Foreign aid is a concept that has taken centre stage since the past decades in world affairs. There have also been arguments whether or not foreign aids serve a useful purpose in poverty reduction/eradication in the developing nations. However, this paper believed that such facility should be utilized by the developing countries to improve upon the lives of their citizens. This paper, therefore, discusses the impact of foreign aid on poverty reduction, and or eradication programmes in Lagos State, Nigeria. It examined literature on foreign aids and poverty as well as the nature of foreign aid and its strategy for poverty reduction in Lagos State. It also investigated and analysed, how foreign aid has impacted poverty eradication/ reduction programmes in Lagos State. The methodology for the study is exploratory that made use of both primary and secondary sources of data collection. The primary sources of data were collected through interview and government document; while the secondary data were collected from textbooks, library search, scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles and internet. The data collected were content analysed.
The project found out that there are serious challenges militating against the effective use of foreign aid on poverty alleviation programmes, amongst which are; misappropriation of funds, and lack of statistics on who should benefit from the programme. The paper recommended that the government should strengthen the institutional framework to ensure adequate monitoring and deployment of training centres to accommodate more people who are willing, to effectively monitor the sessions, among others.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Over two decades after independence, unemployment and poverty were not a natural concern in Nigeria as it is today. Agriculture, industries and public sector were able to absorb most of the labour forces. The agricultural sector, for instance generated about 70% of the growth of the GDP (The comet March 23rds,2000) The advent of petroleum in the mid 70s further strengthened the economy, government during this period was to achieve much through oil revenue. The ensuring political instability and in consistencies in the socio-economic politics of the successive government emerged as a factor that led to the manifestation of high level poverty in Nigeria. Consequently, the challenges facing the Nigeria Government is that of reducing or eradicating poverty and the income disparity between the rich and the poor in the society. Against this background successive government in Nigeria, Federal State and Local Government have demonstrated their commitment in improving the socio-economic well being of the Urban and rural people through various efforts and poverty eradication programmes.
Nigeria is still one of the poorest countries in Africa. Various national and international bodies have documented this high incidence of poverty. The federal office statistics (FOS, 1999) and the United Development Programmes (UNDP, 1999) observed that despite a remarkable decrease in poverty in the 1980s, the drastic increase of poverty in the 1990s was discouraging. Over two decades ago, the country enjoyed relative prosperity but prosperity progressively saw 40% of the population slide into poverty (Adegbte and Akintola, 2002). Ordinarily, poverty is a condition of having little or no money or other endowments and not being able to get the necessary things of life (Fabiyi and Idowu, 1999). The concept of poverty is derived from the long and protracted inability to generate productive resources for the proposed of training a desired level of output to enhance the realization of an appreciable income and well being. According to Nguyet (2003), poverty refers to this state of a part of the population, which is not provided with the basic human needs that is in accordance with the socio-economic development level and local habits of the state of being deprived of those opportunities and choice that are essential to human development for a long healthy, creative life; for a reasonable standard of living; for freedom, dignity, self-respect and respect from others. Poverty according to Ani (1997) can be considered as a condition of life characterized by malnutrition, diseases, illiteracy, low life expectancy and high infant mortality beyond expectation of human decency. It is a state of want, needs, deprivation, low esteem and lack of actualization for self-development. Poverty also represents a condition of deprivations, lack of economic resources, and loose of capabilities, resulting in the inability of individual, to secure a minimum standard of living for his community or reference group.
The need to reduce poverty especially in the developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, has become a great burden to most governments and the international community as a whole due to its consequence or effects on the well-being of the people. One of the ways of achieving poverty reduction is through foreign aid which if handled properly would enhance economic growth and development. As Killick (1999 cited in Ijaiye & Ijaiye (2004) puts it “aid that comes in a form of technical co-operation would affect the quality of a nation’s labour force through the provision of training and imported skills which is essential for economic growth and poverty reduction, if an enabling environment is allowed to exist”. However, studies on the impact of foreign aid seem to provide contrary view. Some of the factors attributable to these include, aiding corrupt and altering the very market forces that could help lift Africans out of poverty. It also creates a damaging dependency that robs the recipients of the incentives to solve their own problems (Masci, 2004 p. 260). The main focus of this paper therefore, is to examine these facts using content analysis approach to analysis the impact of foreign aid on poverty reduction programmes in Lagos State, Nigeria. The conceptual and theoretical framework on poverty and foreign aid and the consequences of foreign aid are examined. Also the paper mentioned some of the donors aid the type of aid given to Lagos State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem.
Despite the enormous human and natural resources that Nigeria is endowed with being the Africa’s largest oil producing nation and the largest oil producer in the world, and with country with the largest gas deposit (Nwanakoala & Osiguee, 2013) about 75% of her 170million citizens are poor. The project therefore, intends to evaluate the impact of foreign aid in Lagos state, Nigeria which is the most populous city in Nigeria as well as the largest city in Africa with an estimated population of 21million in 2014. Moreover, Lagos state is the state with the highest internally generated Revenue in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study.
The main objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of foreign aid on poverty reduction programmes in Lagos state, Nigeria. The other objectives are to determine the causes of poverty in Nigeria generally, identify some of the poverty reduction programmes undertaken by the state, examine the effect of foreign aid on the state in terms of poverty reduction and finally,mention some of the donor agencies to Lagos State.
The study is aimed at:
- a) Finding out the major poverty alleviation programme in Lagos State.
- b) Examine the contribution of this programme in Lagos state.
- c) Identify the problems facing this programme.
- d) Find out possible ways of solving the problems
1.4. Research questions
The study addresses the following research questions:
- What internal factors contribute to the success rate of poverty alleviation projects?
- What external factors contribute to the success rate of poverty alleviation projects?
- How do these factors affect the success rate of poverty alleviation projects in Lagos state Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the study
This study will be of practical and theoretical significance. It will determine the extent to which local government administration importance knowledge in the area of poverty alleviation. Secondly, finding of this study is expected to be of immense importance to strategic planners, policy formulators, national directorate of employment and other stakeholders involved in policy formulations and recommendations, from this it will help in the formulation of policies concerning poverty alleviation. Moreover, student and researchers will find this work useful; concepts, issues, definitions and references contained in this work help them to update their work. This work serves as a bank of information to them. Finally, the study will benefit the general public. Recommendations from this work if adopted by the government and implemented will help the unemployed youth and the poor to be gainfully employed either in the private or public sector. This will have a multiplier effect on their quality of life (QOL).
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study.
The study is focused on poverty alleviation programmes in Lagos state. Lagos State is located in the south-western part of the Nigerian Federation. On the North and East it is bounded by Ogun State. In the West it shares boundaries with the Republic of Benin. Behind its southern borders lies the Atlantic Ocean. 22% of its 3,577 km2 are lagoons and creeks. For effective research, local government headquarters, Ikeja, Ojo and Badagry will be taken as sample for the study. Local government chairmen and executive will be investigated and selected youth men and women will also be investigated from the three senatorial districts. The age range of the people to be investigated is (18) and above and the year of study is 2007. The approach used in one local government may be not be same all over and not be generalized. Secondly, it took the research repeated visit to cover the questionnaire given to the respondents‟ most of them complained of frequent distribution of questionnaire without any meaningful impact on the masses. Some complained that they have not time to complete the questionnaire, so they complete them in hasty manner. This has negative effects on the final result. Finally, lack of fund and poor road net-work did not allow some parts of the local government area to be covered. All this has negative implication on the final result.
The study is an exploratory design that made use of qualitative research method both primary and secondary sources of data collection were used. The secondary data were from textbooks, peer-relieved journal articles, internet, etc; while the primary source of data was the interview.
This was used to supplement information from the secondary data. About 10 of the officials of the Ministry of Women Affairs was purposively selected where the poverty alleviation programme is domiciled were interviewed and few beneficiaries of the programme.
1.7 Definition Of Term
Financial Inclusion: This means empowering the masses financially in other that they can set up their own businesses and live happily.
Poverty Alleviation: This means lessening of poverty and its negative effects on the masses
Poverty Eradication: It means complete erasure of poverty.
Policy: Policy here denotes a plan of action that guides the government in achieving its programmes.
Institutional and Human Inhibitors: These are those at the corridors of power who because of their corrupt office practices put obstacles on the ways of those who are appointed to check or fight corruption.