EFFECT OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (YEP) ON POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN AKWA IBOM STATE, CF Ido, MJ Udokang

Tags: Akwa Ibom State, Poverty Alleviation, Charity F. Ido, Youth Empowerment Programme, respondents, Effect Of Youth Empowerment Programme, JAMB Printing Press, Advancing Social Development, educational qualification, instrument, International Centre for Economic Growth, Poverty Alleviation Strategies, poverty rate, Department of Vocational Education, J. Udokang Department of Vocational Education, poverty line, University of Uyo, NCEMA National Working, youth involvement, Programmes for Social and Human Development
Content: EFFECT OF YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME (YEP) ON POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN AKWA IBOM STATE Charity F. Ido (Ph.D) Department of Vocational Education, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. And Monday J. Udokang Department of Vocational Education, University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. Abstract The paper examined the effect of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) on poverty alleviation in Akwa-Ibom State. Two research questions and one hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. 620 youth constituted the population of the study. 300 youth were sampled using stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected using questionnaire tagged "Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) on poverty alleviation in Akwa Ibom State" Frequencies, percentage and ranking were used to answer research questions while ANOVA was used to test the hypothesis. The findings of the study include that youth are involved in all poverty alleviation programmes in the state with computer maintenance and operation work having the highest number of youth involvement. It was concluded that Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) is a veritable tool for poverty alleviation in Akwa Ibom State. To improve the programmes in the study area, the study recommended among others that the government should provide adequate loan facility with minimal interest rate, establish additional training centers with efficient equipment and facilities to boost the training. The alleviation of poverty is universally accepted as a primary development objective. Poverty is a vicious circle which keeps the poor in a state of destitution. The concept of poverty which reflects its numerous visible attributes is multi-dimensional in nature. Poverty according to (Kankwenda, 2000), (Muller 2002), (Martins, 2004), and 1
Journal of Assertiveness: ISSN: 2276 ­ 9684 (Kwaghe, 2006), is multi-dimensional, because it affects many aspects of the human condition, including physical, moral and psychological. For many societies, poverty is a concrete phenomenon and can easily be identified. It is also relative because the population that may be classified as poor in a developed economy could be regarded as materially well off in least developed countries. Each society as pointed out by (LeBlanc, 2003), defined poverty in its own terms. Conventional, measures of poverty count the number of people below the poverty line and define the poverty rate as the proportion of total population below the poverty line. Poverty, according to him, is therefore, a normative concept and setting the poverty level requires a judgment about social norms. Irrespective of how poverty is defined, the poor have been described as those who could not obtain adequate income, find stable job, own property or maintain healthy condition (Obadan, 2007). They also lack adequate level of education and cannot satisfy their basic needs (Sancho, 2006). The poor are often illiterate, poor in health and have short life span (World Bank, 2005). They have no access to basic necessities of life, they are unable to meet both social and economic obligations, lack skills and gainful employment, fewer economic assets and sometimes lack self esteem (Olayemi, 2005). The poor according to Deng (2005) are those with income below the poverty line, who lack access to basic services, practical contacts and other forms of support. They live in rural areas and the marginal urban zones where essential infrastructure are lacking. The preceding definitions indicate that perceptions about poverty have not only evolved historically but also vary tremendously from culture to culture. The criteria for distinguishing the poor from the non-poor tend to reflect national and societal normative concepts and priorities. And as countries or societies become wealthier, their perceptions of acceptable deprivation change (Kwaghe, 2006). The challenges facing all governments of developing countries like Nigeria is that of alleviating poverty and minimizing the income disparities between the rich and the poor that exist in their respective societies are strong factors that cannot be overemphasized which need quick response to enhance the living standard of the people. Hence, successive governments in Nigeria have demonstrated their commitments to improving the socio-economic wellbeing of the rural and urban poor through various efforts. Perhaps some of the most pragmatic past approaches taken at alleviating poverty in Nigeria included the establishment of some programmes and schemes which have helped in alleviating or reducing poverty. These programmes include: 1. Agricultural development Project (ADP) in 1975; 2. Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) in 1976; 2
Effect Of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) On Poverty Alleviation In Akwa Ibom State- Charity F. Ido (Ph.D) and Monday J. Udokang 3. Agricultural Credit guaranteed Scheme (ACGS) in 1977; 4. National primary health care Agency (NPHCA) in 1989; 5. Family Support Programme (FSP) in 1997. Current efforts at poverty alleviation are numerous, among them are: 1. Universal Basic Education (UBE) in 2000 2. National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in 2001 3. Nigerian Agricultural Development Fund (NADF) 2002 4. National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) in 2003 5. Commodity Marketing and Development Companies (CMDC) 2003 6. Presidential Initiatives on Selected Commodities: Cassava, Rice, Cocoa, Vegetable Oil, Livestock and Fisheries from 1999-2007 7. Amnesty programme by the Federal to stop militancy restiveness in Niger Delta in 2007, among others Akwa Ibom State was among the beneficiary of the World Bank youth empowerment fund. The fund was aimed at developing farming and small-scale industries in all the beneficiary states. According to Ihimodu (2004), empirical records of many of these programmes and projects are not impressive enough to bring about the expected transformation on the livelihood of the targeted population of Nigerian people targeted. Although, the task of alleviating and eradicating poverty is difficult, it is not almost impossible. In the past years, governments of developing countries and the World Bank have focused almost exclusively on agricultural development as the way to reducing rural poverty and achieving sustainable Economic Growth. It is therefore in the light of this that this research work intends to undertake the assessment of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) in Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria. The programme concerned was prepared and packaged as a grass root economic programme particularly for the youths. It is interesting to note that these problems might have contributed to the increasing high rates of school drop-outs in most cities and villages in Nigeria, which became the problem for their immediate society and the government. Even though, successive governments in Nigeria have brought in youth empowerment programmes. Of recent the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), which was aimed at creating a new Nigerian citizen who values hard work and who realizes that one cannot have something for nothing (Needs, 2005). 3
Journal of Assertiveness: ISSN: 2276 ­ 9684 Obadan (2007) reports that most of the Nigerian youths want to have good things in life but are not ready to subject themselves to the world of work. Daniel (2012) in his study investigated the motives for occupational choice among males and females. The result revealed that females expressed expectation for greater intrinsic work enjoyment and fewer financial responsibilities. Males due to their role as breadwinners prefer work with greater financial responsibilities. The introduction of the YEP under the umbrella of NAPEP represents a strategy of alleviating poverty amongst youth through training in vocational jobs and the provision of micro-credit in a sustainable manner as a tool for Self Actualization and employment. Specifically, the study examines the educational level of the youths and their involvement in the empowerment programmes as carried out in the area. Research Questions The following research questions were formulated to guide the study. They are: 1. What is the extent of youth involvement in vocational training of Poverty Alleviation Programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State. 2. What are the Educational Qualifications of youth that participate in Poverty Alleviation Programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State. Hypothesis This hypothesis was raise to guide the study. HO1 There is no significant difference between male and female youth involvement in Poverty Alleviation programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State. Methodology Research Design The survey research design was adopted for this study. It is a design used in gathering large-scale data in order to make generalization. It was found appropriate for the study because the researchers had to gather information relating to the variable of the study in order to test the hypothesis. Population The population for the study consisted of 620 youths who took part in the poverty alleviation programme of the state government in 2013. Sample and Sampling Technique The sample of the study was 300 youths. The stratified sampling technique was used in selecting the youths based on the three senatorial districts (Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket) of the state. 4
Effect Of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) On Poverty Alleviation In Akwa Ibom State- Charity F. Ido (Ph.D) and Monday J. Udokang Instrumentation A structured questionnaire tagged "Youth Empowerment Programme on Poverty alleviation in Akwa Ibom State" was developed by the researchers and used in collecting data for the study. The instrument was made up of two parts "A" and "B". Part A was on demographic variables, items sought information on location, sex and educational qualification. Part B was to elicit information on youth involvement in poverty alleviation programmes. The instrument was submitted to two experts in the department of measurement and evaluation and one expert in the department of vocational education, all in the University of Uyo for validation. The instrument was validated using the face and content validity and pilot tested to determine it reliability using the Pearson moment correlation coefficient analysis. This stood at 0.712. Administration of the Instrument The instrument was administered to the sampled respondents by the researchers. The researchers guided the respondents in their responses and collected back the instrument at the end. Data Analysis Descriptive and inferential statistics, means, frequency counts and percentage were used to answer the research question while Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) statistical tool was used to test the hypothesis of the study at an alpha level of .05. Results Research Question One What is the extent of youth involvement in vocational training of Poverty Alleviation Programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State. 5
Journal of Assertiveness: ISSN: 2276 ­ 9684
Table 1: Frequencies, Percentages and Ranking of Preferred Vocational Training
of Poverty Alleviation Programme
(N-300)
S/No 1 2 3
Vocational training area Computer Maintenance and Operation Work Tailoring Electrical Installation and Maintenance Work
Frequency 70 35 30
% 23.33 11.67 10,00
Rank 1st 2nd 3rd
4
Furniture Making
22
7.33
4th
5
Further Education
20
6
Hair Dresser/Barbing
15
7
Carpentry and Joinery
12
8
Bricklaying and Concrete Work (Mason Work)
10
9
Wood Machining Operation
10
10
Graphics Art (Artist)
10
11
Football Playing
10
12
Catering Services
5
13
Photograph and Video Coverage
5
14
Dyeing and Bleaching
5
15
Office Assistant
5
16
Knitting
5
17
Radio, Television and Appliances Repairs
2
18
Plumbing and Pipe fitting
2
19
Ceramic making
2
20
Book keeping
2
21
Okada (commercial Motorcycling Services)
2
22
VCD Dubbing and Rental Services
2
23
Poultry Farming
2
24
Automotive Trade
2
25
Trading
2
26
Textile trade
1
27
Typing or Data Processing
1
28
Store keeping
1
29
Yoghurt and Ice Cream Making
1
30
Bakery making
1
31
Animal Rearing
1
32
Black marketing
1
33
GSM Telephone Services
1
34
Shoe making
1
35
Blacksmithing
1
36
Horticulture and Gardening Services
1
37
Soap making
1
38
Lotion and Cream making
1
6,67
5th
5.00
6th
4.00
7th
3.33
8th
3.33
8th
3.33
8th
3.33
8th
1.67
9th
1.67
9th
1.67
9th
1.67
9th
1.67
9th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.67
10th
0.33
11th
0.33
11th
0.33
11th
0.33
11th
0.33
11th
0.33
11th
0.33
12th
0.33
12th
0.33
12th
0.33
12th
0.33
12th
0.33
12th
0.33
12th
6
Effect Of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) On Poverty Alleviation In Akwa Ibom State- Charity F. Ido (Ph.D) and Monday J. Udokang Decision: Items with 2.50 and above were regarded as preferred vocation programmes. Hence, items ranked 1st ­ 8th were preferred to items ranked 9th -12th Table 1 showed that youths were involved in all the vocation programme of poverty alleviation in Akwa Ibom State.
Research Question Two What are the educational qualifications of youth that participate in Poverty Alleviation programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State
Table 2: Distribution of Beneficiaries by Educational Qualification N-300
Socio-economic
Frequency
Percentage of total
Variables
Above NCE
80
26.67
NCE
100
33.33
Below NCE
120
40.00
Total
300
100
The majority of the respondents are below NCE holders' representing 40% followed by 33.33% respondents who acquired NCE. Only 26.67% respondents have other education qualifications above the NCE level. It is obvious that most respondents have below NCE level of educational qualifications and ultimately there was considerable level of illiteracy among the respondents.
Hypothesis Ho1 There is no significant difference between male and female youth involvement in Poverty Alleviation Programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State. Table 3: One way Analysis of Variance of the difference between male and female youth involvement in Poverty Alleviation programmes (YEP) in Akwa Ibom State
7
Journal of Assertiveness: ISSN: 2276 ­ 9684
Gender
N
X
Male
170
49.717
Female
130
38.551
Total
300
48.400
SD 2.99 7.38 10.350
Sources of Variance SS
df
MS
Between Group
14443.118
2
7221.56
Within Group
7588.882
297 25.552
Total
320302
299
*Significant at .05 level; df = 2 and 297; Critical F-Value =2.99
F 282.62
Table 3 presents F-value as 282.62. This value was tested for significance by comparing it with the critical F-value at .05 level and degree of freedom 2 and 297. The obtained F-value of 282.62 was greater than F-value of 2.99. Therefore, the null hypothesis was rejected. Hence, gender influences the youth involvement in various vocation programmes of poverty alleviation in Akwa Ibom State.
Discussion of Findings The findings of the study showed that all the vocational programmes in table one has youth participating in them. This finding is in agreement with National Economic Empowerment and Development Programmes aim which is at creating new Nigerian citizen who values hard work and who also realizes that one cannot have something for nothing (NEEDS, 2005). Therefore, youth should be encouraged to participate in vocational training no matter their level of education, so as to alleviate poverty in the study area.
Findings in table two reflects low level of education among the youth in AkwaIbom State and this is also in conformity with the assertion made by Ekpo (2002) that Akwa-Ibom State falls among the educationally disadvantaged states (ELDS) in Nigeria. Obadan (2007) confirmed this by stating that most of Nigerian youth wants to have good things in life but are not ready to subject themselves to the world of work (studying). Sancho also supported this assertion by stating that most youth lack adequate level of education and cannot satisfy their basic needs. The programme is therefore a step in the right direction in poverty alleviation.
The result in table 3 shows that gender has a significant influence on the choice of vocational programme youth participate. This result agrees with Daniel (2012) who stated that males often consider their future breadwinner role in selecting vocational area. The males focus less on possibilities of intrinsic work enjoyment the females. 8
Effect Of Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) On Poverty Alleviation In Akwa Ibom State- Charity F. Ido (Ph.D) and Monday J. Udokang Conclusion Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP) is a veritable tool for poverty alleviation in Akwa Ibom State. The study revealed that most respondents benefited from their involvement in the programme with obvious improvement in their standard of living. It was also concluded that males and females had their difference in chosen a vocation. Recommendations Based on the findings of this study, the following policy measures aimed at reducing poverty are therefore proffered and recommended as follows: The government needs to adopt policies and rearrange priorities in public expenditures which promote efficient economic growth and increase productivity. The government should also make provision of adequate loan facility with minimal interest rate to the youth. Additional training centres should be established in the study area with efficient equipments and facilities to boost the training by the government. Trainers should be well vested and make the programme worthwhile as the need for adequate training and retraining to participants, cannot be overemphasized. Youth should be encouraged by government to participate in vocational programme not minding their level of education and sex. 9
Journal of Assertiveness: ISSN: 2276 ­ 9684 References Morde, D. (2002) Proposal for New Approach to Extension service in Africa: Agricultural Extension in Africa. A World Bank Symposium. Washington D.C. Daniel, J. J. (2012). Motives for occupational good setting among male and female students. Journal of Applied Psychology. 111(7), 42 -45. Deng, L.A. (2005) Poverty Reduction Lessons and Experiences from Sub-Sharan African. Environmental and social policy ESP Policy Working Paper Series 06. African Development Bank. Ihimodu, I.I. (2004) Marketing of agricultural products and the food security Porgramme in Nigeria Rural Sociological Association at LAUTECH, Ogbomosoho, Nigeria, 25-28. Kankwenda, M., Gregoire, L., Legros, H & Ouedraogo, H. (200). Poverty Eradication: Where Stands Africa? UNDP. Economical Limited, London. Ngozi, S. (2006) The evolution of poverty policies by Government; published in News watch, Thursday 5, Oct., 2011, P.5. Kwaghe, P. V. (2006) Poverty profile and its Determinants among Farming Households in Borno State. Nigeria. PhD. Thesis, Department of Agricultural Economics. University of Madiuguri, Borno State, 22-40. LeBlanc, M.; Kuhn, Betesy, K. & Blaylock, J. (2003) Poverty amidst plenty: Food Insecurity in the United States. Paper presented at the 25th International Conference of Agricultural Economists (IAAE), 16-22 August 2003, Durban, South Africa. Muller, C. (2002) Censored Quintile Regressions of Chronic and Transient Seasonal Poverty in Rwanda. Centre for Research in economic development and international trade, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom, 1-25. Martins, S. (2004) Defining Poverty in Nigerian Context: The grassroots Perspective. Paper presented at the North East Zonal Workshop on "Who is poor in Nigeria?" International Hotel, Maiduguri, 1-8. Obadan, M. O. (2007) Analytical Framework for Poverty Reduction: Issues of Economic Growth versus other Strategies. Proceedings of the Nigerian Economic Society's Annual Conference, 1-18. 10
Olayemi, J.K (2005) A Survey of Approaches to Poverty Alleviation. Paper Presented at the NCEMA National Working on Integration of Poverty Alleviation Strategies into Plans and Programmes in Nigeria. NCEMA, Ibadan. 11-16. Sancho, A. (2006) Policies and Programmes for Social and Human Development. Produced for the United Nations World Summit for social development. San Francisco: International Centre for Economic Growth. Ekpo, B. (2002) UME JAMB. JAMB Printing Press, Abjua. World Bank (1995). Advancing Social Development. Washington D.C.: IBRD. 11

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