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Social policy and social inequality in Nigeria: Examples from four states, using indicators of level of living approach

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Summary and Conclusion

In this paper, it has been demonstrated that wide disparities exist among the various local government areas of different states of Nigeria, notwithstanding the country's golden social policy goal of building an egalitarian and oppresion-free society. If the results obtained in the four states used as case studies above are anything to go by then Nigeria has to be more serious in developing ways and means of bridging the gap between the advantaged and the disadvantaged areas of the country. Part of this would involve more positive discrimination in favour of the less privileged areas in subsequent resource allocations by governments, community leaders and individual philanthropists (Oyebanji 1984). Really there is no doubt that if all areas had equal amount of influence in the manner that common resources are distributed, there definitely would have been greater degree of equality. In general, the relatively more advanced areas in each state are either urban centers and/or the seat of government — whether state or local government — or those in which the efforts of governments have been heavily subsidized through community self-help projects. The reality of this situation in the Nigerian environment has already been established elsewhere (Oyebanji 1980). Consequently it will be of immense benefit to the states under study to promote both widespread urbanization on the one hand and the spirit of self-involvement on the other hand.

Despite the social relevance of this type of research however, the limitation imposed by lack of valuable and reliable data in Nigeria is extremely serious. Nevertheless, if the social state of the nation has to be carefully monitored, there must be a very marked improvement in the present social data bank of the country. As the present study has emphasized, data on many vital aspects of level of living are either dearth or non-existent altogether. Consequently, social reporting in Nigeria currently has a long way to go. It is therefore important to point out that for now the results of this and similar studies should be regarded as exploratory but nevertheless very valuable.

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References

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Oyebanji, J.O. Social policy and social inequality in Nigeria: Examples from four states, using indicators of level of living approach. GeoJournal 12, 111–114 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00213029

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Keywords

  • Local Government
  • Nigeria
  • Local Government Area
  • Disadvantaged Area
  • Social Data