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Alleviating Poverty in Nigeria through the Improvement of the Labour Conditions in the Informal Economy

A Socio-ethical Enquiry


Samuel Rapu

«Just wage and just working conditions have always occupied a central position in Catholic social ethics. The social teaching of the Catholic Church has however preoccupied itself for a long time with the employment relationships in the formal economy. Consequently, the self-employment and the other individual economic activities in the informal economy, highly important in developing countries, have until now not been ethically reflected upon. In this excellent study, the author takes the Nigerian situation as a point of departure from which he offers new opportunities for developing a poverty alleviation strategy that aims, above all, at creating Decent Work opportunities in the informal economy. This is indeed an excellent contribution not only to the further development of the Catholic social ethics for the African context but also to the current efforts in the continent at reducing poverty in a sustainable way.»
Professor Dr. Bernhard Emunds, Frankfurt am Main


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CHAPTER FIVE Poverty Alleviation Strategies in International Discussions


Introduction Through out the history of human development, many programmes have been embarked upon in the fight against poverty. Each programme has sought to reduce the level of poverty either in the entire world or in a country or in a community or amongst a group of people. Just as the design of programmes varied from one another, so also are the focus and the strategies adopted. While some of them aimed at removing social and legal barriers, others focused on economic poverty or facilitating income growth among the poor. Spiritual purification, inculcation of moral uprightness, forced labour, quality social services (education, health etc), and income redistribution are however some other methods adopted over the years in combating the menace of poverty. How the phenomenon of poverty and its causes are understood in any giving epoch in history and in any part in the world have played a crucial role in the formulation of these anti-poverty programmes and in choosing any particular strategy or approach. In the search for a suitable framework or strategy for adapting the work-based guidelines for poverty alleviation offered by the Church through her social teaching, this chapter embarks on a chronological and systematic examination of various efforts that have been made at the international scene towards alleviating poverty. We have chosen a more or less historical approach stretching from the ancient times to the contemporary times. The examination of the various programmes and strategies will be done in three phases: the pre-industrialization era, the industrialization...

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