Nigeria has experienced strong economic growth over recent decades. However, at the same time, the country has seen extremely high and rapid increases in the poverty rate (doubling in a 20-year period and exacerbated by the recent food, fuel and financial (Triple F) crisis), high inequality and a concurrent threat of instability. These challenges are of significant concern for the country’s development.
Social protection is increasingly being seen by the international community, regional bodies (e.g. the African Union (AU)) and national governments as a policy tool to address such development challenges. Recent regional and global imperatives to invest in social protection argue that social protection policy and programming can support a more equitable pro-poor growth model (especially, as in Nigeria, where strong growth economic is not benefiting the poor) by supporting both economic and social development.
This report examines the current status of social protection policy and programming in Nigeria and finds that it is falling significantly short as a policy response to address the needs of the poor. It then makes a number of policy and programming recommendations for the government and development partners to strengthen the nascent agenda.