Local Government And The Administration Of Poverty Alleviation Programmes In Nigeria

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The topic of this study is local government and the administration of poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria (A Case Study of Bende Local Government in Abia State) at independence in 1960, poverty eradication efforts in Nigeria centred on education, which was seen as key to economic, technological and intellectual development of the nation. “show the light, and the people will find the way, “was at the time, quoted by Nigeria’s first president, the late Nnamdi Azikiwe, this education programmes were implemented alongside agricultural extension services, which encouraged increased food production. In 1960 according to the Federal office of statistics, about 15 percent of the population was poor but by 1980 this had grown to 28%. The FOS estimated that by 1985 the extend of poverty was 43% by 1992. However, by 1996, poverty incidence in the country was 66% or 76.6% million Nigerians out of a population of 110 million. These were people living without adequate water supply, medical care, good housing and among others. The UN human poverty index in 1999 credited Nigeria with 41.6% which captured the phenomenon more succinctly as the figure placed the nation as amongst the 25 poorest nations in the world. For this, the researcher embarked upon the study both primary and secondary sources of data were used. Harvard style of referencing was used. The instrument used in data collection was the questinniare which was structured by the researcher. Five research questions were formed and were all analyzed. The validity and reliability of the instrument were issued simple statistical methods of frequencies and percentages were used in the analysis. The research used face-to-face method of questionnaire distribution. The population of the study was 195, 540, the sample size was 399. Yamane taro formualr was used to get the sample size, 194 respondents were used for the analysis.


Title page                                                                         i

Approval page                                                                  ii

Dedication                                                                       iii

Acknowledgement                                                            iv

Table of Content                                                              v

Abstract                                                                           vi


INTRODCUTION                                                              1

1.1      Background of Need for the Study                           1

1.2      Statement of the Problem                                        5

1.3      Purpose of the Study                                                       7

1.4      Significance of the Study                                         8

1.5      Research Questions                                                 8

1.6      Theoretical Questions                                              9

1.7      Scope of the Study                                                   11

1.8      Limitation of the Study                                            12

1.9      Definition of Terms/Acronyms                                 13

References                                                               16


LITERATURE REVIEW                                                  17

2.1      Meaning and Nature of Local Government in Nigeria       17

2.2      1976 Local Government Reform in Nigeria              23

2.3      Reasons for the Creation of Local Government in

Nigeria                                                                     24

2.4      Functions of Local Government in Nigeria                       26

2.5      Poverty Crisis in Nigeria                                           30

2.6      Multi-Sectional Programmes                                    37

2.7      Sectoral Programmes                                               41

2.8      Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP) 2000                      43

2.9      National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)   46

2.10  Intro-of National Economic Empowerment

and Development Strategy (NEEDs)                         51

2.11  Principle of NEEDS                                                  52

2.12  Objectives of NEEDS                                                        53

References                                                               64


3.1      Research Design and Methodology                          65

3.2      Sources of Data                                                       66

3.3      Primary Source of Data                                            66

3.4      Secondary Source of Data                                                67

3.5      Location of the Study                                               67

3.6      Population of the Study                                           67

3.7      Sample size and Sampling Technique                     70

3.8      Sampling Technique                                                        75

3.9      Instrumentation                                                      75

3.10  Validity of Instruments                                            76

3.11  Reliability of the Instrument                                    78

3.12  Data Collection                                                                81

3.13  Instrument of Return Rate                                       82

References                                                               84


PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA                                                                          85

4.1      Research Question One                                           85

4.2      Research Question Two                                           87

4.3      Research Question Three                                         88

4.4      Research Question Four                                          90

4.5      Research Question Five                                           92




5.1      Summary of Findings                                              94

5.2      Recommendations                                                   96

5.3      Conclusion                                                              99

Bibliography                                                            101

Appendix                                                                         103




Local Government is constitutionally guaranteed as the third tier of government and it is used to develop the rural communities.

There should exist the strong influence of the government at the rural and indeed grass root level. Apart from giving fill  and total sense of belonging to the people. It also establishes such government presence that helps to alleviate or eradicate poverty by providing the necessary needs of life such as water, electricity, education, health care delivery and general welfare to the rural dwellers. The local government has been established and introduced to achieve these substantial purposes towards the development of the rural people (Maduakor 2005:5).

The 1976 Local Government Reform in Nigeria was meant to tackle the issue pertaining to the welfare of the people in the rural communities which include poverty alleviation or eradication. Other reforms came after that of 1976. (Okafor 2004:28).

Successive governments have tried to address some of these issues through the enunciation of poverty related programmes.

Whether these programmes have succeeded in either alleviating poverty or not is a most point.

Suffice it to say, however, that the first of such programmes called National Accelerated Food Production Programme and the Nigeria Agricultural and Cooperative Bank were enunciated by Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s administration in 1972. Gen. Olusegun Obasajo enunciated operation feed the Nation in 1976. Shehu Shagari came up with Green Revolution in 1979 Muhammadu Buhari’s government introduced Go Back to Land programme 1983 Gen. Ibahim Babangida established the Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure in 1986.

People Bank of Nigeria, community Bank of Nigeria. Better life Programme. The family support programme were introduced by Mariam Babangida and Mariam Sani Abacha.

Nonetheless, most of these poverty alleviation programmes suffered the same fate as a recent government assessment showed. It found that they all failed due largely to the fact that:

·        They were mostly not designed to alleviate poverty.

·        They lacked a clearly defined policy framework with proper guidelines for poverty alleviation.

·        They suffered from polity instability, political interference, policy and macroeconomic dislocations.

·        They also lack continuity (Agbo 2005:9)

Taking cognizance of this, the present Administration which had at inception in May 1999 set out poverty as one of its areas of focus, approved the blue print for the establishment of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDs), State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDs), Local Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LEEDs), and National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), a central coordination point for all anti-poverty efforts from the National level to the local Government Level by which schemes would be executed with the sole purpose of eradicating absolute poverty (Okafor, 2005:18).

It is paradoxical to hear that despite the fact that Nigeria is very rich in land, people, oil and natural gas resources, majority of its people are still very poor (Adigwe, 2002:1),

Therefore, it was based on the forgoing that the researcher decided to embark on upon the study.



Many problems have been responsible for the persistent increase in poverty rate in Nigeria and Bende Local Government of Abia State in particular. They are to be discussed in the following paragraphs.

One of the problems have been the poor revenue base of the Local councils, the local council’s functions are numerous yet it does not have adequate revenue to tackle its responsibilities. (Kalu, 2004:18).

The reforms introduced by both federal and state governments to deal adequately with poverty situation in the area have not always took the local government councils by surprise. The reason has been that were not part of the design of such reforms (Obilor 2000:45).

The rural communities are not given adequate opportunity to participate in the administration of their areas. They are ignored by the local government officials.

According to Alor (2002:16) the programmes designed to alleviate poverty in the area are not properly co-ordinated. 

This has often led to non-realization of the objectives of the programmes. In some cases, some of these programmes are mere duplication of other projects.

Hence, if the local populace are given the chance to participate in the formulation and implementation of decisions it will be since-qua non to poverty alleviation in the area. Again most of these councilors representing them were selected and not elected.


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Local Government And The Administration Of Poverty Alleviation Programmes In Nigeria