

f.                   Eradication: This can be defined as a way of getting rid of a particular problem of putting a stop in a particular problem completely.

g.                 Economic Development: This can be seen as the gradual growth of the economy of a particular country which could be from a urban or rural in order for them to become more developed and stronger.

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