Poverty alleviation in Nigeria consists of series of purposive act and measures designed nationally and internationally or at other levels to address the poverty problem. Initial efforts at alleviating poverty centered on the provision of basic needs by the government. It focuses on meeting the basic requirements for a permanent reduction of poverty through the provision of basic needs as health service, education, water supply, food, minimum nutrition requirements and housing among others. However, it was later realized that poverty alleviation is best addressed based on the peculiarities of the situation under consideration. For instance, some schools felt that poverty in many developing countries arises from structural impediment to growth of the economy leading to low growth rate.

Emphasis in such cases should therefore be on removing the imaginary structural bottlenecks to growth and adopting growth strategies that benefit the poor. Furthermore, poverty alleviation efforts must be focused and targeted at the poor and posses some desired features that would enable them address the need of the poor. Among such desired features is that they must be demand driven and formulated bottom-up with the poor as active stakeholders in the decision making process. Such efforts must thus be properly designed to empower the poor.


In line with money notion of equality, development and poverty alleviation, many analysis and policy makers in Nigeria have sited development programmes. Such programmes include Rural Electrification, Schools, Rural Banking Schemes, Universal Basis Education, Adult Education Scheme, low Cost Housing Scheme, etc.
The result of our findings show that the poverty alleviation programmes adopted so far by the government and non-governmental organizations are achieving its objectives. This is indicated by the significance of the X2 test.
The concern over poverty and the need for its alleviation as a means of improving the standard of living especially of the rural people led to the establishment of various institutions and programmes, poverty alleviation being a broad specimen activity, therefore, cover the following sectors. Agriculture, Health, Education, Water Resources, Transport, Housing, Finance, Employment Generation, Rural and Urban Development etc. The institutions of poverty include National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA), National Primary Health Care Scheme, National Agencies for Mass Literacy, The Family Economic Advancement Programmes etc. the efforts of these agencies on breaking the vicious circle of poverty nationally or most especially in the rural sectors have not yielded the desire result of alleviating poverty in Nigeria since the issues is not only economic but also social and political but that does not mean that no meaningful progress have been made. As a matter of fact, a lot of achievement have been recorded through these programmes, schemes and activities of the federal government, non-governmental organization etc in their course to alleviate poverty.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of room for improvement through economic empowerment for the benefit of all especially with regards to women in view of the following:
i. The number of female university graduates is on the increase.
ii. More women now enter non-traditional fields such as medicine, law, engineering and sciences etc.
iii. Women’s participation in politics has been on the increase globally and
iv. In this information age, public awareness about women’s issue has intensified to such extent that in future they will be viewed as economic issues, family issues, ethnical issues of equal resonance to men and women.
A combination of policies and programmes, some of which are through collaborative efforts has been vigorously pursued in Nigeria. The objective of international assistance is to supplement indigenous efforts in proving much needed for poverty Alleviation in spite the rapidly growing population and poor economic performance which have tended to accentuate poverty. International agencies and institutions which have been assisting the country in different aspects of the poverty issue include the World Bank, United Nation Development Programmes (UNDP), United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) etc. one of the major programmes on Agriculture in Nigeria is the World Bank Assisted Agricultural Development Projects (ADPS). The project seeks to increase food production and thus, improve the standard of living and welfare of the farming population.
An examination of certain indicators of performance indicate that the domestic and international poverty reduction measures have to some extent, been helpful in addressing the problems of poverty.
The various domestic programmes have in general, imparted positively on the living conditions of the poor. However, their tempo of activities which was high at inception has been on the decline for instance, more cottage industries were established at lower costs in the earlier years of the Better Life/Family Support Programme than in more recent years.
One may tend to ask if all the efforts put in place in the past achieved very little, where do we go from here; generally, the ever-riding objective of poverty alleviation is to ensure that every Nigerian irrespective of gender, profession and geographical location is empowered so as to be able to fend for him/ herself the basic needs of life. These include food, portable water, good sanitation, clothing, shelter, basic health services and nutrition others are basic education, communication facilities and guarantee respect for fundamental human rights as a means of improving the vulnerability of the poor.
Poverty is rampant in Nigeria and its incidence has been on the increase. This course has been found to have more biting effect in rural areas where the bulk of Nigerian population lives. It has also been found to be more pronounced among the genders owning to the fact that various attempts at its alleviation have been noted to yield varying success, albeit, rather in a limited sense. The continued fashioning and implementation of policies and programmes aimed at empowering the population through health care, education and improved access to portable water etc. is seen as a potent means of reducing the phenomenon of poverty.
i. The government should involve a policy for the achievement of a broad base and diversified economy that can absorb the millions of unemployed citizens.
ii. Attainment of basic education for all irrespective of location, sex, religion or tribe.
iii. Improvement in the quality of life via enhanced national basic infrastructure, such as roads, electricity, safe drinking water and sanitation, communication, transportation etc.
iv. The government should create access to credit facilities, productive resources and employment opportunities for all. The current effort by the government towards encouraging the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is a policy in the right direction.
v. The government should check the activities of corrupt officials in the implementation of poverty alleviation programmes. They should ensure increased monitoring and supervision, as well as ensure that the corrupt officials acts are brought to book accordingly.
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Please tick () or comment where applicable.
1. Is the poverty alleviation programmes achieving its objectives?
(a) Yes (b) No
2. What are the problem militating against the poverty alleviation programmes?
(a) Poor funding
(b) Corruption
(c) Lack of follow
3. Has the poverty alleviation programmes has any effect on your economic life?
(a) Yes (b) No
4. Has the poverty alleviation programmes able to increase the level of rural development?
(a) Yes (b) No
5. Are you informed of the poverty programmes of the Federal Government?
(a) Yes (b) No
6. What are the various poverty alleviation programmes you know?
7. What is your occupation?
(a) Business
(b) Fore man
(c) None of the above
8. Is poverty alleviation programmes changing the lives of the poor masses?
(a) Yes (b) No
9. Please comment generally on the alleviation programmes. 10. What are your recommendations for the third world nations?

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