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1.1   Background to the Study:

The issue of poverty reduction has been at the centre of global policymaking. The drive to alleviate extreme poverty in developing countries has become more urgent, given the need to attain the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs) by 2015. Poverty alleviation, being the first of the eight goals, becomes crucial, since more than one billion people live on less than US$1 per day (UN, 2002).

The World Bank (2000) asserts that poverty is a multidimensional concept involving the lack of social and cultural, as well as economic, means necessary to procure a minimum level of nutrition, to participate in the everyday life of society, and to ensure economic and social reproduction. Though a substantial proportion of the world’s poor occupy rural areas, available evidence indicates that the proportion of the poor in urban areas has been increasing at a rapid rate due to urbanization (Ravallion, 2007).

Nigeria being Africa’s most populous country, its estimated population in 2005 was approximately 132 million, and has become an increasingly urbanized society. With the diversification from an agrarian to a petroleum-based economy in the 1970s, increased gravitation of people to towns and cities has been witnessed and the rate of urban population growth has exceeded overall population growth in Nigeria (DFID, 2004). Given this migration trend, development authorities have advocated articulate public policy as a panacea to rural-urban drift which is majorly caused by poverty.

Poverty is a social problem in which a country is faced with cultural, social, political, economic and environmental deprivations. In other words, it is a state of involuntary deprivation to which a person, household, community or nation can be subjected. In recent times, scholars have pointed out that there are reinforcing vicious circles that keep families, regions and countries poor and unable to contribute to national growth (Perry et al., 2006; Okoye and Onyukwu, 2007).

In developing countries like Nigeria, poverty level has been on the increase, the situation has worsened since the late 1990s and can be best described as “inflammable”. It is puts that poverty in Nigeria has reached an alarming level and has been rising steadily not exponentially (Nnamani, 2003). With the awareness of the grave consequences of poverty, successive Nigerian governments have designed and implemented numerous policies like National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP)to tackle the scourge.

1.2   Statement of the Problem:

Presently, poverty situation in Nigeria remains a paradox, at least from two perspectives. Firstly, poverty in Nigeria is a paradox because the poverty level appears as a contradiction considering the country’s immense wealth. Secondly, poverty situation has worsened despite the huge human and material resources that have been devoted to poverty reduction by successive governments in Nigeria with no substantial success achieved from such efforts (Oyeranti and Olayiwola, 2005).

Nevertheless, since poverty remains a development issue, it has continued to capture the attention of both national governments and international development agencies for several decades. Indeed, since the mid–1980s, reducing poverty has become a major policy concern for governments and donor agencies in all poverty–stricken countries, Nigeria inclusive.

However, every effort towards this direction has not yielded the expected results. Researchers gathered that bad governance, corruption, low productivity, unemployment, debt-burden and conflicts are associated to failure of poverty eradication in Nigeria. Others attributed the high level of poverty to macro-economic distortion, globalisation, high population growth rate and poor human resources development. It is generally believed that acute poverty can be reduced or eradicated through effective public policy framework. Hence this study will investigate the Impact of Public Policy making on Poverty Alleviation in Lagos with a special reference to the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP).

1.3   objectives of the study:

The main objective of the study is to examine the impact of public policy making on poverty alleviation in Lagos. While other specific objectives are:

i.            To investigate the impact of public policy making on poverty alleviation in Lagos.

ii.            To determine the impact of public expenditure on poverty reduction in Nigeria.

iii.            To examine the impact of NAPEP on the economic conditions of Lagosians.

iv.            To provide plausible recommendations and way forwards to the problems of public policy making on poverty alleviation in Lagos.

1.4    Research Questions:

This research work shall be guided by the following research questions:

1.  Can there be any impact of public policy making on poverty alleviation in Lagos?

 2.   Is there any effect of public expenditure on poverty reduction in Nigeria?

 3.  Are there any impact of NAPEP on the economic conditions of Lagosians?

4. Can there be recommendations to the challenges of public policy making on poverty           alleviation in Nigeria

1.5    Research Hypotheses:

The following under mentioned hypotheses will be tested in the course of the research study;

Hypotheses 1:

Ho:       There is no significant relationship between public policy making and poverty alleviation  in Lagos.

Hi:       There is a significant relationship between public policy making and poverty alleviation    in Lagos.

Hypotheses 2:

Ho:       There is no significant relationship between public expenditure and poverty reduction in    Nigeria.

Hi:       There is a significant relationship between public expenditure and   poverty reduction in    Nigeria.