Aisatu and a group of women at the entrance to the displaced people's camp of Muna Garage in Nigeria, where more than 30 thousand people fleeing from the violence of Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin have sought refuge. Credit: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam
Nigeria is the largest economy in West Africa, and the third largest in Africa. However, although Nigeria is considered to be a regional economic powerhouse, the levels of inequality in this country leaves many needs unfulfilled. Nigeria ranks 157 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Among Nigeria’s population of nearly 200 million, more than one in four (57 million) does not have access to safe water and two-thirds (over 130 million) lack adequate
sanitation. Ten million children are out of school and more than half of the population (112 million) live in extreme poverty with less than $1.90 a day.
To lift these 112 million Nigerians out of extreme poverty, $24bn is needed, an amount that is smaller than the combined wealth of the five richest Nigerians (estimated at $29.9bn) – the richest Nigerian man would take 42 years to spend all his wealth, even at a rate of $1m a day.
Nigerian girls also face many forms of violence and inequalities, as the country, together with Mali and Niger, has the highest number of girls in Africa married before the age of 18 years. This endangers the sexual and reproductive health of girls and deprives them of the opportunity to acquire an education.
Sadly, although Nigeria possesses the resources to end extreme poverty and even up the inequalities between rich and poor, women and men, Nigeria remains the country where the government is the least committed to reducing inequality in West Africa based on the Oxfam’s Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index 2019. C. Bishop (2017). Africa’s Billionaires: Inspirational Stories from the Continent’s Wealthiest People. Forbes Africa.  E. Mayah et al. (2017). Inequality in Nigeria: Exploring the drivers. Abuja: Oxfam. https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/inequality-nigeria-exploring-drivers World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Data Portal: http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/country/NGA  E. Mayah et al. (2017). Inequality in Nigeria: Exploring the drivers, op. cit.  Oxfam International, “The West Africa Inequality Crisis: How West African governments are failing to reduce inequality and what should be done about it”, Oxfam briefing paper, July 2019.
Oxfam in Nigeria
Nigeria, Oxfam works to influence policy change in favor of the poor and most vulnerable, promoting food security, increasing the employability of young people, and supporting small scale farmers to improve the livelihoods of men and women in rural areas. We also work to boost civic engagement by providing platforms for citizens' engagement to make policymaking for transparent and inclusive. We respond to the humanitarian needs of the people in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria where insurgence had led to loss of thousands of lives and rendered many people homeless.
Increase income and livelihood sustainability for small farmers and pastoralists
We help improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and pastoralists by increasing their access to critical resources and building their capacity to work with the government and the private sector to enhance food and nutrition security in Nigeria. We also help small entrepreneurs, especially young people, and women, to grow, become more financially sustainable and have a greater social impact. We support youth skills development to improve their employability. In doing so, we help the chronically poor to move to the stage where they become economically active and able to engage.
Transforming attitudes about women’s roles and rights
We empower Nigerian women to realize their full potentials, live free from violence and discrimination, participate in decision making, exercise their economic rights and bodily integrity to contribute to nation-building. We are striving for more justice for women in all our interventions in Nigeria.
Support citizen participation in good governance in the public and private sectors
We seek to ensure that the socio-economic and political rights of Nigerians are guaranteed by working with citizens, institutions, and the private sector to promote transparency and accountability. This will ensure that the nation's huge earnings from the extractive sector which form 80% of government revenues and of both corporate and citizen-generated tax resources translate to appreciable improvements in the living standards of Nigerians through effective and efficient use of public resources.
Providing humanitarian assistance during emergencies
We support and deliver high-quality emergency life-saving interventions, and effective disaster management planning to ensure that fewer women, men and children in Nigeria die or suffer from disease, insecurity and deprivation in humanitarian emergencies. We deliver water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), emergency food security and livelihoods assistance and protection programs to ensure that people are free from violence and coercion, and they take control of their own lives in dignity.
Contact Oxfam in NigeriaOxfam, Nigeria Country Office
No. 11 Ganges Street, off Alvan Ikoku Way, Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria Mobile: +2347084270529 Facebook: @OxfaminNigeria Twitter: @oxfaminnigeria