The fight against poverty is one of the key components of the development of any country. If the percentage of poor people is high, national development slows down. Therefore, poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria are extremely important. They are aimed at improving the economic and social conditions for the unprotected part of the population.
Despite the measures taken, poverty statistics in Nigeria are constantly deteriorating:
- According to the UN report, in 2016, our country was ranked the 152nd in terms of living standards. In total, 188 countries were studied.
- The unemployment rate reached 42%.
- 80 million citizens were forced to live for $1.25 a day, meaning, they stepped beyond the poverty line.
Considering all these factors, the authorities are working on the development and implementation of poverty alleviation program to improve the well-being of citizens. This applies to energy, food, and employment. People should enjoy better standards of living and opportunities to turn their labor into money. The situation is such that at the moment, the talents of many able-bodied citizens remain unclaimed because of unemployment.
After winning the election in 2015, APC representatives promised significant improvements to the citizens. 500 billion Naira was allocated from the budget of 2016 to poverty alleviation in Nigeria.
The Senate considered a phased program for the 2016-2018 period. The federal government is determined to cooperate with the state authorities to achieve this goal.
At the beginning of his term, Buhari spoke of comprehensive and ambitious plans, drew attention to the factors that caused past activities to be unsuccessful. The issues of school feeding, support of youth organizations, small business representatives were touched upon. His phased programs should gradually rid the Nigerian population of the problem of poverty.
Let's consider the most important government actions aimed at ensuring the social well-being of Nigerians.
Improvement of the educational system
The state of the economy in the future largely depends on the education of the growing generation. Qualified professors should work with the children of Nigeria. To achieve this, 500 thousand teachers were hired in the framework of Teach Nigeria plan so as to improve the educational system of Nigeria. They are to be trained and employed for prepared posts.
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According to the Youth Empowerment programme, 300, 000-500, 000 people are to be trained for successful employment. Thanks to the free tertiary education scheme, 100,000 students in the technical field were approved to receive education for free.
Meals for schoolchildren
Schooling will hardly be effective if a child suffers from hunger. The needs of the body are more important than the needs of the mind. To eliminate this problem, a one-meal program was established for primary school students. They are entitled to have free meals. The government said that 300 billion Naira was allocated from the budget in 2016 and 339 billion Naira in 2017. Also, 338.9 billion Naira will be allocated in 2018.
It is reported that over 25 million meals were cooked for schoolchildren from poor families. Dishes were made with high-quality agricultural products. 11,800 cooks in 8,500 educational institutions made this possible. The government said that they spent more than 41 billion Naira in all the states in the country. In the future, more food should be provided according to this scheme.
Material aid for poor citizens
It becomes more and more clear that against the background of rapid inflation, the unprotected layers of the population do not have enough money even for primary needs. For this, the authorities established additional pensions in the amount of 5000 Naira for 1 million Nigerians. It is expected that in the future more people will receive these payments.
Micro crediting plan
The Government Enterprise Empowerment Program is aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, market women and artisans. The federal government took the obligation to provide 60 billion Naira for this program.
Within its framework, 57,000 interest-free loans were provided. The exception is a small administrative fee. More than 3 million people use the GEEP's facilities. These are representatives of 26, 900 cooperatives in need of money for business development.
A great deal of activity on the part of women is noted since 56% of the loans are issued to them.
The development of small business will entail the creation of jobs, the transformation of human labor into money and hence the improvement of living conditions for the citizens of Nigeria.
N-Power plays an important role in the fate of unemployed graduates. As reported, the government provided the organization with 26.4 billion Naira. Last year, the costs of this program were much more than all others related to social development in Nigeria.
According to government reports in March 2017, 162,000 N-Power graduates were successfully registered and received monthly scholarships of 30,000 Naira. The government was obliged to deal with the rest of the 200,000 candidates adopted late last year.
Reports about above mentioned anti-poverty programs show that they really bring important results. However, it is too early to stop. They still need a thorough refinement. Then, even more people will get new opportunities and will be able to benefit their country. Representatives of the APC consider their achievements to be quite important and promised to make further efforts to improve the situation.
Are programmes of poverty alleviation in Nigeria effective?
Are the authorities working at maximum capacity? There is a lot of work to be done. If the administration of Nigeria worked together, the problem of poverty should not have occurred at all in such a resource-rich country.
Despite the fact that the actions of politicians seem fundamental, children in most regions do not have access to educational institutions, people are starving. Are more programs need to be implemented to eliminate poverty? Are these really going to be the final decision or just a temporary measure whose result will run out as quickly as it appeared?
At the moment, there are more unemployed graduates in the country than ever. If citizens manage to get a job, they do not always receive salaries. The rise in prices for products makes the average Nigerian's salary absolutely inadequate for a full-fledged happy and comfortable life.
In such conditions, many people begin to engage in robbery and dishonest business. Less adapted individuals resign themselves to circumstances and live a rather sad life.
Some of these programs face a lot of criticisms. In particular, the problem is that such schemes are not implemented ubiquitously but only in selected regions. It is not completely clear how the participants are chosen. National programs should be implemented everywhere.
The important thing to understand is that this is just a start. As long as we continue putting in the effort and working towards a common goal, poverty alleviation can be achieved.
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