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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON THE ROLE OF AN ACCOUNTANT IN POVERTY ERADICATION PROGRAMME OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Poverty eradication is one of the most difficult challenges facing any country in developing world where, on the average, majority of the population is considered poor. Evidences in Nigeria shows that the number of those in poverty has continued to increase. For example, the number of those in poverty increased from 27% in 1980 to 46% in 1985 and to 67% in 1996, by 1999 it increased to more than 70% (Baghebo, 2001). Although the Nigeria economic report released in July 2014 by the World Bank put poverty rate at 33.1% for a country with massive wealth and a huge population to support commerce. The report seems inconsistent with reality. Income inequality worsened from 0.43 to 0.49 between 2004 and 2009. The report also shows that, the dept and severity of poverty is more in the rural than in the urban (Baghebo, 2001).
Poverty eradication programmes in Nigeria are means through which the government aims to revamp and reconstruct the economy. The high incidence of poverty in the country has made poverty alleviation strategies important policy options over the years with varying results. Poverty alleviation strategies ranging from Operation Feed the Nation of 1978, the Green revolution of 1982, the directorate of Foods, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (DFRI), the National Directorate for Employment (NDE), Poverty Alleviation Programme (PAP), up to the national poverty eradication Programme, (NAPEP) were all attempts made by various governments in the country to curb the menace of poverty (Aliyu, 2002).
The need to develop micro economic activities that could enhance self-reliance as a strategy for reducing poverty becomes so pronounced that the three arms of government (Federal, state and local government) come up with various initiatives. Among the major problems that have plagued the socio-political and economic life of developing nations are gross unemployment of her learning population and poverty. Among these nations includes our country Nigeria. Poverty is pervasive. About 60% of Nigeria live below the poverty line. Available statistics shows that only fifty percent of the population, have access to safe water. About thirty-eight percent of the population do not have access to primary health care whole most Nigeria, consume less than one third of the minimum required protein and vitamins in-take due to low purchasing power (Aliyu, 2002).
These incidence were compounded by over two decades of political instability, macro-economic, policy inconsistencies low capacity utilization, in industries and the massive turn out of school leavers and graduates by institution of higher learning (Aliyu, 2002).
This is to say that despite these, for three decades after independence, unemployment and poverty, were not a national, state or local concern in Nigeria as it is today.However, on inception of office in May, 1999, the Obasanjo administration tool upon itself the major task of redressing the twin problem of poverty and employment generation therefore, the government with a high sense of commitment earmarked the sum of N100 billion for the creation of 200,000 jobs in the year, Government desire to eradicate poverty was born out of the conviction that the incidence of poverty and unemployment have assumed wider dimension that is socially economically and political unacceptable.. To this end therefore, all hands must be deck including not only the three tiers of government but also professional, bodies and competent individuals among these includes the roles of the accountant (Abiola, 1998).
Poverty is also one of the most serious problems, confronting Nigeria today. It is generally associated, with conditions under which people lives. It is usually defined in either absolute or relative terms. Absolute poverty denotes a condition in which person or group of people are unable to satisfy their most basic and elementary requirement of human survival in terms of good nutrient, clothing shelter, footwear, energy transport, health education and recreation. It is generally believed that absolute poverty can be eradicated and that is the target aimed in this blue print (Abiola, 1998).
Statistical data available indicate that by 1960 the poverty level in Nigeria cover about 15% of the population and by 1980. It grew to twenty eight percent and later increased to forty-three percent in 1992. By 1996 the federal office of statistics estimated the poverty level in Nigeria at about sixty-six percent. According to the united nations report (1999), Nigerians Human development index (H.DI) was only 0.416 which places the country among the twenty-five poorest nation in hoopla. Furthermore, Nigerians literacy rate was forty four percent and seventy percent of the rural population do not have access to potable water, health care facilities and electricity. This national poverty eradication porogrmme (NPTP), provides strategies, for the eradication of absolute poverty in Nigeria, through the streamlining and rationalization, of existing poverty alleviation institutions and coordinated implementation and monitoring or relevant schemes and programmes tall levels as of government (Abiola, 1998).
In view of the fact that poverty in Nigeria is widespread and multi-dimensional the federal government seeks to ensure that all activities and programmes of the line ministries and agencies are effectively co-ordinated. In addition, government also seeks to ensure policy continuity, existence of appropriate institutional, framework and sustainability of all the programmes.
Notwithstanding, government established the national poverty eradication council (NAPEC) to co-ordinate the poverty reduction related activities of all the revelation ministries, Parastatals and agencies. (NEPEC) is mandated to ensure that the wide ranges of activities are centrally planned co-ordinated and complement one so that the objective of policy continuity and sustainability are achieved. NAPEC is aimed at providing for training opportunities, skills acquisition employment opportunities wealth creation through enhanced income generation, improved social status and rural development it is primarily aimed at economically empowering, the youth and shell emphasis capacity acquisition programmes (CAP) and mandatory attachment programme (NAP).
Under the mandatory attachment programmes existing companies, business, construction firms research institutes tertiary institutions, schools and colleges, medical delivery services provides (Hospital, clinics and health centers) whether in public or private sector shall provide skills acquisition, job opportunities to youths and others that have undergone the relevant training.
The accountant performs the accounting function, which involves the process of identifying measuring, recording and communicating the economic event of an organization: (business or non-business government or non-government to interrelate users of information the first part of the process identification involves selecting those events that are considered as evidence of economic activities relevant to a particular entity.