Policy discontinuity and poverty in the Nigerian State
Nigeria has undergone several national development plans starting with 1st NDP 1962 – 68, 2nd NDP 1970 – 74, 3rd NDP 1975 – 80, 4th NDP 1981 – 85, SAP 1986 – 1993, Vision 2010 Vision 20-2020, Seven Point Agenda, Transformation Agenda in 2011 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan in 2017 Economic Advisory Council (EAC) 2019. Government is a continuous process there should also be continuity in policies and implementation. Leaders at national, state or local government areas should be nationalistic and selfless in there service to their father land. The problem is that every incoming administration in Nigeria abandon the development plans of their predecessors and embark on their own without first of all completing that of their predecessors. The objective of the study is to find out whether policy discontinuity increases the poverty level in Nigeria. The study found out that discontinuity of policy is a major contributor to increased poverty in Nigeria. We used the Maradun community in Sokoto State of Nigeria as an example of how government policy discontinuity can increase the level poverty among people. Nigeria’s leaders tend to prefer top-bottom development strategy that is outdated. The current trends are Bottom-Up Development Strategy, Community driven Development Strategy or Participatory Development Strategy. When it became obvious that they have failed the masses and poverty level was going out of control they went into partnership with some international organizations which gave rise to Fadama Development Projects 1993 – 2015, Millennium Development Goals 2000 – 2015 and Sustainable Development Goals 2015 – 2030 among others to save Nigerians from malnutrition haven grossly mismanaged Nigerian economy. The paper concluded that the dynamics of poverty are reversible but only in collaboration with the poor themselves. Development is sustainable to the extent to which citizens enjoy environmental protection, economic wellbeing and social equity. It was therefore recommended that there should be continuity in both development policies and implementation from one administration to the other until completion of projects and account rendered. This is irrespective of who started the project. There is need for gender equality and adherence to the principles of rule of law to give rise to strong social institutions where nobody will be above the law.