POVERTY ALLEVIATION – THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND SMALL scale BUSINESSES
POVERTY ALLEVIATION – THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AND SMALL SCALE BUSINESSES
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Unemployment and poverty were not as rampant in Nigeria two decades after independence as they are now. Huglice and Musselman (1993) found that the agricultural, industrial, and public sectors could absorb the bulk of the labour force.
Poverty, according to Nwakobi (1995), is a global phenomenon that affects nations and people differently; it affects people at different depths and levels at different times and stages of life.
There is no such thing as a country that is fully free of poverty. Third-world countries have the highest rates of poverty and the lowest levels of socioeconomic development. Poverty is defined as a state in which a person is unable to meet basic needs such as food,
clothing, and shelter, is unable to meet social and economic obligations, lacks gainful employment, skills, assets, and has limited access to social and economic infrastructure such as education, health, portable water, and sanitation (Feldman, 1999).
According to several scholars, poverty has various connotations. Some people may find it challenging to define poverty. According to Haiman, as stated in Kure (2002), poverty is defined as the inability to meet fundamental demands necessary for a decent living; those who are labelled poor are typically those whose means are insufficient to meet the basic necessities of life.
Poverty is a vicious cycle that is tough to break free from. This is based on the fact that poor families are more likely to stay poor. Poverty, according to Broom and Longnecker (1992), is defined as the inability to meet basic needs for a fair livelihood. Those classified as impoverished have insufficient resources to meet the bare necessities of life.
Poverty, he believes, has a convoluted cycle that is difficult to break free from. This is because poorer families are more likely to remain poor (Oshagbenius, 1995). They have low income levels, a high risk of similarity, and limited access to education, mobility, information, and training;
in fact, poor parents are unable to provide their children with the opportunities for good health and education that are required to improve their own and their children's futures. As a result, the severe legacy of poverty is passed down from parent to kid and generation to generation.
The poor are typically ignorant, have poor health, and have a short life expectancy; however, with an increase in the number of small scale firms, the level of poverty has been stated to decrease, however this is highly debatable (Oshagbenius, 1995).
A small scale firm in Nigeria is defined as any processing, service, or manufacturing company that invests more than N500,000 in machinery and equipment (Nwakobi,1995).
The importance of Small Scale Enterprises in Nigeria as a country should not be ignored at this critical juncture in the nation's socioeconomic and political progress, particularly if the government is to pay rewards to citizens.
Because of their important role in ensuring diversification and extension of industrial production, as well as the achievement of basic development goals, small scale firms are the driving force behind such industrial growth and economic development.
Small scale enterprises have played a significant role in the development of a country's economic growth as well as poverty reduction through the creation of new jobs and income for the people (Yewande,1991).
SMEs are advantageous not only during times of economic boom, but also during times of economic downturn. Small businesses account for a bigger share of all businesses in practically every country, and they account for the vast bulk of private sector employment and production.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Poverty is the most major hindrance and challenge that individuals confront, especially globally. According to Broom and Longnecker (1992), there were around 2.4 billion people worldwide in poverty in 2014, with an income of USD 2 or less per day, the majority of whom were from developing or undeveloped nations on the African and Asian continents (Feldman, 1999).
The number of persons living in poverty declined considerably between 1991 and 2014. As a result, the reductions are focused primarily in wealthier countries. Poverty has long been a concern in Nigeria, and various administrations have attempted to address it, but with little success.
From post-independence Nigeria to the present, this can be attributed to a range of difficulties, including mismanagement of people and material resources, indiscipline, and a lack of political will on the part of the government.
Instead of solving poverty, our legislators and leaders have used their positions to participate in squandamania, embezzlement, corruption, and money laundering, to the disadvantage of the poor.
Small Scale Enterprises (sme) not only represent the country's primary industrialisation potential and a method to eradicate poverty, but they also contribute considerably to long-term growth in terms of taxation, raw material requirements, job creation, and poverty reduction (Oshagbenius, 1995).
Despite their critical role in the country, small scale firms in Nigeria have a high failure rate due to the presence of large scale commercial organisations that may function as a competitive force to them,
compounding the country's already dismal position. While the benefits of small businesses to growth are widely acknowledged, entrepreneurs in this sector face a number of problems that hamper their long-term survival and development (Nwakobi, 1995).
According to Yewande (1991), the government has developed various policies, enacted several laws, and permitted several initiatives/programs, the bulk of which have not seen the light of day. Despite all of these programmes, the country remains impoverished. What should be done?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to evaluate the roles of government and small companies in poverty alleviation. Other goals of this research include:
To investigate the variables that contribute to poverty
To investigate the effectiveness of small scale enterprises in reducing poverty in Nigeria. iii. To investigate the problems of small scale businesses in Nigeria.
To assess the efficiency of government policies in poverty alleviation.
To learn about the current government programmes aimed at alleviating poverty.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This project will provide answers to the following research questions:
What factors contribute to poverty?
Are small-scale enterprises in Nigeria helpful at alleviating poverty?
iii. What are the challenges of Nigerian small businesses?
Are government initiatives effective in reducing poverty?
What are the current government programmes aimed at alleviating poverty?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be very important to the general public since the findings will explain what poverty is, the causes of poverty, the responsibilities of government and small scale enterprises in poverty alleviation, and the many government programmes to alleviate poverty.
This study will also benefit small enterprises because the findings will emphasise their concerns and attempt to suggest potential solutions to those problems.
Finally, this study will be archived as a resource for future research and reference.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research will concentrate on poverty alleviation: the role of government and small companies. It will also look at the causes of poverty, the role of small businesses and the government in poverty alleviation, and the challenges that small firms face.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research will be limited to poverty alleviation: the involvement of government and small companies. It will also be restricted to the causes of poverty, the impact of small businesses and government on poverty reduction, and the challenges of small businesses.
This study will recruit small company owners in Lokoja LGA of Kogi State as survey participants, and as such, additional research is required if it is to be used elsewhere.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Poverty alleviation: a collection of economic and humanitarian actions aimed at permanently lifting people out of poverty.
Small-scale enterprises are privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships with fewer employees and/or lower yearly revenue than a medium-sized business or corporation.