TO THE STUDY
role of government spending in promoting economic growth and poverty reduction
has been intensely debated among various scholars (Aschauer, 1989; Barro, 1990;
Tanzi and Zee, 1997; Fan, Hazell and
Thorat, 2000). Most of these studies either treat total government
spending as one variable or only include one type of spending in their models,
which could obscure the underlying economic dynamics by aggregation.
importance of government expenditure in the process of human development is not
only improving education also improving the health of people. Health status is
conventionally measured by life expectancy at birth, and by child and infant
mortality. Neither of these measures reflects the extent of morbidity. Health
indicators (nutrition, mobility, morbidity and height) are positively
correlated with education (Sackey, 2005; Cochrane 1986, 1988).
it has been shown that, even after taking note of low levels of these
variables, "one would have expected a much higher level of human
development achievement in Nigeria where oil export boosted the GOP, human
development has continued to decrease since 1981 (Gupta et al, 2003). The main
objective is to simulate if government expenditure on health would help to
improve economic growth in Nigeria by 2015.
fundamental paradox in Nigeria is that about two -third of the Nigerian people
are poor despite living in a country with vast potential wealth (NEEDS, 2005:
xiii). Poverty wears an absolute look in Nigeria· and most Africa countries. In
Sudan, particularly in the Dafur area, the level of poverty is so high that millions
of women, children and men have been subjected to extreme precarious existence.
In the Central Republic of Congo, young men and women work as slaves in mines
in exchange for daily bread.
A 1984 World Bank report stipulated that
severe hunger and malnutrition now afflict more than one in four people in
(Africa). The report further stated that famine has become the predominant
story in contemporary Africa, [Stryker in Phyllis and 0' Meara 1986:329) The crisis in agricultural production in Africa
is perhaps most portrayed by the food production per capita which has
apparently declined almost continuously for over three decades.
African countries have tried to solve
the problem of food insecurity be importing foodstuffs. These countries have
had to contend with public finance crisis. A typical example is Nigeria which
used the windfall from oil by the early 1980's to import almost everything that
was consumed in the country. While this was being done agricultural production
depleted to dangerous levels. At the same time skyrocketing increase in the
prices of commodities made life an uphill task for most Nigerians, triggering a
slide in their social and economic fortunes.
demands for cereals and tubers for feeding livestock and producing bio-fuel has
generated food crisis in the world, with more dama9ing consequences for Africa
where the poor depend mainly on cereals, roots and tubers for food. The global
food crisis has added a new and critical dimension to food insecurity in
Nigeria; the poor are experiencing a new level of hunger and deprivation. It
has been predicted that Nigeria will not survive a severe food crisis.
significant factor that has surfaced in all explanations of the food crisis in
Africa is poverty and its relation to agricultural output. Pinstrup- Anderson,
Pandya- Lorch and Rosegrant attested to this when they argued that the
projections of the IFPRI that many millions of people will suffer from hunger
and its debilitating consequences may be avoided if;
we can mobilize the revolutionary developments in information technology and
biotechnology for the benefit of the poor and; if we can harness the political
will to adopt sound policies for eradicating poverty [Food Policy Report
International Food Policy Research Institute 199:30).
is obvious that the magnitude of food insecurity in Nigeria is closely related
to the systematic policy biases of the ruling class. In this paper, we shall
attempt a critical evaluation of governments' responses to poverty with a view
to explaining the relationship between poverty, poor agricultural output and
food insecurity, using the political economy approach.
is a multidimensional concept. However, measurements of poverty mostly focused
on quantitative money-centric measurement using income and consumption, to
measure whether a household can
purchase a basket of goods at a given period of time (Baker and Schuler, 2004). These widely used money-centric
measures however provide a false sense of poverty by ignoring the importance of
homegrown food, household size and composition, unsatisfied basic needs,
economic vulnerability, ownership of household. assets, dwelling
characteristics and access to basic services, which can lead to an
underestimation of poverty (Baker and Schuler, 2004).
mentioned by Baker and Schuler (2004), money-centric measures also do not
capture many other dimensions of poverty, especially in urban context. The
environmental and health hazard is high in urban areas because of crowded
living conditions. Therefore, measurement of quality of life, which commonly
includes details about housing conditions, dwelling characteristics and access
to basic needs, provide in-depth knowledge and understanding about the dynamic
aspects of poverty. Thus, it is' important to measure the quality of life of
the clients and their households who are participating in a program aimed at
.reducing poverty and' improving socio-economic conditions of low-income urban
data reveals that Nigeria is one of the countries of the world that has greater
number of poor people. The statistics on human development and social provision
further reveal that the population of Nigeria is increasingly becoming one of
the poorest in the world, and that Nigeria as a whole, is in a very vulnerable
position. Although, successive governments in Nigeria have at one time or the
other put up a lot of poverty alleviation programmes, but surprisingly on the
assumption of power in 1999, by the past government led by President Obasanjo,
the World Bank's report indicated that Nigeria's Human Development Index (HDI)
was only 0.416 and that about 70% of the population was vegetating below the
breadline. Some of the attempts made in
the past to alleviate poverty include the establishment of the Department of
Food, Roads, and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI) with the major aims of opening up
the rural areas and to improve the conditions of the vulnerable poor; this
project had long been abandoned.
establishment of National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to tackle the problem
of mass unemployment. The establishment of People's Banking Nigeria (PBN) to
cater for the credit needs of the less privileged Nigerians. Others included
the Better Life Programme (BLP) which was gender specific. It was meant to
improve the life of rural women. The programme was later replaced by Family,
Support Programme (FSP). The programmes failed because the programmes were
hijacked by position seeking individuals, who used most of the resources for
personal aggrandizement rather than for the set objectives. Others such as
National Agricultural land Development Authority (NALDA), The Strategic Grains
Reserve Authority (SGRA) and the Accelerated Crop Production (ACP) were all
established to improve the productive capacities of peasant farmers as well as
improving their incomes and well-being. To assist in the eradication of
illiteracy, which was found to be a major cause of poverty, The Nomadic and
Adult Education Programmes were established. Amongst the reasons why the past
poverty alleviation attempts failed were: (i) the politics of personal rule struggles
of powerful and willful persons, rather than impersonal institutions,
ideologies, public offices, or class interests, are fundamental in shaping
political life (ii) the master and
servant relationships associated with the programmes to alleviate poverty.
problems this study intends to investigate are:
impact of government expenditure on poverty alleviation in Nigeria most
especially in Lagos State.
reason why poverty alleviation programmes has not been able to reduce poverty
implicit and explicit effect of government expenditure on the lives of the
populace in Lagos.
OF THE STUDY
main objective of this study include finding out whether there is any
relationship between government expenditure and poverty alleviation in Lagos
State. Other specific objectives include:
underpin the various challenges militating against poverty alleviation
strategies of the government in Nigeria.
examine the impact of government expenditures on the lives of people in Lagos
1.4 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS
following research questions will guide this study:
there a correlation between government expenditure and poverty alleviation in
various challenges militating against poverty alleviation strategies of the
government in Nigeria?
government expenditure impacted on the lives of the people in Lagos State?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
the nature of problems stated above, the following research hypothesis would be
tested for rejection or acceptance.
1. Ho: There is no significant
relationship between government expenditure and poverty alleviation in Lagos
There is a significant relationship between government expenditure and poverty
alleviation in Lagos State.
2. Ho: The various challenges poverty alleviation
strategies of government are facing does not hinder it, performance.
The various challenges poverty alleviation strategies of government are facing
hinders it performance.
3. Ho: Government expenditure has not
impacted on the lives of the people in Lagos State.
Government expenditure has impacted on the lives of the people in Lagos State.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
findings of this research work will be practical and the theoretical
significance for the improvement of general knowledge on government expenditure
and the best methods leaders can employ to get the best out of their employees
and reduce poverty.
the findings will help refine and elaborate present knowledge on the various
poverty strategies and models: Practically, the findings of the study could be
useful for organizations interested in organizational success through effective
other words generalizations can be made from findings not just for Lagos State
but also for other public and private organizations and the society at large.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
study is limited to Lagos State. The rationale behind the choice of the case
study is because Lagos State is a very vital state in Nigeria been the former
federal capital and currently the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.,
Consequently, if there will be any" program that will be implemented in Nigeria, it must be felt first
in Lagos State. Despite these limitations, however the study will provide the
basic foundation required for further research.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
enormous efforts have gone into this study, there are some hindrances that
stand as limitation to the study. They are as follows: -
Constraints: This is seen as a limiting factor as other personal and academic
functions demand much time coupled with short time available for the research.
Constraints: Limited funds constituted a serious impediment toward the
successful execution of this research work.
problem encountered has to do with transportation as well as logistics in the
process of data collection.
TION OF STUDY
research work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is introducing the
subject matter of the study stating the research problem, objectives,
significance, hypothesis, scope and limitation of the study. Chapter two
involves a thorough examination of the subject matter via literature review.
Journals and articles that are related and relevant to the research work.
Chapter three reveals the research methodology to be employed. Chapter four is
used to present relevant data gathered from various sources and the analysis of
these relevant data. Chapter five which is the last chapter that summarizes the
research work,' inference and recommendation that are made and what action to
be taken by government to tremendously reduce poverty.