An assessment of the local empowerment and environmental management programme (LEEMP) for poverty alleviation in Oyo State, Nigeria

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Efforts to liberate the populace, most especially rural communities, from the shackles of poverty, have been ongoing through several approaches since the independent era in Nigeria. The most recent is the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Programme (LEEMP) which is tailored to undertake projects capable of alleviating poverty. This study assessed the LEEMP projects in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State in Nigeria. Data collection methods were through a questionnaire survey and an interview. A random sampling technique was employed to sample 152 residents from the study population of 30,400 and the results were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. A binary logistics regression was used to determine the influence of the LEEMP projects on the socio-economic status of residents. The findings revealed that: LEEMP projects were mostly the initiatives of both the community and LEEMP officials (72%); over 80% of the respondents observed that community involvement was mainly about land provision and the labour force, justifying over 70% active involvement of the community in the project execution and maintenance. Inferentially, the prediction model was able to classify 83% of the cases correctly, indicating that the predictors contribute significantly to prediction power of the logistic regression model (p<0.000). The Pseudo R-Square of Cox & Snell’s R-square (28%) and Nagelkerke’s R (42%) also show that the model was relevant in predicting the influence of the LEEMP projects on the residents’ socio-economic status. However, age (p=0.000), household size (p=0.019), average monthly income (p=0.033), and educational status (p=0.038) predictors best contributed to the model prediction. The study, however, recommended among others, that the LEEMP projects should be extended extensively within the country accompanied by an injection of adequate funding and a project monitoring mechanism for continuous functionality and sustainability.

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