THE IMPACT OF GOVERNMENT’S POVERTY REDUCTION PROGRAMMES IN NIGER STATE:
This study examined the Impact of Government’s Poverty Reduction Programmes in Niger State; A case study of Suleja Local Government area, between 2006 and 2008. Here some programmes like the training of women in beads making,provision of micro finance loans to the poor and the establishment of various women/youths skills acquisition centres were put in place.The question or problem under investigation was like this’ “Did the participation of the poor in poverty reduction Programmes (NEEDS) in Suleja Local Government area of Niger State, reduce their level of poverty? More especially did the participation of the poor in the training of women in beads making; provision of micro-finance loans to the poor; and the establishment of various women/youths skill acquisition centre reduce the level of poverty of the poor participants?;
In carrying out the investigation, the method employed in data collections were, the use of questionnaires designed to capture the needed responses from both the beneficiaries and some government officials, Focused Group Discussions (FGD) was also used coupled with the observation of the physical environment of the area under study by the researcher and finally verbal interviews of one on one.
As for the analysis, the use of tabular presentation and simple percentages of figures, were used in testing the hypothesis.
The research design used was the One-Group-Pre-Test, Post-Test of O1 X O2. In this design, a simple group was compared with itself. This design determined the reliability and validity of data collected from various sources were not only accurate, but authentic and the question measures what it was set out to measure.
The major findings revealed the following:
i. Within the period (2006 – 2008) under study, the poverty reduction programme has only lasted for three years.
This revealed that some of the poor people in Suleja L.G.A participated in the programme, and some were given loans to establish one business or the other.
ii. The programme lacked continuity in office of officers involved in the programme. Again, this also revealed that due to the fact that officers come and go with the government that put them in position of authority, the lasting effect of the programme became impossible.
iii. The programme was not meant for the poor in the areas as such.
The study revealed that some of the poor ones whom the programme was supposed to be meant for, were not even aware of the programme, rather the well off and the political elites benefited most.
iv. Above, all the finding revealed that the governments poverty reduction programme in beads making; provision of micro-finance loans, loans to the poor and the establishment of various women/youths skills acquisition centred reduced the poverty of the poor participants positively.
Therefore, based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made as suggestions for improvement:
i. Government’s poverty reduction programmes must be designed in such a way as to reduce the poverty of the poor participants, which they are meant for.
ii. There must be defined policy framework with proper guidelines for poverty reduction.
iii. That the issue of continuity and consistency must be put in place for effective poverty reduction programme implementations.
vi. The programmes must be devoid of corruption, political deception, out right kleptomania (forceful stealing) and distasteful looting.
v. Political stability should be enshrined in our system of government in order to ensure effective government poverty programme implementations.
vi. Both men, women and youths should be encouraged and sensitized on the need for poverty reduction programmes and empowerments in order to reduce the rate