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Despite great natural wealth, Nigeria is poor and social development is limited. The country is plagued with two major social problems; poverty and unemployment. About two thirds of the Nigerian people are poor, despite living in a country with vast potential wealth. Although revenues from crude oil have, been increasing over the past decades, Nigerians have been falling deeper into poverty. In 1980, an estimated 27 percent of Nigerians lived in poverty. By 1999, about 70 percent of the population had income of less than US$ 1 a day and the proportion had raised tremendously by the late 2000s (CBN, 2009:26). This shows the level of poverty and extent of deprivation suffered by vulnerable groups in both rural and urban communities in Nigeria over the years. A survey conducted by the National Manpower Board in 2004 found that there had been consistent rise in the level of unemployment since 1986. The survey showed that about 13 percent of Nigerians were unemployed in 1986 and by 1996; it had risen to 37 percent. It was estimated that the level have increased up to 41 percent in 2004 (NDE, 2006:8) Although unemployment is seen merely as one of the very many dimensions of poverty, it is a very critical one in actual fact once unemployment is properly addressed, some of the other dimensions of poverty disappear. Poverty and unemployment are twin problems that have constituted the national challenge of all time (Obasanjo, 2005:3). Past governments in Nigeria, instead of focusing on providing essential public services that would help address poverty and unemployment, assumed control of major sources of national income. In the process, corruption thrived in public service and gained a strong foothold in the society with the privileged getting richer while the underprivileged get worse off. Thus, inequality gap stretches. In the light of this scenario, the government has initiated several programmes and projects to tackle these problems. In 2005, the federal government formulated a policy to address the problems of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria. This is known as National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS). NEEDS Focuses on four key strategies reorienting values, reducing poverty, crating wealth and generating employment (Orsonya, 2005:2 1) It is based on the notion that these goals can be achieved only by creating an environment in which business can thrive, government is redirected to providing basic services, and people are empowered to take advantage of the new livelihood opportunities the plan would stimulate (Ekaite, 2005:19). NEEDS is about the Nigerian people. Their welfare, health, employment, education, political power, physical security and empowerment are of paramount importance in realizing this vision of the future. To reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment, the plan proposes acting on several fronts offering farmers improved irrigation, machinery and crop varieties to boost agricultural productivity and tackle poverty head on, improve education and health care delivery system, replace the old pension scheme, improve infrastructural development, promote small and medium-term agricultural and industrial enterprises and implement an integrated rural development programme (Ugbaja, 2005:19). By allowing the private sector to thrive, NEEDS would create opportunities for employment and wealth creation. Each state government has developed a state economic empowerment and development strategy (seeds). Local governments have also been encouraged to develop similar development programmes which would complement NEEDS and SEEDS. Despite huge resources committed to implementation of NEEDS, not much impact has been made on poverty and unemployment situation in Nigeria indicating that the programme implementation has been faculty. The persistent rise in poverty and unemployment’s has continued to give concern to the government and well meaning Nigerians thereby calling for reengineering of NEEDS. Against this back ground, there fore, this study is set to examine how NEEDS can be re-engineered with for effectiveness.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages79 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
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