Poverty alleviation with economic growth strategy: Prospects and challenges in contemporary Nigeria

  • S.I. Oladeji
  • A.G. Abiola


There has been a high and growing incidence of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa in the last two decades or so. Over time what can be discerned in the various approaches to poverty alleviation in these countries is that they are determined largely by making a choice between growth-promoting policies and poverty-focused strategies. The reality, however, is that the two approaches are not, after all mutually exclusive: they are complementary to the extent that the former serve only as a long-term solution while the latter constitute an immediate and direct shot at the poverty itself.

This paper deliberates on the rationality of adopting the so-called “poverty alleviation with economic growth” strategy. The strategy brings to the fore the necessity of tackling poverty through a broadly-based growth process with an explicit orientation to employment generation, supplemented by massive investments in human capital of the poor. The prospects and challenges of this strategy in the context of the Nigerian situation are articulated and the conclusion of the paper is that poverty alleviation in contemporary Nigeria requires both economic policy and educational reforms. To enhance the human capital of the poor in particular, the priorities for educational reforms should be in the areas of basic education, vocational education and training.

Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol 15 No 2 2000, pp. 33-54

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eISSN: 1012-1080