Palliatives: LG autonomy necessary to implement poverty alleviation schemes- Don

An Associate Professor of Political Science at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Ekpo Barnabas, has said that palliatives to ease poverty in Nigeria can only get implemented at the grassroots level through the autonomy or democratisation of Local Government Authorities.

Ekpo noted that only officials at the local governments understand the positions of individuals in the rural areas and hence would be able to help them. He also urged the government to adopt measures whereby ecological funds will not be diverted but channelled to the right causes through operational transparency.

Ekpo who spoke at a book review titled, “The Face of Poverty in Nigeria” which was published by the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and Yusuf Bala institute at the University of Abuja according to his presentations which were obtained by our correspondent on Saturday in Abuja further noted that the adoption of conditionalities by the International Monetary Fund has not improved the living conditions of Nigerians.

He said, “To have a good grasp of the level of poverty in Nigeria, it has to be discussed in the context of the structure of the Nigerian economy, its characteristics and dynamics.

“Most of the issues that Nigeria is grabbling with today especially from the economy front are issues that were identified in Bala Usman’s book titled, Nigeria Against the IMF: The Home Market Strategy, published in 1986 over 30 years ago and the impending ecomomic doom before Nigeria.

“The adoption of the conditionalities of IMF by Nigeria has not improved the lives of most of the Nigerian people. This is premised on the standpoint that in 2022, Nigeria is almost at the bottom of the World Bank poverty index despite the massive natural resources and the ingenuity of Nigerians.

“A cursory look at the living conditions of Nigerians shows that most aspects of the Nigerian life have gone from bad to worst.”

Speaking on the role of local government authorities in poverty alleviation in the rural areas, the academic said, “To alleviate poverty in the rural areas, there should be democratisation of local government institutions. It important because local government institutions are in the best position to carryout policies that directly affect the rural people.”

Also, speaking on the topic, another lecturer from the NDA, Dr. Olajumoke Ganiyat, noted that academics in the country have continued to research and chronicle the impact of government policies in the allevation of poverty in the country.

“In the last four decades, efforts have been made by scholars in the field of economics political science and even beyond, to chronicle the challenge of poverty and numerous government programmes and strategies adopted to alleviate this social pathogen, one concludes that there is no dearth of brilliant work that present in a non-quantitative and non-econometric approach, the true face of poverty, especially in connection with Nigeria.”

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