The Political Economy of Social Protection Policy Uptake in Nigeria

Type Working Paper - PASGR Working Paper
Title The Political Economy of Social Protection Policy Uptake in Nigeria
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
None of the recent efforts to study social protection in Nigeria have provided a detailed
description of the political economy factors that enhance and prevent the uptake of social
protection policies. This study used qualitative and quantitative strategies within a political
economy framework to explore the emergence and trajectory of these policies. Primary data
were derived from field interviews and a survey of beneficiaries in six states selected from
the six geopolitical zones in the country.
There is no overarching policy on social protection in Nigeria currently. There are
pilot programmes led by the federal government and other programmes implemented in an
ad hoc manner at state level. Political differences and competition between the state and
federal governments have partly accounted for the slow pace in adoption of social
assistance programmes. An uptake in social protection may occur only if the political
leadership is convinced that it is sustainable and would enhance their political fortune.
Social assistance needs to be carried out within the context of a larger social policy
framework, and knowledge about social assistance programmes needs to be diffused across
all sectors. The federal government and international organisations have to promote a policy
network community and support meaningful evaluation of the existing programmes to make
citizens and policy stakeholders appreciate social assistance as an effective instrument of
poverty alleviation and social transformation.

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