Rural Poverty, Participation and Poverty-Reduction Strategies in Nigeria
Despite Nigeria’s abundant oil, gas and other natural resources, the experience of the majority of its population in rural areas has been, and still is, one of abject poverty. Nigerians remain poor because of the failure of successive governments to manage the country’s enormous wealth effectively. Although poverty is equally widespread in urban areas, poor economic and social policies have aggravated the extent of poverty in rural areas. This article utilises a historical analysis technique to examine the nature of rural poverty in Nigeria and also the failure of the government’s poverty-reduction strategies. Information was sourced from previous studies, reports of government agencies and institutions, the World Bank, and relevant journals articles. The researchers have found that the limited understanding of the nature of poverty, and the failure to engage the rural poor and the wider community in decision-making processes, especially relating to poverty analysis, have been important factors that have contributed to the failure of past poverty-reduction strategies in the country. The researchers come to the conclusion that involving the poor is placing them at the centre of their own development process.