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1.1 Background of the Study
Yusuf (2000) defines poverty as a state of being in which individuals and groups lack basic necessities of life ad are less privileged than other members of society. It is a state of complete lack of minimal means of livelihood According to 2004 survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), as cited by Magnus 2007, 54% percent of Nigerians live below 1 dollar per day. Sanusi (2011) Lamented that banks are not doing enough to reduce poverty in the country as about 70% percent (about 105 million) of the population lives below poverty line. In line with millennium development goals (MDG) on eradicating judger and poverty. vision 2020 aims to reduce the number who suffered from hunger and malnutrition by 50% by 2015 and 75% by 202 (Nigeria vision 20: 2020)
Despite the plethora of poverty alleviation programme which past governments had initiates and implemented, by 1999 when Obasanjo civilian administration came to power, estimates had it that more than 70% of Nigerians lives in poverty (Fedilism 2009) a world Bank report indicate that, Nigeria human development index (HDI) was only 0.416 and that about 70% percent of the population was vegetating below the poverty line (NAPEP, 2003) prior to the country's journey to current democratic dispensation in May 1999, various regimes both military and civil rules have put in place different programme in an attempt to fight against poverty. Among such programs, include the operation feed the nation, the Green revolution (GR) Riller Basin Development Authority (RBDA) National Dnectorate of employment (NDE), Poverty Allaviation Programme (PAP), national poverty eradication programme (NAPEP) (Yakubu, 2010). These alarming indicators prompted the government to review the existing poverty alleviation schemes with a view to harmonizing them to make them achieve the desired result. Poverty reduction programme has been established for semi and unskilled. The aimed of programmes is to reduce poverty by boasting income generating activities of the poor such as agricultural activities, tailoring, knitting, cooker etc.
These programmes also include granting of loan to help people carry out these activities successfully and self-reliant. Example of such programme are national poverty eradication programme and so on (Sadiq 2008). The national economic empowerment and development strategy (NEEDS), emphasized poverty reduction as the foundation for the nation economic revival (IFAD, 2009). In 200, the growth of poverty among the countries within the developing economics has assumed on epidemic proportion, so much that poverty reduction took centre stage in the united nation millennium development goals (MDGS). The 191 members nations of the organization have collectively resolve that by year 2015, extreme condition of poverty and hunger will be eradicated. The number one gold of the millennium development goal (MDGS) is to have the proportion of people living in absolute poverty by the year 2012 poverty entails not only lack of income but also lack of shelter and other basic needs (Magnus, 2007) The poverty alleviations, programme are good in terms of intentions, but were lacking in strategies and clearly defined targets which will ensure their success (Magnus, 2007).
To eradicate poverty efficiently would entail reviewing the nations approach to the implementation of poverty reduction policies and programme which historically have been a top down approach with government developing programme for the people rather than programmes designed implements monitored and evaluated by the people themselves. Nigeria visions 20:2020 recommend a decentralized approach to the development and implementation of pro-poor programs.
Ogunleye (2006) asserts that, poverty alleviation programme end up being essentially for the lives of politicians at both level rather than the less privileged at the both level; rather than the less privileged at the rural areas adding that such programs were floated for self-satisfaction of these political elites. The grievous issue about the programs is that, while it remained thick in both print and electronic media, but remains very light in terms of implementation and practical approach (Bolaji, 2009)
Poverty alleviation among the youth is a task for economic policy and to reach the poor effectively, anti-poverty programme are vital. Several attempts are made in Nigeria through development of several welfare policies, with three fundamental objectives, which includes economic growth and development price stability and social equity (Oladeji, 2000). The overriding purpose of national development plans is to bringing about an improvement in the real income of the average citizen, an equitable distribution of income and reduction in the level of unemployment and unemployment such a policy stance should doubtless have implication for poverty alleviation (Oladeji, 2000).
The courage of poverty globally has arrested the attention of united nation millennium development goad of eradicating absolute poverty in the world by 2015. The United Nations prosecutes the crusade against poverty eradication in every part of the world under the slogan "poverty anywhere is attract to prosperity everywhere" stressing the importance of alleviation to world attention (Oladeji, 2000). It is in line with this that united nation make 17th October, of every year as international day for the eradication of poverty worldwide (SPAP, 2005).
The government recognized the importance of empowering people to design and manage their own developmental activities. The current social strategy for the protection of poor rural people includes; efforts to strengthen access o credit facilities and, participation in decision making access to agricultural extension services, traditional thrift, saving and insurance scheme (IFAD, 2009) the current social policy on eradicating absolute poverty in rural areas also includes a focus on fully integrating women into the economic mainstream to enable them play a fully roles in economic, political social and cultural life of their country (IFAD, 2009).
The ultimate targets of the poverty eradication drives at the three tiers of Nigerian government is to ensure that they eradicate absolute poverty by the year 2015. In addition all Nigerians has to access to the basic needs of life, which includes steady source of real income, food, education, road portable housing, health care, security and conducive environment for productive activities (Magnus, 2007).
It is saddening to note that, about 1.5 billion people live below the poverty line of less than one dollar per day worldwide, out of the world's total population is in Africa. The British department for international development (DFID) for fighting poverty globally disclosed that more than 90 million. Nigerians live in absolute poverty, the figure represents the number of people living on less than one dollar per day for this reason, the agency warned that if nothing is done quickly to combat poverty, the millemium development goals will not be achieved in Africa or globally by 2015 (Ogunleye, 2006).
Sanusi (2011) maintained that, there is an increasing need to device more appropriate mechanism to deliver needed services to the disadvantaged and low-income earners, which include farmers, Women, unemployed gradual, socially excluded people and the aged population. He also attributed inadequate access to financial services as a serious challenge to national economic growth and development. According to Bolaji (2009) poverty alleviation is a word that has been limited around Nigerian leaders as a Maria to show their commitment toward providing a better life but most of these leaders, do not understand what it takes examples from western world on way to alleviate poverty among the youth.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Rural development is a veritable tool for fighting poverty and achieving economic prosperity at the grassroots level. The concept of rural development embraced by most countries connote a process through which rural poverty is alleviated by sustained increase in the productivity and increase of low-income workers and house hold. In spite of all poverty alleviation among the youth programme put in place to address the perianal problem of grinding poverty in the country there and not been substantial achievement especially at the local level as most of the people in rural areas remained impoverished and socio economically and political subjugated. Available statistics suggest that there has not been substantial and effective policy implementation of poverty alleviation among the youth to justify huge resource invested in the policy. The most worrisome about the policy initiative is that while it remained think in both print and electronic media it is very light in terms of practical approach and implementation. The objectives and purpose of the programme can parallel to the expectation of Nigerians. (Yakubu, 2010)
Despite the plentiful agricultural resources and oil wealth in Nigeria, poverty is still a challenge in the country. The problem of obsolete poverty is still in rural areas were up to 80% of population lives below poverty line and social services and infrastructure and limited. The poor rural woman and men depend mainly on agricultural activities for their food and income. In addition small-scale peasant farmers who cultivate small plots of land and depend solely on rainfall than irrigational system.
Rural areas in Kaura local government has long been neglected in terms of rural infrastructure and social amenities such as health care facilities, educational institutional and electricity pipe borne water supply, roads and market places. As a result, the rural population has been extremely limited to those social services such as schools, health care centres, safe drinking water, market and road. He neglect of rural areas effects the profitability of agricultural production and the lack of rural roads impedes the marketing of agricultural commodities, these prevent farmers from selling their produce at reasonable prices and even lead to spoilage of perishable commodities like tomatoes etc.
A number of factors have combined to make Nigeria as one of the poverty stricken nations, these include, the long period of oppressive military rule, which culminate in its being excluded from the common weather nation in 1995. In addition corruption at high places, insincerely at implementers of poverty alleviation programme, gross under development of the nation abundant resources, exclusion or inadequate involvement of state holders in needs identification, project execution and evaluation, international debt servicing border, gross devaluation of the national currency and very high internal commercial banks interest rate and the gathering effect of globalization.
Researchers have shown that, Nigeria over the years, have embarked or as a response to internationally agreed action plan on poverty alleviation among the youth. The united nation development programme international fund for agricultural development (IFAD) and the world bank has assisted various states to execute poverty reduction projects by way of self-employment and increased food production for example, millennium development village project (MDVP), in bonding of Kaura Local Government, Kaduna state.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The general objectives of the study are to assess the poverty alleviation policies of the government in reducing rural poverty among youths. The specific objectives are:
i. to examine various government policies on poverty alleviation among the youths.
ii. to examine the effects of these policies on the rural dwellers.
iii. to determine whether these policies are working or not
iv. to provide possible solutions of reducing poverty among the youth
1.4 Research Question
These give rise to the following research questions
- What are the various government policies on poverty alleviation among the youth?
- What is the effects these policies on the rural dwellers?
- What is the possible solution in reducing poverty among the youths?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study has both theoretical and practical significance in the following ways
i. First, this study will serve as a reference document to student(s) and organization in search of relevant literature on the subject matter "Poverty Alleviation among the youth'".
ii. Secondly, it will broaden the researchers knowledge on the topic as vast literature is consulted,
iii. Thirdly, the findings of the research work would be of great benefit to individual society and any organization (governmental or nongovernmental) in reducing poverty in the community.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study is restricted to kaura local government, Kaduna state of Nigeria. It focuses primarily on the assessment of poverty alleviation among the youth policies in reducing rural. poverty in the relationship that exist between the variables under study? This include the definition of poverty as define by numerous authors, types or poverty, causes of poverty, prevention of poverty, poverty alleviation programme etc. this will provide insight to the variables under investment.
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