EXERCISING DEMOCRACY IN POLICY MAKING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL POVERTY REDUCTION PROGRAMME (NAPEP) IN NIGERIA

Ibrahim Abbas Ali, Babagana Abdulkarim, Garba Wakili Sani, Mali Bukar Hadiza

Abstract


The issue of poverty reduction policy agenda setting and implementation in Nigeria has been a tumultuous one. This paper investigates the relation between democracy and poverty reduction in Nigeria through the prisms of National Poverty Reduction Programme (NAPEP), the nation’s poverty reduction coordinating body. The paper utilised 245 questionnaires to solicit responses of respondents and analysed the data using SPSS as a research instrument. From NAPEP’s policy agenda setting up to its implementation stage, the paper reveals that democracy and its key principles have not been institutionalised and practiced by the body. It further shows that most NAPEP’s policies and programmes are deliberate policy choices based on poor consultations, poor targeting and implementation, duplication of government’s efforts, policy inconsistencies and under representation of women. Moreover, since NAPEP lacks appropriate information and representation it is the case, perhaps, that those hoisting the banner of poverty reduction policies in Nigeria care less about the lack of exercising democracy and its broader implications and consequences on sustainable poverty reduction. As the paper delineates the gap between the principles and practice of democracy in poverty reduction efforts, it is advanced that unless democracy and its principles are institutionalised and practiced in poverty reduction efforts of NAPEP like previous programmes, it will continue to remain a mirage in the eyes of the poor as there is currently a lack of involvement of the poor in such policy frameworks. The paper thus recommends amongst others that for Nigeria to achieve sustainable poverty reduction, it requires the positive collaboration and partnership of all concern which must be seen as a public challenge to effectively tackle poverty.

Keywords


Democracy, Poverty, Policy Making, Policy Implementation, and NAPEP

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