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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 SIX Previous and Current Poverty Alleviation Efforts in Nigeria


Introduction In the third chapter of this work, we saw that the high incidence of poverty in Nigeria has been as a result of structural failures in the political, social and economic life of the nation which permits only a few to have access to available means of production and to the wealth of the nation. We also saw that the pervasiveness of poverty in the nation is worsened by the high incidence of the informality or rather the existence of a large informal economy and t he failure of the government to improve the labour conditions in this segment of the economy and so be able to tap the huge economic potential in it. Based on these findings, it became obvious that Nigeria is a nation in dire need of a socio-economic reform that will enable its citizens to participate more productively in the creation of more wealth in the nation and by so doing be able, through their labour, to have a fair share of the wealth produced. It was also obvious that what poor households (both in rural and urban areas) lack mostly are adequate returns on their main asset, which is their labour, and what they need is greater and more rewarding employment. The huge decent work deficit in the informal economy where the majority of the people in the nation’s workforce work and earn their living poses also a big challenge to poverty alleviation efforts. This chapter evaluate the past and current strategies, programmes and...

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