NATIONAL POVERTY ERADICATION PROGRAMME (NAPEP)
Introduced early in 2001, NAPEP is the current programme which focuses on the provision of “strategies for the eradication of absolute poverty in Nigeria” (FRN, 2001, NAPEP is complemented by the National Poverty Eradication Council (NAPEC) which is to coordinate the poverty-reduction related activities of all the relevant Ministries, Parastatals and Agencies. It has the mandate to ensure that the wide range of activities are centrally planned, coordinated and complement one another so that the objectives of policy continuity and sustainability are achieved.
Upon consideration of the Joda Panel and Abdullahi Committee Reports, fourteen (14) core poverty alleviation Ministries were identified as follows:
i. Agriculture and Rural Development
iii. Water Resources
v. Power and Steel
vi. Employment, Labour and Productivity
vii. Women Affairs and Youth Development
ix. Works and Housing
xi. Solid Minerals Development
xii. Science and technology
xiii.Finance, and National Planning Commission
Similarly, thirty-seven (37) core poverty alleviation institutions, agencies and programmes were identified. The poverty reduction-realted activities of the relevant institutions under NAPEP (NATIONAL POVERTY ERADICATION PROGRAMME) have been classified into four namely:
(i) Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) which deals with capacity acquisition, mandatory attachment, productivity improvement, credit delivery, technology development and enterprise promotion;
(ii) Rural Infrastructure development Scheme (RIDS) which deals with the provision of potable and irrigation water, transport (rural and urban), rural energy and power support;
(iii) Social Welfare Service Scheme (SOWESS) which deals with special education, primary healthcare services, establishment and maintenance of recreational centres, public awareness facilities, youth and student hostel development, environmental protection facilities, food security provisions, micro and macro credits delivery, rural telecommunications facilities, provision of mass transit, and maintenance culture and
(iv) Natural Resource development and Conservation Scheme (NRDCS) which deals with the harnessing of the agricultural, water, solid mineral resources, conservation of land and space (beaches, reclaimed land, etc) particularly for the convenient and effective utilization by small-scale operators and the immediate community.
In effect, the current poverty eradication programme of the country is social welfare services and natural resource development, provision of social welfare services and natural resources development and conservation. Details about these are provided in the Blueprint for the schemes under the National Poverty Eradication Programme (as revised in June, 2001). In the attempt to overcome the inadequacies of provisions programmes, the NAPEP Blueprint has the following features (Aliu, 2001:12-13):
· It adopts the participatory bottom-up approach in programme implementation and monitoring;
· It provides for rational framework which lays emphasis on appropriate and sustainable institutional arrangement;
· It provides for pro-active and affirmative actions deliberate targeted at women, youths, farmers and the disabled;
· It provides for the participation of all registered political parties, traditional rulers, and the communities;
· It provides for technology acquisition and development particularly for agriculture and industry;
· It provides for capacity building for existing skills acquisition and training centres;
· It provides for the provision of agricultural and industrial extension services to rural areas;
· It provides for institutional development for marketing of agricultural and industrial products; and
· It provides for integrated schemes for youth empowerment, development of infrastructure, provision of social welfare services and exploitation of natural resources.
What becomes obvious from a careful consideration of the foregoing and their elaborations in the blueprint is much of the problems that attended previous efforts have been sharply focused upon following their identification. Nonetheless, the statement of good intentions and enunciation of measures towards poverty eradication are only necessary but not sufficient conditions. The way forward is to recognize the problems and look beyond to operational and incidental matters that may arise at the level of implementation vis-à-vis pertinent issues that may not have been adequately covered in the blue print.
National Poverty Eradication Programme