EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL PROTECTION PROGRAMME AS AN IMPERATIVE STRATEGY FOR ALLEVIATING POVERTY IN NIGERIA
Keywords:Poverty, Per Capita Income, Unemployment, Social Protection Program, Nigeria
The study examined social protection programme as an imperative for alleviating poverty in Nigeria between 2010 and 2021. Nigerian government adopted the national social protection policy among others to addresses poverty, unemployment, social and economic vulnerabilities, inequality, exclusion and other threats to sustainable development. The social protection policy is an umbrella policy framework that incorporates related social agenda paradigms intended to reduce poverty and provide a life of dignity for all citizens. Sadly, since the adoption of the policy in 2016 and a significant increase in social protection budget from N261.65 billion in 2010 to N1.26 trillion 2021, more Nigerians have been plunged into poverty and the number increases daily. Therefore, this study investigates the impact of government expenditure on social protection programmes in alleviating poverty using the method of unit root and descriptive statistic test to carry out the diagnostics analysis, and ordinary least square (OLS) method on annual data on government expenditure on social protection programmes and per capita income (Poverty), which was generated from Federal Ministry of Finance and World Development Indicator. The finding revealed that government expenditure on social protection programme has positive and statistically insignificant relationship with per capita income (poverty) in Nigeria during the period under review. Therefore, the study concludes that there is need to transform the social protection programmes in terms of wider coverage without segregating its structures to brighten the prospects of the programmes in alleviating poverty. The study recommended that for social protection programmes to be considered plausible in alleviating poverty, the entire population, including formal and informal workers, should be protected from different risks along the life cycle such as chronic poverty, climate change, and insecurity among others. Furthermore, programme design and implementation should be suitable to meet the special needs of persons with different characteristics, circumstances, and vulnerabilities.
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