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New inquiry examines DFID's programme in Nigeria

16 December 2015

The International Development Committee launches an inquiry into DFID's programme in Nigeria.

DFID's programme in Nigeria

DFID's Nigeria programme has been scaled up from £180 million in 2011/2012 to £244 million in 2015/16 in line with the UK Government's previous commitment to spend 30% of ODA in fragile and conflict-affected states.

A recent impact review conducted by ICAI criticised the rapid scale-up of spending on fragile states, highlighting the need for DFID to focus on spending well (and not just more). Despite this, the approach has been reaffirmed by the UK Government who committed, through the recent UK Aid Strategy, to spend 50% of DFID's budget in fragile states.

Scope of the inquiry

The International Development Committee is inquiring into DFID's programme in Nigeria, with particular focus on the following areas:

  • How can DFID work most effectively to reduce poverty in the context of such inequality and ensure no one is left behind?
  • How effective has DFID's work on economic development/diversification been so far, and how might DFID support the Nigerian Government to ensure sustainable and inclusive economic growth into the future?
  • How effective have DFID's governance programmes been in enhancing transparency and accountability, and what could they be doing better?
  • What impact is insecurity in the North of Nigeria having on DFID's ability to reduce poverty in the region, and is DFID adapting its approach to work in conflict-affected areas?
  • How effective has DFID's work been in reducing the disadvantages women and girls face in Nigeria? What could it be doing better?
  • How effective has DFID's work been on improving education systems in the country, particularly in the most fragile states in the North? Given the recent agreement of the SDGs and the renewed focus on the quality of education, should there be a move towards supporting secondary and tertiary education in Nigeria?

Written Submissions

The deadline for written submissions is Monday 1 February 2016.

The Committee considers requests for reasonable adjustments to its usual arrangements for taking evidence and publishing material, to enhance access. Please contact or telephone 020 7219 1223.


Despite being Africa's largest economy, Nigeria has a very high poverty rate with over half of the country's 178 million population living in extreme poverty; the vast majority of whom live in the North of the country.   Women and girls are particularly disadvantaged; FGM and early and forced marriage are still practised across the country and women's economic empowerment remains limited.  Education systems are also failing to provide for the population with 34% of children currently out of school.
In contrast, Nigeria's economy has experienced strong growth over the past decade and the country has become a hub for the telecommunications and banking industries, as well as the creative arts through its world-famous Nollywood film industry. However, the economy as a whole remains heavily reliant on oil exports and corruption limits the benefits of growth on the general population.  Nigeria also has one of the lowest rates of tax as a share of GDP in the world, which is an important indicator of the Government's ability to raise revenue.

The country continues to suffer fragility and instability, most significantly from the insurgency in the North East, which has led to the internal displacement of almost 1.5 million people in the region.  The North remains the most impoverished region in Nigeria, with very limited public service delivery and the highest levels of unemployment in the country.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto