Public Administration

An Assessment of the Impact of Poverty Reduction Programs in Nigeria as a Development Strategy

An Assessment of the Impact of Poverty Reduction Programs in Nigeria as a Development Strategy


This study assessed the impact of poverty reduction programs as a development strategy in Nigeria. The study first of all examined issues of poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria, attributing it to lack of employment, high rate of illiteracy among the citizenry, poor infrastructure, inadequate access to micro-credit facilities, mismanagement of public funds, bad governance, instability of the governments and its policies. The study also examined the efforts made by different governments in poverty alleviation within this period. A total number of 120 respondents were selected and administered with questionnaires, and their responses were collated and analyzed. The chi-square statistical technique and percentages were used in analyzing the collated data and testing the research hypothesis. Results revealed that poverty alleviation initiatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria, since the 1970s till date have not significantly impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians, especially the poor; and has not led to the overall reduction of poverty in Nigeria. The findings of the research also seem to strongly suggest that Nigerians in the rural areas are more likely to associate with poverty alleviation programs in which they participated in contributing ideas into the initial policy design stages of such programs, which they will later consent to at the rural level. The study concluded by suggesting that for any meaningful development alleviation programs must be properly packaged, such that government would go into partnership with the rural people, to make implementation easier and successful; thus engendering economic self-sustenance, economic growth, and development.


Title Page ii

Approval Page iii

Dedication iv

Acknowledgment v

Abstract vi

Table of Content vii


1.0 Introduction 1

1.1 Background of Study 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem 3

1.3 Objective of Study 4

1.4 Research Question 4

1.5 Significant of Study 4

1.6 Limitation of study 5

1.7 Scope of Study 5

1.8 Definition of Terms 5


Literature Review

2.1 Introduction 7

2.2 Meaning of poverty 7

2.3 Poverty incidences 10

2.4 Indicators of poverty 11

2.5 Some poverty reduction programs in Nigeria 12

2.6 The causes of poverty in Nigeria 16

2.7 Government poverty reduction strategies in Nigeria 19


3.1 Research Design and Methodology 20

3.2 Population of Study 20

3.3 Sample Size 20

3.4 Sample of Study 21

3.5 Sampling Techniques 21

3.6 Methods of Data Collection 22

3.7 Validation and Retrieval of the Instrument 22

3.8 Method of Data Analysis 22


4.1 Data analysis and Presentation 23

4.2 Research question 23


5.1 Summary of Finding 26

5.2 Conclusion 28

5.3 Recommendation 29

Reference 30

Appendix 31

Questionnaire 32




In the case of Nigeria, the inability of successive governments to streamline and harness the enormous potential for improved service delivery in all the existing structures of poverty eradication has resulted in persistent poverty. The paper seeks to explore the extent to which public policies have affected the poverty alleviation programs in Nigeria with special emphasis on National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). Poverty is a global phenomenon threatening the survival of humanity. With over one billion of the more than 6 billion world’s population in a state of abject poverty, it is now generally accepted that the dangers posed by poverty must be addressed. It is also the condition that exists when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs such as nutrition, housing, clothing, and other essentials of life. As observed by the World Bank (1988) over a decade ago, poverty in developing countries is on the rise. The increasing and high level of poverty in developing countries (including Nigeria) have serious implications for the world economy. Hence, reducing poverty in developing countries has become the most persistent challenge facing the world today. Government, civil society, non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and international institutions such as the World Bank are now at the forefront of the battle to reduce poverty in developing countries including Nigeria. To eradicate poverty in Nigeria, many programs and projects have been designed to tackle poverty problems. These includes

• Rural Basin Development Authorities (RBDA)

• Agricultural Development Programme (ADP)

• Rural Electrification Scheme (RES)

• National Directorate of Employment (NDE)

• Directorate of Food, Roads, and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI)

• Better life / Family Support Programme (FSP)

• Rural Banking Scheme (RBS)

• Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS)

• Poverty Alleviation Programme

• National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)

Authors are divided as to the meaning of poverty and as those areas that should be classified as poverty-stricken. This is because those that are classified as being poor in one area or country may be equivalent to those classified as averagely better-off in another place. However, poverty generally means a state of being poor, that is when necessary needs are not met. According to Pudley Jackson (1972), the problem in defining poverty is largely a cultural problem in determining what is, or what should count as, inadequate social functioning that is important or considered to be so, are being gainfully employed, maintaining a household, and engaged in satisfying personal and social relationships. When these aspects of life are in jeopardy, a person or family may be considered to be in poverty, however, poverty could be said to involve things more than economic i.e. it should also be viewed in terms of cultural, social, educational, religious perspectives. This is because illiteracy breeds ignorance and any society characterized by ignorance will be unaware of their basic needs and improvement or development will be an elusive venture. A distinction should be made between a set of measurable objective conditions of material deprivation and a set of subjective attitudes and beliefs related to material deprivation, to understand the wage of the term poverty.


The widespread nature of poverty worldwide has been generating great concern for policymakers and development analysts for the last few decades. In Nigeria, the trend of poverty incidence increased at a very high rate. In Nigeria, 54 percent of people lived relatively below the poverty line of 2/3 of per capita households’ expenditure, while 22% lived below the extreme relative poverty line of 1/3 of per capita household expenditure in the year 2004 NBS (National Bureau of Statistics). Some of the factors responsible for this lie like socio-political and economic structures, which alienate and exclude the poor from decisions affecting their welfare. Programs are set up from the top with huge overheads, which favor contractors, consultants, and the cronies of those in power.


1. To investigate the issues and causes of poverty in Nigeria.

2. To examine the poverty reduction strategies and their effectiveness in Nigeria.

3. To investigate the impact of various poverty alleviation programs of government on the lives of rural dwellers

4. To examine the linkage between poverty alleviation programs, living conditions of the people, and economic development


Therefore the questions, which this study will try to address, are:

1. What are the key issues and causes of poverty in Nigeria?

2. What are the poverty reduction strategies and their effectiveness in Nigeria?

3. Are there positive impacts of various poverty alleviation programs of government on the lives of Nigerians?

4. What are the linkage between poverty alleviation program, living conditions of the people, and economic development in Nigeria?


Ho: Unemployment and corruption are not the major cause of poverty in Nigeria

Hi: Unemployment and corruption are the major cause of poverty in Nigeria

Ho: Poverty can not be reduced in Nigeria

Hi: Poverty can be reduced in Nigeria


Some of the significance of the study is that the study is generated by the statement of the study which can enrich the understanding of the causes of poverty in Nigeria.

The results of the study show that there have been no significant reductions in the level of poverty in Nigeria.

In addition, this study found a negative correlation between levels of poverty and economic growth thereby making it difficult for Nigeria to develop fast.


This research work is limited due to some factors:

Time factor:- The time given is too small for me to carry out the project work easily, although the research work was still carried out accurately.

Finance:- This also restraints the researcher in carrying out this research work as being expected.


This project work is designed to cover every aspect that has to do with the causes of poverty in Nigeria within the context of Edo state. The scope of the study is therefore limited to the Edo state in which data regarding the causes of poverty were gathered.


Absolute Poverty: This refers to insufficient or total lack of necessities and facilities like food, housing, medical care, education, social and environmental services, consumer goods, recreational opportunities, neighborhood amenities, transport facilities, etc.

HDI: This refers to the Human Development Index which is a measure of longevity, knowledge, and income. Longevity is measured solely by life expectancy at birth, while knowledge is measured by adult literacy rate.

Indicators of Poverty: Generally refer to measures of economic performance as well as the standard of living of the population. This normally combines the measures of income or purchasing power or consumption with those social indicators, which highlight availability and access to the necessities of life.

Poverty: As will be defined elsewhere, is 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 for self-reliance, assets, and self-esteem; and has limited access to social and economic infrastructure.

Poverty reduction: This means all formal activities geared towards lowering the rate and prevalence of poverty in the country.


Adelakun, O. A. (1986) “Nigeria’s Agricultural and Rural Development Strategies: A Critique.” Paper presented at the conference on Reflection on Nigerian Development, Socio-economic and political Survival, University of Lagos

Adepuju, A., Ed. (12993) The impact of structural adjustment on the population of Africa. London, James Currey

Akanji, O.O. CBN Economic and Financial Review, Vol. 39. No.4

Akin, Mabogunje (1980). The Development Process. A Spatial Perspective, Hutchinson University Library Press, United Kingdom (U.K.)

Aliu, A. “National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP): Completion, Implementation, Co-ordination and Monitoring”. NAPEP Secretariat Abuja (2001).

Copyright © 2023 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0