The Challenges of Ending Rural Poverty: An Appraisal of National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)
One of the fundamental problem facing our country today is how to alleviate poverty at the grassroot level where over 70% of Nigerians live. Though Nigeria is a country blessed with abundant mineral and human resources many Nigerians still find it difficult to live above poverty level. This has led to children of school age instead of being in school, hawk goods, such as sachet water, bread, groundnut, orange etc, and our young graduates roam the streets without employment. The consequences of the above situation is lack of purchasing power, exposure to risk, high mortality rate, low life expectancy, and insufficient access to social and economic services. In a bid to reduce poverty at the grassroot, the federal government of Nigeria in the year 2000, introduced NAPEP as a tool for alleviating poverty at the grassroot but despite this measure taken by the government, poverty at the grassroot in Nigeria is still on the increase. This paper therefore argues that factors such as poor targeting mechanisms, failure to focus on the poor, policy inconsistency, corruption, politics of poverty, bad governance etc posed a serious set back at alleviating poverty at the grassroot. To ensure the realization of the objective, secondary sources of data was used. The paper therefore suggests an effective framework for alleviating poverty through strong political will on the part of the leaders, accountability, fight against corruption, diversification of the economy and subsidizing of agricultural products among others.