1.1. Background of the Study
Poverty and unemployment represent the biggest challenges to
government in Nigeria. Unemployment rate continue to rise alarmingly,
poverty has economic, social and political ramifications. Basically,
Poverty has been conceptualized in the following ways;
- Lack of access to basic needs/goods.
- Lack of or impaired access to productive resources
- Lack of job opportunities e.t.c.
The level of poverty since the implementation of SAP in the 1980s has
tremendously increased [UNDP Nigeria, 1998; FOS, 1999; World
Bank,1999].The poverty profile has shown that poverty increased from
28.1% in 1980 to 43.6% in 1985 but declined to 42.7% in 1992 and rose
again to 65.6% in 1996.since 1990,the country has been classified as a
In recent years, there has been a semblance of continuity of liberal
tradition in Nigeria; attitudes towards the system of welfare that
supports the poor are rooted in our different cultural settings. The
normative tradition approach to liberalism in the Nigerian
society function to promote social cohesion, solidarity and citizenship.
The duty to share among Nigerians in our diversity is intuitive. This
duty rests on the consideration of human worth. In this context, we
reason that others have human souls as we do and so we always choose to
be indifferent to the needs of others (FEAP, 2001). Apparently,
Nigerians always choose to care for others. This duty comes from a
sympathetic concern that others be able to make life. In mitigation,
however, it has, over time, introduced several macro-economic measures
and initiations to address unemployment questions and also promoting
entrepreneurship in the country. There was a structural adjustment
programme (SAP) in 1986, which preached the liberalized economic
approach, Directorate of food, roads and rural infrastructure (DFFRI),
which was devoted to rural infrastructural projects and more recently,
the national poverty eradication program (NAPEP) but of more relevance
to the youth were such initiatives as the national Directorate of
employment (NDE) programs, which targeted skills development and job
creation among the youths.
Thus the difference between NAPEP and poverty reduction agencies is
that it is not a sector project implementation agency but a
co-ordination facility that ensures that core poverty
eradication ministries are effective. It would only intervene when
necessary, under its secondary mandate which gives it the right to
provide complementary assistance to the implementing ministries and
Parastatals nationwide. The importance of both small and large
enterprise growth and, more broadly, of sustainable private sector
development and expansion as principal sources of economic growth and
employment cannot be overstated. Economic growth is fueled, first and
foremost, by the creativity and hard work of entrepreneurs and workers.
Driven by the quest for profit, private sector enterprises innovate,
invest and generate employment and wage income. They typically represent
not only a majority of the total stock of enterprises but also a
significant proportion of the national production system. They also are
largely responsible for the vitality of local markets and make a major
contribution to the improvement of living standard. The promotion of
sustainable entrepreneur activity both large and small and of the
national private sectors that contain them, is “ a broad and wide
ranging subject, because entrepreneur takes many forms, not just in
terms of size, sector and spatial dimension but also in terms of how an
entrepreneur is managed and governed and its legal status and
operational objectives”. (Google).
A careful study of the entire poverty alleviation program already put
in place in Nigeria shows that there is a drive in the direction of
making more people to work by encouraging entrepreneurship and small and
medium scale business.
1.2. Statement Of The Problem
It has been known in Nigeria that every government embarks on one
form of poverty reduction strategy or the other in promoting
entrepreneur activities. However, what has remained unanswered is the
extent to which these programme have impacted on business or the
entrepreneurs. Today, poverty has been addressed as a global problem,
especially in places like Africa, Asia, and Latin America. On the
average 45-50 percent of sub-Saharan Americans live below the poverty
line. In Nigeria, about 43% of the population was living below the
poverty line of N305 a year in 1985 prices. To this effect, the United
Nations declared 1996 the international year of eradication of poverty
and 1997-2006 a decade of poverty eradication. So many times on
assumption of office in 1999, president Obasanjo indicated that the
poverty situation in which over 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty
line, requires more effort to prevent it from getting worse. All these
resulted to the introduction of NAPEP in Nigeria in the year 2001.
Recently, studied in (OECD;2000) on poverty alleviation and its agencies
as well as programs indicate that considerable gap exist between the
target objectives and achievements. Despite all the efforts being made,
poverty has still been in an increasing rate in the country, efforts of
various government policies are ineffective and therefore not much has
been done to actualize the benefits. Thus, the alleviation of poverty in
Nigeria is not an intractable problem. This problem is first and
foremost a political and ideological challenge requiring a recruitment
effort for entrepreneur sustainability (ALIYU; 2001). Also, the lack of
continuity in the programs from one administration to the other in one
of the problems in the development of entrepreneurship. This study thus,
attempts to answer the following questions;
- In which way can NAPEP promote entrepreneurship activities in Abia state?
- Are there any relationship between NAPEP and entrepreneurship development?
- Is poverty eradication program appropriate for Nigeria?
- How has government concept of NAPEP affected its success?
- How has NAPEP activities impacted on poverty reduction as aboost to economic development?
1.3. Objectives of the Study
The overall objectives of the study are to assess the various
strategies of policies for the development of entrepreneurship.
Generally the objectives are;
1. To asses the relevance of NAPEP as poverty alleviation policy.
2. To examine the effectiveness of NAPEP on entrepreneurship development in the country.
3. To identify and analyze challenges of the program.
4. To proffer some policy recommendations based on the findings of the study.
1.4. Significance of the Study
It is a well known fact that the present administration had attached
much emphasis on poverty alleviation program amongst its people
basically in the area of entrepreneurship, job creation and economic
empowerment. It therefore requires concerted efforts by all to
contribute to the success of all important but elusive goals.
It is hoped that the relevance of this study serves as a ready made
tool for government to apply strategic ways in promoting entrepreneur
activities and also to check the youth involvement in anti-social vices
such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery etc. which could be
This study also provides an opportunity for others of government, to
accept the reality that entrepreneurship development stimulates economic
The study would also provide information on the role of poverty alleviation program in sustaining entrepreneurship activities.
Nonetheless, this research will be of benefit to the government
research and social scientist around at projecting or developing means
to enhance the living standard of the entire society.
1.5. Scope and Limitation Of The Study
The study of poverty alleviation program in the performance of
entrepreneurship development is a broad project to embark on due to the
lack of the continuity of some policies that have been implemented
earlier on in fighting the problem of unemployment and the creation of
jobs and also in the promotion of some enterprises such as the small and
medium and also for other social entrepreneurs. Therefore, the research
wishes to limit the scope of this study to “an evaluation on the impact
of NAPEP on entrepreneurship development”. A case study of Abia state.
The period of study cover from 2001-2009. Perhaps, the most debilitating
limitation of this study is the inadequacy of data. The most available
data was not sufficient enough and some of the data available in the
NAPEP office in Abia state were outdated.
There was also a limitation in terms of library facilities as it is
only the World Bank, British council, United Nations and Central bank of
Nigeria libraries that have materials related to the study. The
researcher being a full time student had no enough time to make
extensive research. However, the above limitations could not hinder
effective and meaningful research work. Rather they motivated the
research to try to summon them all.
1.6. Research Hypothesis
This attempt shall test two hypotheses; hypothesis could
be alternative or null hypothesis. Null hypothesis (Ho) is a
negative declaration, while alternative hypothesis (Hi) is a positive
The study will test the hypothesis below;
Ho: NAPEP has no profound effect on the development of entrepreneurship.
Hi: NAPEP has a profound effect on the development of entrepreneurship.
1.7. Organization of the Study
The entire research project consist of these chapters. Chapter one
consist of a brief introduction on the background of the study,
statement of the problem, research questions, objectives of the study,
significance of the study, scopes and limitations of the study,
hypothesis, outline of the study and the definition of terms. Chapter 2
would cover the literature review, comprises of conceptual ,theoretical
framework and the empirical literature, case study review,
entrepreneurship challenge in Nigeria, economic perspective on
entrepreneurship, Nigerian poverty alleviation in enhancing
entrepreneurship, brief history of NAPEP, constraint, on NAPEP in
enhancing entrepreneurship, and summary of the chapter.
Chapter 3 deals with research methodology; such as research design,
sample size and sample technique, data collection and methods, data
analysis techniques, presentation of data, justification of the method
used and the summary of the chapter. While chapter 4 will cover data
presentation and analysis, test of hypothesis, finding of the research
and summary of the chapter.
Finally chapter five will contain the summary of the whole study, conclusion and recommendation and bibliography.
1.8. Definition Of Terms
Poverty: Poverty is the state of one who lacks a
certain amount if material possessions or money. It could also be the
deprivation of basic human needs such as; food, water, sanitation,
clothing, shelter, health care and education.
Entrepreneur: An entrepreneur is a person who
develops a new idea and takes the risk of setting up an enterprise to
produce a product or service, which satisfies customer’s needs.
NAPEP: National poverty eradication program responsible for alleviating poverty in the country.
SAP: State poverty alleviation program responsible for eradicating poverty within the state.
YES: Youth empowerment scheme, which deals with
capacity acquisition, productivity, technology development and
UNDP: United Nations development program. This is the United Nations organ for development purposes.
HDI: Human development index. This is a criterion
used by United Nations in making and positioning a country in terms of
standard of living.