A Basic Needs Strategy for Nigeria

  • Frances Stewart


Evidence from the past decade in Nigeria strongly suggests that one cannot rely on the natural process of growth to lead to major progress on basic needs. It is true that Nigeria’s progress was hampered in the 1960s by the civil war; and that the substantial impact of oil discoveries in the 1970s on measured economic growth has not really had time to affect the main BN-variables. Nonetheless, on present evidence it seems that Nigeria is a clear example of failed ‘trickle down’ and a substantial reorientation will be required for major progress on basic needs. The reorientation required needs to take place with respect to each of the three aspects of the macroeconomic analysis. As indicated in the last chapter, production of BN-goods has been inadequate both in the private sector (food especially) and in the public sector (especially health services and water to reach those most in need). Secondly, the process of growth in the past has not raised the real incomes of the bottom 40 per cent of the population; for progress on basic needs it is essential to achieve a pattern of growth which generates a sustained growth in the real incomes of the poor. Thirdly, organisational factors act as obstacles to progress at almost every level; a change in household behaviour in particular, could be a major source of progress.


Foreign Exchange Agricultural Sector Real Income Private Consumption Rural Sector 
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© Frances Stewart 1985

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  • Frances Stewart

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