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Territorial Governance of Social Protection in Nigeria: Who Does What, How, and Why?

Development
Governance
Social Policy
Social Welfare
Investment
Gbenga Shadare
University of Sheffield
Olabanji Akinola
Algoma University
Gbenga Shadare
University of Sheffield

Abstract

With various local and international state and non-state actors initiating and implementing different social protection programs and policies, addressing vulnerability and risks among poor and vulnerable individuals, households, and communities in Nigeria is now considered a priority by different stakeholders. Local and international state and non-state stakeholders currently support different social protection policies and programs across the Nigerian federation, albeit based on different approaches such as social risk management, human rights, social investments and social welfare. However, despite the increasing numbers of social protection programs, policies, and approaches by various stakeholders in Nigeria, there exists a huge territorial governance conundrum with regards to social protection in Africa’s most populous country and largest economy. On the one hand, numerous administrative, fiscal, and political economy challenges hamper the creation of sustainable social protection programs and policies in the country. On the other hand, the presence of local and international non-state actors with their (often) independent and separate agenda for the poor and vulnerable creates problems of coordination, leadership, access, and ownership of social protection programs and policies in Nigeria. Combined, coupled with the role(s) of federal, sub-national state and local government institutions in Nigeria, forging cooperative and progressive relationships for social protection in Nigeria requires understanding the role of other stakeholders such as the World Bank, United Nations agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, humanitarian organizations, corporate and private foundations, and so on, in the area of social protection. Consequently, to understand how social protection is territorially governed in Nigeria’s emerging social protection landscape, this paper critically examines the interactions of local and international state and non-state actors, processes, and mechanisms. It argues that in order to achieve sustainable progress in the area of social protection, stakeholders in Nigeria must embrace interdependent and innovative governance mechanisms that generate important developmental benefits for Nigerians.