ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF SUBSIDY RE-INVESTMENT AND EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (SURE-P) AS POVERTY REDUCTION PROGRAMME AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Content
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the study
Objective of the study
Significance of the Study
Delimitation of the study
Organization of the study
Justification of the study
Scope of the study
Definition of terms
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
The concept of development
Recent perspective on development
Assumption of development
Underdevelopment theory from modernization
Rationale for discount subsidies
Poverty Reduction policy
Poverty and Development
Poverty Alleviation Programmes in Nigeria
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Area of Study
Method of data collection
Sample and Sampling Techniques
Sources of data collection
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULT AND DISCUSSION
Youth perception on the effect of SURE-P in the study area
Constraints to SURE-P in the study area
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Suggestions for further Research
This study assessed the effect of SURE-P on poverty reduction in Nigeria. The specific objectives were to describe the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents, examine youth perception of the SURE-P and identify the problems affecting SURE-P in the study area. Primary data were collected from 82 respondents using purposive and simple random sampling techniques and were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The analysis revealed that, majority (91.5%) of the respondents was below 40 years of age, 82.9% were males and 67.1% were singles. Most (82.9%) of the respondents have household size of less than 5 children. Also, majority (76.8%) had formal education and 67.1% had monthly income earnings of less than N20, 000 per month. The major components of SURE-P were identified as: computer training, tricycle (Keke-NAPEP) and payment of stipends. The result on respondent’s perception of SURE-P scheme indicated that, it has improved the income, Health care, and farm output of the beneficiaries in the study area. Inadequate training, poor infrastructural facilities, irregularities in the selection of SURE-P beneficiaries, mismanagement of SURE-P equipment/materials as well as distribution of sub-standard materials to the beneficiaries were among the major constraints to SURE-P scheme in the area , which further deepens the poverty situation of the people. Recommendations were made based on the foregoing findings that SURE-P beneficiaries should be well trained by experts to effectively operate the equipment/machineries distributed to them. Also, basic infrastructural facilities such as good roads, stable power supply should be made available in the study area to enhance poverty reduction strategies of the government at all levels.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Globally and Nigeria in particular, poverty has always remained an enormous challenge for the Nigerian Government suffice to say that the current trends indicate a significant growth in crimes, unemployment and illiteracy thus linked with the high level of poverty in our society (Okorie, 2003). In Nigerian about 70.2 percent of the populace live on an income of one US Dollar per day which is below the poverty line (Lenten Campaign, 2009). In the hit of it, the Nigeria governments both past and present have promulgated schemes and programmes aimed at reducing the poverty level in the society, yet the scourge of poverty hold it grip on every strata of the Nigeria populace. Currently, the scheme on board aimed at reducing poverty both at present and in the near future is the subsidy re-investment and empowerment programme (SURE-P) which was adopted in 2012 when the Federal Government under the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan withdrew subsidy particularly on fuel products.
The SURE-P was later flagged off in May 2013 in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State to deliver it democracy dividends to Ekiti People. The Federal Government through the SURE-P want Nigerians to understand that is committed to re-investing it shares of withdrawn subsidy on fuel products into developing the teeming youth to be self-reliant thereby reducing poverty in the country to a barest minimum (Abdulhadi, 2013, and Federal SURE-P, 2013). This study therefore intends to find out whether the subsidy re-investment and empowerment programme SURE-P which has been implemented has actually alleviated poverty among the people in the study area or not, considering the laudable objectives behind this programme.
Besides, the new world order places emphasis on good governance, economic prosperity and social justice. Only those governments, who provide for the welfare of their citizens amongst others, are likely to enjoy international co-operation with the world industrialized nations. No doubt this is the major impetus for political leaders to be more concerned with the total welfare of their people, especially in the area of poverty alleviation.
West Africa is no more the favourite of international funding agencies. It has instead become a neglected, dangerous terrain for foreign investors. Progressively this new position of foreign companies, agencies and governments has led to capital flight and its attendant problems of low productivity and operational inefficiency in most of the productive sectors. This study therefore, examines the concept of development and poverty as well as critically analyzes the various poverty measures put in place by the government and how these programmes have impacted on the people. The study takes an overview of the conceptual problems associated with poverty and those programmes put in place for poverty alleviation such as the Operation. Feed the Nation (OFN), Green Revolution, Directorate of Food, Roads, and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI), Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP), National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), etc.
The quest for philosophical explanation of poverty also pre-occupied the researcher’s mind throughout his 27 years of public service career. As a military officer, he was fortunate to rise to the rank of a Group Captain. He was always faced with the challenges of using men and materials to achieve given tasks in the Nigerian Air force. His various military postings outside and within the country afforded him the opportunity to come to the grim reality of the astronomically high poverty level in the Barracks among military personnel and their families. Throughout his command appointments, the researcher dissipated his time, energy and attention towards fashioning out programmes or creating facilities that will alleviate the pains of his officers, men and their families who were undergoing afflictions in the hands of poverty.
Also during his military career, the researcher was appointed the pioneer military administrator of Gombe State one of the newly created states in the North-east of the country in 1996. Indeed, a rural State! This was an epoch-making period as the appointment afforded him the opportunity to be at the other side of the divide, where he had diverse views of poverty level and its attendant social problems in the country, particularly Gombe State where 80 percent of the population lives in squalor. His tour of duty in Gombe State afforded him the opportunity to evolve people-oriented policies and programmes that had direct positive bearing on the lives of the people, and had not ceased offering suggestions on viable programmes aimed at alleviating poverty to the State-even after retirement.
It is in this respect therefore that the researcher had to embark upon the evaluation of poverty alleviation programmes of successive governments in Nigeria with a view to ascertaining to what extent the programmes have alleviated poor Nigerians from the menace of poverty; and the success achieved as a development strategy.
Statement of the Problem
The Nigerian State had been hit by the twin problems of poverty and under-development. This may be attributed to a number of factors, some of which are mismanagement of human and material resources, indiscipline, the lack of political will by the government of the country, beginning from the post-independence and present day Nigeria. Rather than tackle development and poverty alleviation in the society, our policy makers or if you like, politicians have appeared to have converted leadership positions and public offices into avenues of squander mania, embezzlement, corruption, money laundering abroad, to the neglect of the suffering people and development.
As a result of these underdevelopment and poverty in the land, the country has woken up to witness such anti-social activities and vices like armed robbery, cultism, drug trafficking, prostitution, child labour and trafficking, ritual killings, political thuggery and assassinations, etc. This phenomenon has left the country highly underdeveloped socially, economically and technologically. This has created a situation of mass graduate unemployment and other social vices articulated from the foregoing.
Highly skilled trained manpower and infrastructure facilities are either under-utilized or non-existent. The various government programmes aimed at eradicating or alleviating poverty have not stood the test of time, as they have not actually impacted positively on the people. When General Abacha took power from Shonekan led interim government in 1993, he introduced other poverty alleviating measures like Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP). However, upon coming to power in the new democratic order in 1999, the Obasanjo administration in an effort to alleviate the suffering and poverty in the land, introduced the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP).The recent in the poverty alleviation drive of the government was the SURE-P introduced by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2012.
However well intentioned, these programmes were hijacked by the politicians as the philosophy behind the setting up of these programmes were politicized, thereby undermining the objective of setting up these programmes. For instance, beneficiaries of these programmes are usually party faithful, loyalists and family members instead of genuine members of the society, i.e., the needy.
The distribution of aids by these agencies are also characterized by victimization, political instability, corruption, lack of acceptability, lack of commitment and the political will by the government, have been some of the reasons blamed for the non-performance and sustenance of these measures. This research therefore, identifies the problems and consequences of poverty and underdevelopment, on a developing economy like Nigeria thus:
- a) Poverty has become a feature of the living conditions and life situation of the vast majority of Nigerians, i.e. that most Nigerians live in poverty.
- b) In all respects for which comparative data is available, the poverty situation in Nigeria is only slightly better than what obtains in sub-Sahara Africa as a whole and generally worse than what obtains in low-income economies and as a whole and in many individual African countries whose GNP per-capita and natural endowments are much lower than Nigeria’s.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objectives were to:
- Describe the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents
- What are the impact of SURE- P on the poverty reduction in the area
iii. Identify the SURE-P components as well as examine people’s perception of the programme and
- Identify the constraints to SURE-P in the study area
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Poverty is a universal problem facing mankind, with serious consequences. It can be described as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, which lacks universally accepted definition. For instance, its economic dimension centre’s on nature and level of material deprivations which afflict the poor, and distinguishes them from the non-poor.
According to the Encyclopedia Americana poverty is viewed from two different perspectives as signifying “monelessness and powerlessness”. Monelessness means not merely an insufficiency of cash but chronic inadequacy of resources of all types to meet basic human needs as nutrition, rest, shelter, etc and powerlessness refers to those people who lack the opportunity and choices and whose lives seem to be controlled by forces and persons outside their control – maybe by people in positions of authority or perceived evil forces or ill-luck.
As there are varying divergent views on the concept of poverty, we could observe that poverty exists when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs. In Africa, and in particular Nigeria; the colonialists imposed capitalistic economic system which allowed for exploitation and domination of the rich individuals and companies in the available resources including exploiting the labour of others to increase their wealth. Besides, when the colonialists shifted emphasis from food crops to cash crops as deliberate government’s policy in order to serve the needs of the industries in the metropolitan Europe, shortage of food began to manifest amongst the rural dwellers that constituted 80% of the country’s population.
Furthermore, the lack of commitments and focused leadership at all levels of governments, daily eroded value systems and impoverished the people; to the extent of the deprivations, prevalent hunger, disease, poverty and dearth in infrastructural development and amenities. The combination of the economic and political structures inherited by post independent African countries, especially Nigeria had paved way for social crises which the new leaders had failed to successfully address in most cases, the major population of Nigerians who live in rural areas had continued to experience low quality of life, misery, hopelessness scarcity of food, lack of shelter, poor health care delivery systems, high infant mortality rate, high level of illiteracy and above all, manifesting characteristics of under-development in all the ramifications. No doubt all these unenviable scorecards have continued to bring pressure on leadership.
The researcher sought to provide answers to the followings:
- What are the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents?
- What are the impact of SURE- P on the poverty reduction in the area?
- What are the SURE-P components as well as examine people’s perception of the programme?
- What are the constraints to SURE-P in the study area?
H0: There is no significant difference between the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents?
Ho: There is no significant difference between the SURE- P and poverty reduction in the area?
Ho: There is no significant difference between the SURE-P components and the people’s perception of the programme?
Ho: There is no significant difference between the constraints to SURE-P and poverty reduction in the study area?
JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY
The number of students living in poverty in Nigeria and in the rest of the world is continuously increasing. Poverty has precipitated, and will continue to precipitate, enormous suffering to countless children. The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) ( 2006) cited in Ganga and Chinyoka (2010) report that current estimates indicate that more than 200 million children in developing countries are at risk of not developing to their full potential because of poverty and HIV/AIDS. The majority of the Nigeria’s poor (88%) live in rural areas; communal farming areas contain 76% of the poor and 82% of the very poor in Nigeria. Nigeria, among other Africa countries is being faced with both poverty and fiscal challenges. The major challenges in the Nigerian economy today, are the lack of integration of macroeconomic plans and the absence of harmonization and coordination of fiscal policies (Onoh, 2007).Considering the global socio-economic crisis, the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER, 2006) has advocated the need to embrace fiscal and monetary policies that will have a far reaching effect on poverty resulting from income inequality and misappropriation of public funds, especially in the less developed countries.
This study is unique in the sense that it will employ an efficient technique of estimation to investigate the effect of SURE-P as a poverty reduction strategy in Nigeria with a particular reference to Ikere local government area of Ekiti State with the help of descriptive statistics .The technique allows simultaneous estimation of multiple variables without placing any prior restriction on the channels through which variables interact. The technique employed shall be descriptive and explanatory. In the light of the above point, the findings of this study will be of great help to policy makers in formulating sets of fiscal policy targeting at raising revenue and allocating same on productive budgetary components for economic progress to reduce poverty in Nigeria. In the same vein, the study will draw the attention of government and stakeholders in the country to the effectiveness of using fiscal policy instruments for economic recovery from both national and global economic downturns for poverty reduction and increase in wealth creation.
Furthermore, the study will provide library services for readers. Every chapter of the study shall constitute an area of study for students and serve as resource material for teachers, especially in higher institutions of learning. In conclusion, the dependability of the method employed in this study to estimate and explain the most recent issues and challenges will produces a reliable base of policy formulation in Nigeria, among other factors, has justified this research effort.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study covers the effect of SURE-P as a poverty reduction strategy in Nigeria with particular references to Ikere local government area of Ekiti State. The study will be carried out in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State to ascertain the level of impact of SURE-P on poverty reduction in the area.
The study covers the Ikere local government areas of Ekiti state, known for their poverty proneness, government agencies concerned with poverty alleviation and rural development; such government agencies include Community Banks, Rural Development Banks, National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), SURE-P etc.
In the course of carrying out this study, a number of constraints were encountered such as:
- Much time was spent on carrying out this research study from the printing and distribution of questionnaires to the target population, rather than whole population which was difficult to do;
- Funding: carrying out this research involves a lot of money. This includes traveling from one town to the other gathering vital data for the study; money was expended on the printing of questionnaire, typesetting and binding of the research work into a booklet; indeed, generous incentives for both field officers and respondents in order to elicit their co-operation.
ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY:
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one, contains introduction which is subdivided into: Background of the study, Statement of the study, Objective of the study, Hypothesis of the study, Significance of the study, Scope of the study, Limitations of the study, Definitions of concepts and Organizations of the study. Chapter two of the study considers the literature review and theoretical framework. Chapter three examines poverty and development relationship where poverty management institutions and methods of tackling poverty were looked into accordingly.
Chapter four examines poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria; its effects and challenges. Chapter five consider the summary, conclusion of the study, policy implementation and recommendation.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some terminologies and concepts were used during the course of this research and for proper paraphrasing; such terms have been explained thus:
- Poverty: Poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. This definition was captured by Chambers (1983) and more recently by Jazairy et al (1992:56). Aspects include material deprivation, isolation, dependence and subordination (over land ownership, share cropping and the poor bargaining position of asset less labourers in labour – rich encounters), absence from organizations, lack of assets; vulnerability to natural disaster and insecurity. Jazairy et al, distinguish four types of poverty: (a) Intestinal (pockets of) poverty, surrounded by wealth (d) Material deprivation combined with isolation and alienation found in marginal areas and labeled peripheral poverty (c) Overcrowding poverty in areas of population pressure (d) Traumatic or sporadic poverty.
- Development: Walter Rodney defined development as a many sided process. At the level of individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well-being. A common consensus about development is that, development takes place only when the central problems of poverty, unemployment and inequalities in a society have declined from high levels.
iii. Monelessness: means not merely an insufficiency of cash but chronic inadequacy of resources of all types to meet basic human needs as nutrition, rest, shelter, etc
- Powerlessness: refers to those people who lack the opportunity and choices and whose lives seem to be controlled by forces and persons outside their control – maybe by people in positions of authority or perceived evil forces or ill-luck.