The Role of Infrastructure Development on the Alleviation of Poverty in Nigeria ( a Case Study of Umuahia, Abia State)

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 Back ground of study

 Infrastructure, according to Idachaba (1985), consists of physical, social, and institutional capital infrastructures that assist residents in their production, distribution, and consumption activities while also improving the quality of life. There are three types of  infrastructure in Nigeria. Infrastructure refers to the physical, social, and institutional elements of a system. Transportation facilities (roads, footpaths, bridges), storage facilities, processing facilities, flood control, and water resource development facilities are all part of the rural physical infrastructure. Health care, education, and rural utilities are all part of the rural social infrastructure. Cooperative societies, farmer’s unions/groups,self-help institutions,banking institutions, and agricultural extension and training centers are among the institutional infrastructure’s components. It is impossible to overstate the importance of infrastructure in the socioeconomic development of a place. Infrastructure and socio/services will boost economic activity in an otherwise dormant area. This is not unrelated to Bill Gates’ emphasis on health education and opportunity in his remarks at the 2018 National Economic Council meeting in Abuja on March 22, 2018, when he said: “But growth is not inevitable. Nigeria has unrivaled economic potential, but how that potential is realized is dependent on the decisions made by Nigerian authorities. The most essential decision you (as Nigerian leaders) can make is to make the best use of your most valuable resource: the Nigerian people. Nigeria will prosper when every Nigerian has the opportunity to prosper. If you invest in their health, education, and opportunities — the human capital we’re discussing today – you’ll be laying the groundwork for long-term prosperity. If you don’t, however, it’s critical to acknowledge that the country’s growth potential would be severely limited. ” For Nigeria to achieve a realistic lift out of poverty, the government and business sector must invest in human capital. Farmers, for example, require transportation services to facilitate the marketing of their farm products. If these services are insufficient, farmers may incur revenue losses. Infrastructure has a close association with rural industrialization as well. To facilitate the movement of raw materials and finished products, industrial firms require good roads. They require a constant supply of electricity to power the equipment as well as access to water for processing. Workers in remote areas must have access to health care and educational opportunities. As a side effect, the lack of  infrastructure acts as a “push factor” for migration, resulting indepopulation. (Olujimi, 2011). Apart from the vital function that infrastructure plays in the population’s economic life, it also plays a critical role in maximizing people’s social welfare. This emphasizes the importance of long-term infrastructure development in Nigeria as a foundation for socioeconomic growth and poverty alleviation.

 

 1.2 Statement of problem

 Poverty is a visible issue since a poor individual may be recognized at a glance. The impoverished have a strong tendency to consume and a weak propensity to save, and low savings lead to low investment capacity, which leads to low returns. In the sense that they lack meaningful “employment,” such as education, which should have adequately prepared them to be skilled in whatever calling they may find in the rural economy. Because the bulk of them are involved in unscientifically performed agriculture, which results in low output, their involvement is deemed “inimical.” The system is “inimical” both to his existence as a man and to his environment, which is viewed as his most valuable asset, due to improper agricultural practices (Arvnil 1986, Olujimi 2001) The majority of Nigeria’sstate lack important rural infrastructure such as motorable roads,health facilities, better water supply schemes, banking facilities, agricultural storage facilities, and educational facilities, among other things. For example, due to inadequate and impassable roads, most agricultural outputs could not be transported to metropolitan regions where comparable prices could be provided, reducing their income. The haphazard pricing system is the result of the restricted marketing opportunities provided by some areas’ inaccessibility to most buyers.

1.2 Objective of study

 The following are primary objectives of this study:

  1. To assess the role of infrastructural development on poverty
  2. To investigate how infrastructure can be used in alleviating poverty in Umuahia
  3. To investigate the efforts made by the government in the improvement of the quality of life of people living in poverty in Umuahia

1.3 Research questions

  1. What is the role of infrastructure development on poverty?
  2. How can infrastructure be used in alleviating poverty in Umuahia?
  3. What are the efforts made by the government in the improvement of the quality of people living in poverty in Umuahia?

 

1.4 Significance of study

Development plans must be articulated, and a more sustainable and formidable program must be developed that caters to all of the rural people’s requirements. This program should be really established, and governments at all levels should be active in its operationalization and implementation in order to improve the rural people’s standard of living. The Directorate of Food, Roads, and Rural Infrastructure (DIFRRI) of 1986 was the only one of Nigeria’s poverty alleviation programs that was actually established to address the problem of infrastructural development. Despite the significant financial expenditure, it did not achieve much success. Any new program must recognize DIFRRI’s shortcomings and establish a stronger agenda for road building and rehabilitation, water, electricity, health and educational facilities, and industrial growth.

 

1.5 Scope of study

 This study focuses on assessing the influence ofinfrastructural development on poverty. Also, investigate how infrastructure can be used in alleviating poverty. Lastly, to investigate the efforts made by the government in the improvement of the quality of life of people living in poverty. This study will be limited to residents of Umuahia, Abia state.

 

1.6 Limitation of study

Availability of materials, finance and time constraints to combine research work and academic work were major challenges the researcher encountered during this research.

 

1.7 Definition of terms

 

Poverty alleviation: Poverty alleviation aims to improve the quality of life for those people currently living in poverty.

 

Infrastructure development: This is the construction and improvement of foundational  services with the goal of sparking economic growth and improvement of quality of life.

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