The Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria


  1. Background to the Study

This study attempt to examine the impact of the Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria using with a case study of Ado-Odo Ota, local government area, Ogun state, Nigeria. The issue of poverty in Nigeria has remained a major threat to the nation’s social, political and economic development.

Every nation whether it is developed or less developed country contains elements that are poor. Nigeria has a population of more than 160 million – the largest in Africa – and a fast-growing economy. Despite Nigeria’s plentiful agricultural resources and oil wealth, poverty is widespread in the country and has increased since the late 1990s. Some 70 per cent of Nigerians live on less than US$1.25 a day. Poverty has become a feature of the living conditions and life situation of the vast majority of Nigerians.

According to Babatunde et al (2008), Poverty has been viewed to be a global phenomenon but the level of this dilemma in developing countries has gotten to an alarming proportion. Internationally, about 1.2 billion people are living in extreme poverty less than one dollar per day and therefore due to the high predominance of poverty, reducing it has been of grave concern to many countries in the past few decades. Though, there have been a lot of improvements in the developed world, such cannot be said of developing ones especially in the Sub-Sahara Africa where poverty is prevalent due to many factors such as corruption, mismanagement of resources, poor programme implementation, poor governance and political instability, poor economic management and lack of purposive leadership.

According to Ukpong (1996), (cited in Obadan, 1996) explained that poverty has earned identification in the extent of its ravaging society and the affairs of humanity at the international, national and local levels. The need exists now for urgent actions towards its reduction and control. Therefore, poverty is a snare and it is dehumanizing. In other words, judging from what Ukpong explained poverty to be, it will be ideal if poverty can be eradicated.

According to Anyanwu (1997), Poverty has become a major cause of concern to academic, analysts, governmental, non-governmental organizations and international agencies. Poverty is multidimensional; it includes various alienations and deprivations such as: lack of human capabilities, poor life expectancy, poor maternal health, illiteracy, poor nutritional levels, poor access to safe drinking water and perceptions of well-being However, the (World Bank Report, 1999), has described that issues in Poverty now include: physiological and social deprivations, vulnerability, inequality, violation of basic human rights. (Zupi, 2007), also added that the observable disadvantage in relation to the local community or the wider society or nation to which a deprived individual, family, household or group belongs is an issue in poverty.

In an attempt to salvage the situation, in September 2000, 189 World leaders millennium summit and committed themselves and their countries to 8 goals known as The Millennium Development goals (MDG’s) aimed at meeting the needs of the World’s poorest people. The Millennium Development goals have been regarded as the universal remedy of issues of underdevelopment. These goals were created under the leadership of Ban Ki-Moon (the Secretary General of the United Nations) through the UN to tackle issues seen to be holding back developing nations. It was adopted by 189 countries and signed by 174 heads of state and government. (UNDP, 2005)

Ban Ki-Moon (2009), laid more emphasis on this in his report entitled, “A road map towards the implementation of the United Nations Millennium Declaration”. In the words of Ban Ki-Moon,

The world leaders set far sighted goals to free a major portion of humanity from the shackles of extreme poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease. They established targets for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women, environmental stability and a global partnership for development. In short, they adopted a blue print for a better world and pledged to spare no effort in fulfilling that vision (Ki-Moon, 2009).

The MDG’s are listed plans by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) committee on how the underdeveloped or developing countries can enhance their level of development in different socio-economic areas.

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The MDG’s are:

  • Goal 1- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Goal 2- Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Goal 3- Achieve a Universal primary education
  • Goal 4- Reduce child mortality
  • Goal 5-Improve Maternal Health
  • Goal 6-Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Goal 7-Ensure environmental stability
  • Goal 8- Develop a global partnership

The first goal of the United Nations Millennium development Goals is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger with Target 1 being to halve, between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 per day: and Target 2 being to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger (Sachs, 2005:72)

Since, poverty as the number 1 goal of the MDG’s shows an alarm in both national and the global world. According to Yinka (2003), the UN Development Programme Human development report scored the Nigerian government low on its efforts to combat poverty and pursue meaningful growth in the human development index. The report states Nigeria is among fifty countries with the lowest human development index and the 54th among 94 other developing countries where human income poverty level remains the highest.

Odeyale (2005) explained that in Nigeria, about 36% or 44.3 million of the total 160 million populations are found in the major cities. The rapid growth of the Nigerians cities is characterized by ever increasing population (due to rural urban migration) over stressed infrastructure (such as dilapidated roads, frequent power outage, poor water supply), sub-standard living condition (in ghettos, slum and over-crowded houses), high crime rate. Put differently, it can be described that the growth of population in Nigeria is always on the increase and the availability of defaulted infrastructures and low standard of living which in turn lead to low crime rate. To this end, this study becomes inevitable so as to access the impact of millennium development goals to poverty reduction in Nigeria.

  1. Statement of the Problem

Different scholars have argued about the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 particularly in Nigeria. While some scholars have argued that it can be achieved before the set target date of 2015, some have argued against the possibility of its achievement.

The Millennium Development Goals were goals structured and formulated by the United Nations in the year 2000 to help bridge the gap between the Global North and the Global South. These goals however, were supposed to be of a positive influence to the less developed countries especially in the area of eradicating poverty.

However, it has been observed that some of the developing countries are still lagging behind especially in the area of poverty reduction; Nigeria has been observed to be a country of plenty yet is still beset with the problem of poverty. What therefore can be said of other underdeveloped countries in Africa?

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is of the view that the Millennium Development Goals embody basic human rights such as the right of each person to health, education, shelter and security. The Goals are ambitious but feasible and jointly with the comprehensive United Nation development agenda set the course for the world’s effort to alleviate poverty by 2015. According to Ban Ki-Moon (2009), the Millennium Development Goals would bring about a change and to a large extent, a real difference in the lives of people. With strong Leadership and accountability; this progress can be expanded in most of the world’s countries by the target date of 2015.

However, some scholars are not in agreement to the view of Ki-Moon that the MDG’s would bring about a change in the lives of people. According to Deneulin and Shahani (2009) argued that the Millennium Development Goals lack a focus on local participation and empowerment (Excluding women empowerment). The Millennium Development Goals also lack an emphasis on sustainability, making their future after 2015 questionable. Thus, while the MDGs are a tool for tracking progress toward basic poverty reduction and provide a very basic policy road map to achieving these goals, they however do not capture all the elements needed to achieve the ideals set out in the Millennium Declaration.

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The inability to reach a valid conclusion as to the actualization of the Millennium goals by 2015 has resulted to the Millennium development Goals remaining a problem.

Therefore the essence of the Millennium Development Goals comes into play in the context of Nigeria in the sense over 53.6% million Nigerians which is nearly 45% of the total population go to bed hungry every night, around 70% of the total 160 million citizens live below the globally acceptable survival line of $1 Dollar which is equivalent to 160naira per day. Also, over 5million of our youths are not employed, therefore Nigeria according to the National Poverty Eradication Programme (2003) is quoted to be among the poorest country in the world.

Therefore, this study seeks to examine the progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria, how far the Nigerian government have gone for the realization of these goals, and how the Nigerian Government and the society at large intend on making the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria, a reality by 2015.

  1. Research Questions

The research seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What is the impact of Millennium Development Goals in poverty reduction in Nigeria?
  • Can it be agreed upon that Extreme Poverty and Hunger in the Nigerian state would minimized by 2015?
  • What can be done for Millennium Development Goals to influence the Poverty reduction in Nigeria?
  1. Objectives of the Study
  • To examine the impact of Millennium Development Goals in poverty reduction in Nigeria.
  • To evaluate if the extreme poverty and hunger rate in Nigeria can be minimized by 2015.
  • To examine the role of Millennium Development Goals in poverty reduction in Nigeria.
  1. Research Hypotheses

The Hypothesis to be used for this study would be drawn from the objective of this study. There are:

H: Millennium Development Goals has not impacted in poverty in Nigeria.

H1: Millennium Development Goals has impacted in poverty in Nigeria

H: The extreme hunger and poverty in the Nigerian state cannot be minimized by 2015.

H2:. The extreme hunger and poverty in the Nigerian state can be by 2015.

H: Millennium development goals has not influenced Poverty reduction in Nigeria

H3: Millennium development goals has influenced Poverty reduction in Nigeria

  1. Significance of the Study

Over the years, this study has been examined by various scholars. The study of the Millennium Development Goals has remained of great importance as it addresses issues on development which Nigeria needs at this very time. The issues of poverty and the bid to alleviate it has been a key issue which governments have attempted to deal with. This attempt has manifested in the various past poverty reduction programmes carried out by the government all aimed at improving the quality of the lives of the populace.

The essence of this study is to expose the rate of poverty reduction since its inception of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. This study will bring forward the various methods or means that the government has embarked on towards the achievement of Poverty reduction especially in Ado-odo ota local government area, Ogun state, Nigeria as a case study, and the impact of millennium development goals in poverty reduction in Nigeria in particular.

The importance of this work is to view how poverty reduction can be achieved alongside United Nations Millennium development Goals in Nigeria and the impact of the government towards poverty reduction. And also study at the possibility of the attainment of this goal by 2015 with the use of relevant structures.

This study will form a secondary data to other researchers who will research in this area.

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1.7 Scope of the study

This study examines Millennium Development Goals and Poverty Reduction with particular reference to Ado-odo local government area in Nigeria will be used as a case study. The period covered for this study will be from 2000-2015. This time duration becomes necessary since Millennium Development Goals was formulated in 2000 and to elapse in 2015. It should be noted that 2015 is just some months away. This study also focuses on the possibility of attaining the Poverty Eradication goal by 2015.

  1. Research Methodology

This segment would discuss the methods to be used in this study. Research methodology can be described as a path through which the objectives of the study can becomes actualized

  1. Source of Data

The study would engage both primary and secondary sources of data. By primary data sources, required data and information will be collected directly through interviews with Academicians and Government officials in different fields of study in Ado-Odo, Ota Local Government Area, Ogun state. Questionnaires will also be administered to a wider range for information to be extracted from the general public.

Secondary sources of data refers to the information gathered from already published or unpublished materials such as magazines, journal articles, newspapers, internet and online materials, lecture notes, conference materials, relevant books and other materials relevant to the subject matter. Secondary sources of data will be employed in this study.

  1. Population of the Study

The population to be used for this study would include non-governmental bodies, political actors, academicians, and the society at large. The reason for this population range is not only because of their level of knowledge, but also for their importance as key players in the political system.

  1. Sample Size

A total of 100 questionnaires would be administered during the course of this research. A sum of 5 persons will also be interviewed for vital information to the study.

  1. Instrument of data Collection

The conduct of direct interviews and the use of questionnaires will be designed as research instrument to collect data on how the Millennium Development Goals have helped attainment of Poverty Reduction in Nigeria.

Both Quantitative and Qualitative research methods would be applied.

  1. Data Analysis Technique

The analysis technique used in this study would be Correlation/Regression Analysis. This analysis would be engaged to study the relationship between the variables used in this research work.

  1. Outline Of The Study

Chapter One introduces the topic and the MDG’s itself by providing a background to the study. It clarifies the concept of development and how important it is to the nation.

It goes on to the statement of problem, the objectives of the study, questions the research seeks to answer, methodology of the study, research significance and hypotheses, and the scope and limitations of the study.

Chapter Two covers the review of literatures relevant to this research and the theoretical framework that best explains the subject matter of this study. This includes the conceptualization of key terms, and the theoretical framework which provides a better grasp of the relationship between the millennium development goals and poverty reduction in Nigeria

Chapter Three is an overview and assessment of the millennium development goals and poverty reduction in Nigeria. This chapter also examines the causes of Poverty in Nigeria.

It moves on to examining the various poverty reduction programmes and policies, the challenges faced in the achievement of these programmes and the current problems of Poverty and hunger in Nigeria.

It also outlined the roles of the Nigerian government and the Ogun state Government in attaining poverty reduction in Nigeria; it also would examine the various poverty reduction programmes carried out by the Ogun state Government from 1999 to 2015.

Chapter Four is the presentation of data, analysis and interpretation. Data gotten from the field work through interviews and questionnaires will be analyzed using secondary data to support the data analysis.

Chapter five summarizes the work, makes recommendations and concludes the study.


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