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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Local government exists to fill the gap, which the national government is too remote to fill. This means that local governments complements and extends the national government. It has been recognized as one important instrument for economic development, rural development and for the delivery of social services development at the grassroots level. It is therefore charged with the outrageous problem of poverty and its alleviation.
In Nigeria, local government as the third tier of government nearest to the people has been recognized as an institution capable of transforming the rural area. Consequently, there have been continuous attempts to create new local governments or restructuring the existing ones in the country with the objective of utilizing them as fulcrums for achieving economic development through series of programs which poverty alleviation is basically part of.
There has been increasing upsurge of interest in the literature of development administration and in planning circles on the positive role local government play in poverty alleviation. The emphasis is in terms of using local government as a strategic instrument for fostering, promoting and implementing economic development projects for alleviating poverty.

1.1 GENERAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Absolute poverty has to do with living below whatever is defined as poverty line based on per capita income or consumption of individuals or households in a country. Successive governments have pursued different policy initiatives with a view to mitigating the problem. In spite of large scale investment committed to poverty alleviation programmes, >50% of Nigerians still live in relative poverty with over a third of the population languishing in extreme poverty.
The local government system is set up, at least in part, to help curtail the prevalence of poverty. The paper is aimed at an evaluation of to what extent this objective is being pursued and addressed by Nigerian local governments using some selected Local Governments in Osun State as case studies. People in Nigeria like others in other sub – Saharan Africa and South Asia remain the poorest in the world. In 1992 between 45 and 50% of the approximately 525 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria inclusive) were estimated to be living below poverty line. As once opined “The depth of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is typically higher than anywhere in the world” (World Bank, 1995a: 12-13). The picture is not different in Nigeria. The situation in Nigeria calls for more than mere formulation and execution of programmes and projects for poverty alleviations.
In a bid to overcome poverty, Governments initiated different policies and programmes since 1968 till date to alleviate it. These programmes include: Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI), Better Life Programme (BLP), Directorate of Employment (NDE); People’ Bank of Nigeria (PBN); Community Bank (CB); Family Support Programme (FSP); Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP); Poverty Eradication Programme (PEP); National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP); and National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS), Osun State Youth Empowerment Scheme (O YES) whose aim were to ameliorate the suffering of the people by providing them employment opportunities and access to credit facilities to enable them establish their own businesses. All these programmes are done in the respective Local Governments though control by the National Government and some by State Government.
The study identified a whole gamut of factors militating against local governments contributing as they should to the issue of poverty alleviation; also examine the severity, spread and depth of poverty in the local governments. Therefore calls for deliberate conscious and well-focused efforts to poverty alleviation.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The creation of local government by the federal or state government is to bring government closer to the people and also foster the development of the local citizenry. To this, he must look for every means possible to alleviate poverty within his domain. The broad objective of the research is to;
1. To take a look at the possible solutions to Poverty in the selected Nigerian Local Governments.
2. To also know the people’s opinion on poverty alleviation and the ways with which the Local and State Government can partake in the various poverty alleviation programmes.
3. To establish and access the impact of the previous poverty alleviation programmes in the selected Local Government Areas.

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1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
From statistics, the country has between 61-80% of its total population living below 1 Dollars per day although more severe in the North than in the South. Also, the State of Osun is known to be one of the poorest in the country which habitate the selected Local Government areas under study.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is significant as it attempt to consider the various ways of with which different government use to alleviate poverty in their jurisdiction and most especially the selected local governments. Aside this, the study will also enable us to identify the problems militating against the various poverty alleviation programmes, particularly in the selected Local Government Areas of Osun State.

1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher faced some limitations in undertaking this study, notably in the areas of data collection, the distance of the research areas to each other, etc. Some of these problems are as follows;
The researcher was constraint by time as time frame for the submission of this research was short for an expansive research.
The unwillingness of most of the selected Local Government area staff to supply the needed data was another major problem.
Furthermore, financial resources are another major constraint during the course of the research.
Another very important problem faced during the course of this research is transport which really affected the researcher’s mobility due to the distance between the selected Local Governments

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following constitute research questions for this study which include the following:-
1) What are the efforts made by the selected Local and State Government to reduce poverty in their areas?
2) What are the impacts of poverty and its alleviation in Nigeria?
3) Which from comparison is the best way to alleviate poverty in the selected Local Government areas?
4) What is the performance of the government towards alleviating poverty?

1.7 DESCRIPTION OF THE SELECTED LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
EDE SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Ede South is a Local Government Area in Osun State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Ede. It has an area of 219 km² (85 sq mi) and a population of 76,035 at the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 232. ISO 3166 code is NG.OS.ES. The time zone is WAT (UTC+1). The Local Government coordinates is 7°42′N4°27′E / 7.700°N 4.450°E. It has a population density of 344.7 inh./km²
[Source: National Population Commission of Nigeria (web).](2006)
Ede is a town in Osun State, Nigeria. The population of Ede is 304,738 (1987 estimate). The people are ethnic Yoruba. Among the higher institutions located in Ede are the Federal Polytechnic, Adeleke University and the Redeemer’s University of Nigeria. Nearby towns include Iragberi and Osogbo.
Historically, Ede was an important town in Yorubaland. Egungun festival is still widely celebrated, like many other traditional festivals but Ileya (eid-el-kabir) and Christmas are the main festivals. Throughout Nigeria, Id-el Kabir is celebrated most in Ede. Many people celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day as well. Ede is one of the older towns of the Yoruba people. It is traditionally said to have been founded about 1500 by Timi Agbale, a hunter and warlord sent by Alafin (King) Kori of old Oyo (Katunga), then the capital of the old Oyo Empire. He was to establish a settlement to protect the Oyo caravan route to Benin, a purpose similar to that of other Nigerian towns. Its traditional ruler is known as the Timi Agbale, popularly referred to as Timi Agbale Olofa-Ina. According to myth, he is the man whose arrows bring out fire. The most prominent Timi in recent history is Oba John Adetoyese Laoye. The late monarch is reputed for making the “talking drum” popular. This has made Ede a reference point in the art of drumming, specifically the talking drum. With his group of skilled drummers and poets, the late monarch entertained the Queen of England when she first visited Nigeria and thereafter in her palace in England. He died in 1975.
Ede is well known as a hospitable land. Locally made food includes “Eko and Ila”. Also sons and daughters of Ede can be found all over the world and works of lives. There are several compounds in Ede towns including Ile Agate,Agboja, Imole, Ile Idigba, Ile Obadina, Ile Alusekere, Ile Yemope, Ile Mogaji, Ile Oluyinka etc.
(Source from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
IFE EAST LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Ife East is a Local Government Area in Osun State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the Town of Oke Ogbo. It has an area of 172 km² (66 sq mi) and a population of 188,087 at the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 220. ISO 3166 code is NG.OS.IE. The time zone is WAT (UTC+1). The Local Government coordinates is 7°27′N4°36′E / 7.450°N 4.600°E.
[Source: National Population Commission of Nigeria (web).](2006)

OSOGBO LOCAL GOVERNMENT (OSOGBO SOUTH)
Osogbo is a city in Nigeria, the capital city of Osun State South-western Nigeria and a Local Government. It has an area of 47 km² (18sq mi) and a population of 155,507 at the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 230. ISO 3166 code is NG.OS.OS. The time zone is WAT (UTC+1). The Local Government coordinates is 7°46′N4°34′E / 7.767°N 4.567°E.
[Source: National Population Commission of Nigeria (web).](2006)
Osogbo is some 88 kilometres by road to Ibadan. It is also 100 kilometres by road to South or Ilorin and 115 kilometres to Northwest of Akure. The Town with an annual rainfall of about 0.6 metres lies mainly in the deciduous forest area which spreads towards the grassland belt of Ikirun, north of Osogbo. Osogbo is situated on a raised land which is well over 500 meters (800 feet) above the sea level and is drained by Osun River and its distributaries.
Osogbo lies on the railway line from Lagos to Kano which into existence in 1907. It is known for the Osogbo School of Art and the Oja Oba market building said to be former Oba’s palace, within yards of the Osogbo Grand Mosque.
Osogbo people are famed for their commercial activities in handmade, traditional woven cloth “AsoOke” and Batiks, same with cloth-dyeing, embroidery, pottery, goldsmithing. In addition, Osogbo people are renowned, world-wide, for their unique creations and Art works of different cadres; Painting, Carving, Bead-works, Sacred artworks and even Performing Arts etc.
Osogbo is the trade centre or a farming region. Yams, Cassava, Tobacco, and Cotton are grown. It is also home to several hotels and a football stadium with a capacity of 10000 and a second professional league team (Prime FC).
Most of the population are members of the Yoruba ethnic group. In 1988, about 27% of the population were engaged in farming as their primary occupation, 8% were traders and about 30% clerks and a section.

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