Economic Development Challenges

Meaning of Economic Development Challenges
Economic development challenges refer to challenges which the economy  experience that tends to draw back the growth and development of the country.

Such challenges have greatly affected the Nigerian economy in a great way that if they are not checked might make the economy to be stagnant and undeveloped.

Examples of such economic development challenges are poverty, debt burden and debt relief, HIV/AID eradication, power and energy supply, resource control and corruption.

Poverty
Poverty means a lack of material possessions belonging to a person.
Poverty has been determined by World Bank as having an income of less than N2 per day.

However, poverty can also be measured in terms of material goods. In terms of material goods, poverty often equates to a lack of some of the most basic and important material goods such as shelter, clothing, gender equality, health facilities, education, jobs and increases in diseases and sickness.

Effects of Poverty 
Poverty can lead a person to experience the following properties of poverty. Some of the properties of poverty include:

(1) Hunger
(2) Malnutrition
(3) HIV/AIDS
(4) Malaria
(5) Lack of sanitation and water
(6) Gender inequality
(7) Poor health care
(8) Low education
(9) Unemployment
(10) Low level of infrastructure e.g. transport, utilities, energy arid finance
(11) Poor maternal and Child health
(12) Low environmental care
(13) Low life expectancy

Methods of Poverty Alleviation
The idea of solution for poverty is to find solutions where the poor can work their own way out of poverty. Some of the solutions are:

  1. Applying appropriate combinations of mineral fertilizers, using green manures to improve soil fertility, planting fertilizer trees, returning crop residues to the soil, using improved measures of soil erosion control and water conversation and using nitrogen fixing seeds can improve soil health which can improve faming productivity.

This leads to more nutritious food in farmers’ markets which leads to more mothers and children who are nutritious which leads to better health, meaning more employment, more income per capita and more to invest in farming.

  1. Improved water, sanitation, feeder and main roads, alternative energy sources such as kerosene and LPG for cooking, rural electrification all empower women by allowing them to spend less time doing basic chores such as fetching wood and water.

Improved gender equality does a whole host of things such as increases women’s chances of jobs which leads to more gender equality which may lead to women having the power to create better water, sanitation and energy sources at home.

  1. Encourages children to be educated at school, and encourages mothers to help them with education such as teaching them how to read. Encourages improved nutrition as mothers are able to take control in deciding how to feed children.
  2. Nutritious school meals, farming improvements, clean water sanitation, hygiene education and nutrition education can all lead to improved nutrition. Improved nutrition leads to improved health in general and accounts for maybe 50% of all illness worldwide. People who are healthier are able to work for longer hours.

Agencies Responsible For Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria

NAPEP: National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) is a 2001 program by the Nigerian government aimed at poverty reduction, in particular, reduction of absolute poverty.

It was designed to replace the Poverty Alleviation Program. NAPEP and NAPEC coordinate and oversee various other institutions, including ministries, and develop plans and guidelines for them to follow with regards to poverty reduction. NAPEP goals include training youths in vocational trades, to support internship, to support micro-credit, create employment in the automobile industry, and help VVF patients.

The program is seen as an improvement over the previous Nigerian government poverty- reduction programmes. According to a 2008 analysis, the program has been able to train 130,000 youths and engaged 216,000 persons, but most of the beneficiaries were non-poor.

In a bid to overcome poverty in Nigeria, government has initiated different policies and structural programmes between 1977 till date. These programmes include: Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFFRI), Better Life Programme (BLP), National Directorate of employment (NDE); People’ Bank of Nigeria (PBN); Community Bank (CB); Family Support Programme (FSP); Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP); Poverty Eradication Programme (PEP); National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP); and National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS).

TraderMoni
TraderMoni is a loan programme of the Federal Government, created specifically for petty traders and artisans across Nigeria. It is a part of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme of the Federal Government, being executed by the Bank of Industry. With TraderMoni, you can receive interest-free loans starting from N10,000 and growing all the way to N100,000 as you pay back. You get N10,000 as the first loan. When you pay back the first loan, you immediately qualify for a second loan of N15,000. After payback of the second loan, you qualify for a N20,000 loan, and then N50,000, and then N100,000. With TraderMoni, the Federal Government wants to change your level by providing continuous loans for your petty business, making each loan bigger to enable you to grow..

Their aims are to meliorate the suffering of the people by providing them employment opportunities and access to credit facilities to enable them establish their own businesses.

Some Economic Development Challenges In Nigeria
(1) Debt burden and debt relief: Debt burden refers to the massive accumulation of huge debts by the country. Local government, state and federal executive borrow money and refuse to pay back. This practice will never allow the economy to grow. Such loans in most cases, if not pay back will lead to accumulation of interest which in most cases are always difficult to pay. This will definitely, lead to low economic growth. Debt burden can only be removed or cancelled by developed countries through what is referred to as debt relief.

(2) HIV/AIDS and the Economy: HIV/ AIDS have become a major treat to economy. This disease has cause a lot of problem to the economy. That the disease is not curable is more worrisome. The disease is more common with the youths who should form the greater percentage of the working population. Under this situation the economy will suffer as it will lead to low productivity and slow down the growth and development of the nation.

(3) Power and Energy supply: The power and energy supply with particular reference to electricity is a big problem to the economic growth of a nation. Power supply to the economy for productivity is grossly in adequate to ensure rapid economic development.

(4) Corruption: Corruption is the usage of acquired power in a dishonest or illegal way to acquiring wealth that belong to a person, state or government in Nigeria, corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of the society. Money meant for the development of the Nation is shared by few individuals in power. This practise leads to poor economic development of the country.

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