IMPACT OF KEKE NAPEP AS POVERTY ALLEVIATION STRATEGY
The study concerns how the KEKE NAPEP programme of Federal Government Poverty Eradication Programmes has fared in alleviating poverty among youths in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Poverty rate occasioned by unemployment has consumed a frighten dimension in Nigeria. This prompted the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2000 to set up National Poverty Eradication Programme by introducing the famous tricycle "Keke Marwa" to alleviate thesuffering of the unemployed youth. The purpose of the study concern; to examine the impact of KEKE NAPEP; to examine how far it has truly alleviate poverty among the youth; to examine the operational difficulties encountered by the operators and the possible ways of alleviating to those problems; to see whether cost of maintenance, registration etc in a major obstacle to thesuccessful operation of KEKE NAPEP; to equally examine the ownership structure, mode of purchase and how much they make daily. A total of one hundred questionnaires was desired and administered to operators in Uyo area council of Akwa Ibom State and the result analysed.
Poverty, as of its multidimensional nature, does not lend itself to easy definition. Poverty is also a relative concept involving the individual perception of his/her social standing inrelation to others in a given society. Such idea informs the stand of those economists who believe that poverty cannot be measured. Okoh, (1998). However, different researchers have tried to define poverty. For instance, Ravallion andBidani (1994) refer to poverty as a lack of command over basic consumption needs that are a situation of inadequate level of command over basic rise to insufficient food, clothing and shelter. Aluko N.L. (1975), Sen N.L. (1987) defined poverty as a lack of certain capabilities such as being able to participate with dignity in societal endeavors.
Poverty has also been defined as the inability to attain a minimum standard of living. World Development Report,( 1990). Definition a poor person A poor person is considered as one without job, who canno help himself or cater for his family, who has no money, farm or business. Adolescent males and females are poor if they have no parent, no education, no good food, clothes and health. A poor person is described as one who is undernourished and aging fast, one without self confidence, looks dirty and lives in filthy environment, one who cannot cater for his family, train his children in the school and unable to pay medical bill (The World Bank, 1992)
The major category of people vulnerable to poverty are women and children, majority of whom live in the rural areas, or migrate from rural areas with cannot fit into many of theurban jobs. Aina and Odebiyi (1997) attributed urban poverty to high rate of urbanization, accompanied with high rate of migration, population density, high rate of population growth, the unemployment, inflation and bad governance (such that urban centres in Nigeria generally lack basic social infrastructures to meet the needs of the teaming population.
Poverty becomes widespread in Nigeria after the implementation of Structural AdjustmentProgramme (SAP) in Nigeria. When Babangida seized the government from Buhari, the former agreed to implement the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditionality becausepoverty had become glaring in Nigeria most especially among the rural dwellers leading torural-urban migration. It is in record that Babangida wasted more than 100 billion Naira on phantom projects, D.O. Elumilade, (2006). These projects included the one initiated by his wife, Better Life progammes for the poor, DEFRI, People's Bank of Nigeria, two democratic transition experiments and other big time corruption in Babangida regime enrichedthemselves D.O. Elumilade, (2006).
Poverty in Nigeria cuts across different strata of the society in all the thirty six states and Abuja the FCT of the country. However, the position of Lagos state as the former capital of Nigeria as well as the commercial nerve centre of the country made the problem to be morepronounced. Lagos poses as an attraction various rural settlements in Nigeria; particularly the youths who see Lagos as a place full of economical opportunities. However, the excessive influx of people from all parts of the country into Lagos over the lasty affected the economy distribution of wealth, resources and infrastructures. This has created a form of economic imbalance whereby the available wealth, resources and infrastructures appear to be distributed among the influential and the elites in the society.
A major manifestation of poverty in the state is seen in crime rate, malnutrition, large numberof street urchins (Area boys) and the establishment of many slums in and around the Lagos metropolis by people who cannot afford to get good shelter for themselves. Some of these slums include: the Maroko, Ajegunle and Mushin to mention but a few. Condition of living in these settlements are so bad that those people cannot afford the basic need such as good food, good shelter, good clothing etc. People in these settlements also lack access to basic infrastructures such as road, good education, good medical facilities among other things. Another manifestation of poverty is seen in the over stretched usage of the available resources like roads, health care facilities, power (electrical installations), water, transport system etc. A very important resultant effect of poverty or economy imbalance in Lagos is seen in the breeding of touts and miscreants popularly known as ‘Agbero' or "Omoota" i.e. Motor Park touts. These people are so ruthless in their conducts that they constitute major threat to the peace and safety as well as the security of lives and property in the state. Poverty has many root causes, while it is primarily related to very low income earners; is in many dimensions especially in malnutrition, ill health and illiteracy.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The persistence of massive poverty in Nigeria has created myriads of social maladies and security challenges. There is no doubt that there are some factors within the poor that are responsible for this morally unconscionable plague. Hitherto obvious lack of concerted institutional and policy framework in Nigeria to tackle the scourge of poverty constituted a major challenge. It is on the bases of these facts this research is designed to provide solution to the following questions:
1. What are the effects of poverty on the urban dwellers?
2. What is the relationship between keke NAPEP initiative and poverty reduction among operators?
3. Are there any factors militating against the success of keke NAPEP in poverty alleviation?
4. What are the durability and efficiency as well as overall maintenance implication of keke NAPEP?
5. What are the contributory effects of road network, traffic and transport officials of keke NAPEP?
1.3 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS
The following hypothesis will be tested at 0.5 significance:
1. Keke NAPEP has significantly reduced poverty among its operators.
2. Keke NAPEP is not expensive to maintain and operate.
3. Road network has no significant influence on keke NAPEP operation.
4. There is no significant relationship between traffic and profitability.
1.4 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
The issue of poverty among the Nigeria population is a very important one. It significant reduction is a task that the past and present government have continue to address by coming up with different programmes and strategies. One of such programmes is KEKE NAPEP which was introduced more than 10 years. This study is necessary in order to know the programme has performed in term of poverty alleviation. The findings of this study are expected to determine the achievement or problem(s) being encountered by the programme in the study area in order to come up with appropriate solution.
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of KEKE NAPEP as poverty alleviation strategy in Uyo Local Government Area of Lagos State. The specific objectives are:
(i) To determine if there is improvement in the economic well-being of the operators in the study area or not.
(ii) To determine the suitability of working environment for KEKE NAPEP in the study area.
(iii) To determine whether the average revenue of operators is influenced by the period of operation or not.
(iv) To identify the various costs incurred by the operators in the study area.