Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria: A Study of Bayelsa State of Nigeria.



Economic growth is one of the surest and most sustainable ways of combating poverty. Cross-country studies on economic growth and poverty reduction indicate that a 1% increase in growth has been associated on average with a 1.5% reduction in poverty. The Asian Development Bank ADB (2004) report stated that there is a great deal of variation how much economic growth has reduced poverty across countries and even within countries over different periods of time. In statistical terms, the report noted that variation in economic growth can explain only around 45 percent (%0 of the variation in poverty reduction. These two stylized facts about growth and poverty linkages that poverty reduction is closely associated with economic growth but that this association is by no means perfect suggests two challenges for policy makers. However poverty remains a development issue, it has continued to capture the attention of both national governments and international development agencies for several decades. Since the mid 1980s, reducing poverty has become a major policy concern for governments and donor agencies in all poverty stricken countries, Nigeria inclusive. Thus, to attain the objective of reducing poverty in Nigeria, the pre-occupation of the government has been the growth of the economy as a pre-requisite for improved welfare. To this effect the government therefore initiated several economic reform measures which include Economic Stabilization measures of 1982, Economic emergency measures in 1985 and structural adjustment programme (SAP) in 1986. Components of SAP include market-determined exchange and interest rates, liberalized financial sector, trade  liberation , commercialization and privatization of a number of enterprises. The study is located in Bayelsa state of Nigeria. The Research design adopted for this study is the cross-sectional survey method. To ensure that the six(6) local government areas were chosen out of the eight local government areas constitute Bayelsa State and their communities and the respondents were truly representative of the population. The stratified random and purposive sampling methods were adopted. The researcher used 200 questionnaires and the questionnaire was the major instrument for the collection of data for this study. The researcher adopted both qualitative and quantitative techniques of data analysis. It is commended that for the package for economic reform to be successful it must be anchored on institutional reform, hence the latter forms a key component of needs. This marks a notable departure from earlier reform efforts.

Keywords: Economic, Growth, Poverty, Reduction, and Bayelsa Sate.

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