Project Topics




Title Pagei

Certification ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgment iv

Table of Contents v

Abstract ix


1.1Introduction of the Study 1

1.2Statement of the Problem 9

1.3Research Questions 14

1.4Objective of the Study 14

1.5Significance of the Study 15

1.6Theoretical Framework16

Poverty as Inequality 

The Devine Theory 

Culture of Poverty 

Subjective Poverty 

Relative Poverty 

Equilibrium of Poverty 

Poverty Line

Shapes and Dimension of Poverty

Case Poverty

Insular Poverty 

Employment Situation Constraints Theory of Poverty 

Dimension of Poverty 


1.7Method of Study 30


Sample Size

Sampling Techniques 


1.8Scope of the Study 31


2.1Literature Review 32

2.2Historical Background of NAPEP37

NAPE”S Review 

Function of NAPEP

Research Monitoring and Evaluation Department (RM & E)

Problems of NAPEP in Benin – City 


2.3Poverty Reduction Policy in Context: An Overview of Development Discourse 55

2.4Magnitude of Poverty in Nigeria59


3.1Research Methodology 64

Study Location 

Population of the Study 

3.2Method of Data Analysis 67

3.3Method of Data Collection68


4.1Data Presentation and Analysis 69

4.2Interpretation of Results and Testing of Hypothesis 86

Evaluation of Working Hypothesis

4.3Discussion of Findings 90


5.1Recommendation 95

The Government 

Project Planners and Facilitators 


5.2Implications of Study 99

5.3Conclusion 101


Appendix I107

Appendix II108 


This study assessed the impact of Poverty Reduction Programmes as a Development Strategy in Benin – City through the National Poverty Eradication Programme.

The study 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, instability of the governments and its policies.

The study also examined the efforts made by different governments in alleviating poverty. Poverty is multi-dimensional; it is characterized by lack of purchasing power, exposure to risk, malnutrition, high mortality rate, low life expectancy, insufficient access to social and economic services etc. poverty in Nigeria has reach an alarming level and is blamed on non-clear government social policies, across the world government plays a key role in poverty alleviation. In the case of Nigeria, the inability of successive governments to streamlined and harness the enormous potentials for improved services delivery in all the existing structures of poverty eradication has resulted into persistent poverty.

The study seeks to explore the extent to which public policies have affected the poverty alleviation programme in Benin-City with special emphasis on the role of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). 



Poverty is a social problem in which a country is face with cultural, social, political, economic and environmental deprivations. In other words, it is a state of involuntary deprivation to which a person, household, community or nation can be subjected. In recent times, scholars have pointed out that there are reinforcing vicious circles that keep families, regions and countries poor and unable to contribute to national growth (Perry et al, 2006; Okoye and Onyukwu, 2007). In developing countries, poverty level has been on the increase. In Nigeria, for example, the situation has worsened since the late 1990s and can be best described as “inflammable”. As Nnamadi (2003; 60) puts it, poverty in Nigeria has reached an alarming level and has been rising steadily not exponentially.

Aware of the grave consequences of poverty, successive Nigerian governments have designed and implemented numerous policies to tackle the scourge. However, every effort towards this direction has not yielded the expected results. Some believe that bad governance, corruption, low productivity, unemployment, debt-burden and conflicts are associated to failure of poverty eradication. Others attributed the high level of poverty to macro-economic distortion, globalization, high population growth rate and poor human resources development. It is generally believed that acute poverty can be reduced or eradicated through effective policy measure.

The problem of poverty in African is one that has over the years engaged the attention of the international community, governmental and non-governmental organizations including western and African scholars indeed. The issues of poverty and poverty reduction have been a focus of numerous researchers’ discussion, its debates and implementations of the various programmes. In discussing any issue that relates to poverty, one must cast back his mind to the days of the early scholars who contributed immensely on the topic (poverty and poverty alleviation).

According to Anikpo (1995), poverty is the history process of individuals or groups being forcefully eliminated from control of the decision-making machinery that determines the production and distribution of resource in a society. He further explains that poverty manifest in various forms, such as hunger, lack of food, good drinking water, clothes, shelters, good health, poor education and distribution of resources coupled with monopoly of the machinery of decision-making through coercive state apparatus.

The concept of poverty and material deprivation is a critical one in contemporary social discussions. Social sciences literature is replete with attempt by economics and other social scientists to conceptualize the phenomenon. Poverty has economic, social and political ramifications. The poor are materially deprived, socially alienated and politically excommunicated. Basically, poverty has been conceptualized in the following ways;

Lack of access to basic needs/goods and 

Lack of or impaired access to productive resources.

Poverty as lack of access to basic needs/goods is essentially economic or consumption oriented. Thus the poor are conceived as those individuals or households in a particular society, incapable or purchasing a specified basket of basic goods and services. Basic goods as use here include food, shelter, water, health care, access to productive resources including education, working skill and tools, political and civil rights to participate in decisions concerning socio-economic conditions (Ajakaiye and Adeyeye 2001 in Gbosi, 2004). It is generally agreed that in conceptualizing poverty, low income or low consumption is its symptom.

The level of poverty in Nigeria since the implementation of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in the 1980s has tremendously increased (UNDP Nigeria, 1998, FOS, 1999, World Bank, 1999).

The poverty profile in Nigeria showed that the incidence of poverty increased from 28.1% in 1980 to 43.6% in 1985, but declined to 42.7% in 1992 and rose again to 65.6% in 1996 (FOS 1999). Since 1990, the country has been classified as a poor nation. The UNDP Human Development indices (HD) for 2001 ranked Nigeria the 142nd with HDI of 0.40 among the poorest countries.

From 1980-1996, the population of poor Nigerians increased four folds in absolute terms. The percentage of the core poor increased from 62% in 1980 to 93% in 1996,whereas the moderately poor only rose from 28.9% in 1992 to 36.3% in 1996 (FOS, 1999). The analysis of the depth and severity of poverty in Nigeria showed that rural areas were the most affected. Several reasons accounted for the situation viz;

The large concentration of the populace in the rural areas.

Many years of neglect of the rural areas in terms of infrastructural development and lack of information on the way government is being run.

The CBN/World Bank study on poverty Assessment and Alleviation in Nigeria (1999) attested to the fact that the living and environmental conditions of those living in the rural areas have worsened. Urban poverty is also on the increase in the country. This has been attributed to the under provision of facilities and amenities which are already inadequate to match the growing demand of the urban populace as well as the rural-urban movement which has caused serious pressure on the existing infrastructural facilities.

Concernabout this problems as well as efforts made to eradicate or at least reduce it cannot be said to be new. While major reductions in poverty level have been made in developed countries, developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, have been battling with poverty, from one poverty alleviation porgramme to anothereradication programme, but all to no avail. 

The concern over increasing poverty levels in Nigeria and the need for its eradication as a means of improving the standard of living of the people has led to the conceptualization and implementation of various targeted or non-targeted poverty eradication and alleviation programmes. Both the Nigeria government and donor agencies have been active in efforts in analyzing and finding solutions to the increase of poverty level. Government programmes and agencies designed to impact on poverty include:

The Directorate of food, roads and rural infrastructure (D.F.F.R.I).

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

The establishment of the peoples Banks of Nigeria in 1989.

The Better Life Programme (BLP).

The Family Support Programme (FSP).

The Agricultural Development Programmes (ADP).

National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA).

Operation Feed the Nation (OFN).

National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS).

Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP).

The Nomadic and Adult Education Programme .

And most recently, with the return of democracy on May 29, 1999, the Federal Government embarked on poverty reduction programme specifically, the government put up the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in the year 2000 which took off in 2001. It was aimed at eradicating absolute poverty and it consist of four schemes, namely;

Youth Empowerment Scheme, Rural Infrastructures and Development Scheme.

Social Welfare Services Scheme.

Rural Resources Development and 

Conservation Scheme.

To implement these programmes, the government placed emphasis on complementation, collaboration and coordination between the various tiers of government on one hand and between government, Donor/Agencies, non-governmental organization and Local Communities. A multi-agency implementation structure with coordination, monitoring and evaluating organs was introduced in order to ensure cost effective delivery target with optimal social benefit. NAPEP is being implemented in Nigeria till date. The questions arising from the implementation of NAPEP include:

Is poverty eradicating programme appropriate for Nigeria?

How has government concept of NAPEP affected its success?

How has NAPEP’s activities impacted on poverty reduction as a boost to economic development?

In spite of all the laudable efforts at addressing poverty, the problem still persist in Nigeria.


Today, poverty is widely addressed as a global problem. Poverty affects over four billion people. It is important to know that most of the poor people live in the developing world of Africa, Asia and Latin American (Gbosi, 2004). On the average 45-50 percent of Sub-Saharan Africans live below the poverty line.

Poverty is indeed a global problem. To this effect, the United Nations declared 1996 the International year of eradication of poverty and 1997-2006 a decade of poverty eradication. In pursuance of this target, government in both developed and developing countries became increasingly aware of the poverty problem and several development efforts to alleviate poverty and therefore have been embarked upon Worldwide. There is a high incidence of poverty in Nigeria today; especially among the unemployed, the uneducated women and rural dwellers (Gbosi, 2004). In 1980, the poverty level was only 28.1% but by 1996, it had jumped to 66.6%. Having been mindful of the implications to the economy, the government needs to make concerted efforts in order to reduce poverty in the country. This is because a high incidence of poverty is not good for the health of a developing country like Nigeria. A review of the economic history of Nigeria shows that successive governments have expressed concern on the need to alleviate poverty in the country. 

Unfortunately, the issues of poverty eradication has proved to be the most difficult challenge facing the less developed countries (Nigeria inclusive) where majority of the people live in absolute poverty.However, the government has continued to respond in order to ameliorate the worsening conditions of the poor by shifting public expenditure towards poverty eradication. Different poverty eradication programmes and projects to cushion the effects of poverty have been initiated over the years. Poverty eradication was seen as a means through which the government could revamp the battered economy and rebuild self-esteem in majority of Nigerians. 

Consequently, on assumption of office in 1999, president Obasanjo indicated that the poverty situation in which over 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty line requires concerted efforts to prevent it from becoming worse. In this vein, the government in addition to previous efforts (aimed at poverty eradication) introduced a number of programmes and measures aimed at tackling poverty. These include:

The launching of the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) which has poverty reduction as one of the four primary goals (NEEDS documents, 2004).

The launching of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme.

The Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP).

The Constitution of the Ahmed Joda Panel in 1999.

Ango Abdullahi Committee in 2000 (Obadan, 2001).

The immediate concern of the panel or committee was the streamlining and rationalization of existing poverty alleviation institutions and the co-ordination, implementation and monitoring of relevant schemes.

These resulted in the introduction (in early 2001) of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in Nigeria. Data has it that over N25 billion from 2001 till date have been received by NAPEP for the fight against poverty in Nigeria. Unfortunately, poverty level seems to be unresponsive to these windfall of resources addressed for the fight. In spite of this huge resources devoted to NAPEP, deterioration in fiscal discipline, corruption and inconsistent policies which had undermined past efforts still makes poverty eradication in Nigeria a paradox. The rate of unemployment has continued to rise and the poverty situation has exacerbated. 

In a reaction to an allegation of mismanagement of funds meant for the war against poverty in Nigeria, by the Nigeria senate, NAPEP said that it has generated funds from other sources and expended N21.725 billion on the programme from 2001 to 2008. The National Coordinator of the programme and special Assistant to the President, Dr. Magnus Kpakol explained that since inception in 2001, the programme has received N11.8 billion as budgetary allocation, N4 billion for procurement of Keke NAPEP, N10 billion from state governments and Commercial Banks for multi-partnership programme and N8.2 billion from the Millennium Development Goal (MDG),this totals N34 billion. However, the NAPEP boss explained that about N21.7 billion has been spend so far. (Daily Champion, Wednesday, February 18, 2009 page 7). In a motion titled “Dismal Performance of the National Poverty Eradication Programme” Senator Kure observed that poverty have continued to be on the increase with about 70% of the Nation’s population currently living below poverty level. He lamented that since its establishment in 2001, the agency have not efficiently impacted on the lives of Nigerians despite huge resources committed through budgetary allocations and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) fund.

As a matter of fact, there is need to take careful look at the issues of poverty in Nigeria, coming against the background of continuing efforts on the part of the government to address it, if close to N30 billion has been gathered for poverty eradication in 8 years and these resources are utilized efficiently, there should have been significant improvements in the living standards of the generality of the people and the poverty level should ordinarily be reduced.

However, in order to pre-empty the outcome of this study, this is aimed at finding out how the activities of NAPEP has impacted negatively or positively on Economic Development and the generality of the lives of Nigerians from 2001 till date.


Does NAPEP skill development programme lead to increased employment?

Does the product of NAPEP skill development programme benefit from gainful self-employment?

Does NAPEP skill development programme attract many participants? 


The objective of this study is to examine the role of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in Benin City. The conclusion derived shall be used to generalize on its impact on the whole country.

The specific objectives include:

To determine if NAPEP skill development programme lead to increase employment.

To determine if the product of NAPEP skill programme benefit from gainful employment.

To determine if NAPEP skill development programme attract many participants.


To the masses, this research work intends to publicize the activities and programmes of NAPEP, and how it has affected the well being of Nigerians.

To the government and policy-makers, it identifies and reveals the successes and failures, challenges and prospects of NAPEP and affords them the opportunity of designing and implementing a holistic approach, procedures and strategies and better ways of tackling this hydra-headed menace called “poverty”.

Also to the students and fellow researchers, it reveals the operations and the impact of NAPEP on the people, while it serves as an addition to the stock of knowledge; it also serves as a basis for further research.


The essence of the theoretical framework is to review some already propounded theories concerning poverty reduction and economic development. There are many relative theories of poverty as considered below: