Nigeria: Technical Assistance Report - Additional Spending Toward SDG's


Monday, June 15, 2020   / 09:37 PM / By International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept. / Header Image Credit: Ecographics


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Below is the Nigeria Country Report No. 2020/177, titled "Nigeria: Technical Assistance Report-Additional Spending Toward Sustainable Development Goals", issued in April 2020.



In response to a request from the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs), a technical mission visited Abuja, Nigeria during January 29-February 11, 2020 to collaborate on an assessment of the spending associated with making substantial progress along the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The mission comprised Mauricio Soto (head) and Mariano Moszoro (all FAD), and Julieth Pico (FAD expert).


This technical mission was financed by the European Union under the EU-IMF Public Financial Management Partnership Program (PFM-PP).


The mission was hosted by D.M. Dauda (Secretary of Programme, OSSAP-SDGs) and Dr. Bala Yusuf Yunusa (Senior Technical Advisor, OSSAP-SDGs).


The mission met with Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed (Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning), Prince Clem Ikanade Agba (Minister of State for Budget and National Planning), and Suleiman H, Adamu (Minister of Water Resources). The mission also met with Didi Walson-Jack (Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power), Emmanuel Meribole (Director, Health Planning, Research and Statistics, Ministry of Health), Babangida Hussaini (Director of Special Projects, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing), and Adeoye E.O. (Acting Director, Department of Educational Planning, Research, and Development, Federal Ministry of Education).


The mission also met Katrine Mulvad Thomsen (Team Leader, Economic Cooperation and Energy, European Union Delegation), Amarakoon Bandara (Senior Economic Advisor, UNDP), Shubham Chaudhuri (Country Director, World Bank), Moses Ongom (Health System Adviser, WHO), Anthony Simpasa (Lead Economist, African Development Bank), and other staff of development partners.


The mission expresses its sincere appreciation for the cooperation and support given by officials and staff of these various organizations with whom the mission met. The team is especially grateful to Chukwuemeka Olanrewaju Ogbuehi (Ministry of Finance), Ogunleye Femi (OSSAPSDG), and Zainab Mangga (IMF Resident Representative Office) for the excellent coordination and support during the mission. The mission is also thankful to Laraba Bonet (IMF Resident Representative Office) for facilitating mission logistics.


Since the mission took place before COVID-19 became a global pandemic, the report does not reflect the impact from COVID-19 on economic activity in Nigeria. The report focuses on some of the medium-term challenges that Nigeria will face after the COVID-19 crisis, namely the additional spending needed to ensure substantial progress along the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.


Executive Summary 

Making progress in the SDGs requires substantial additional resources. Concomitant with the reform priorities identified by the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, and other international development institutions, the mission estimates additional spending of 18 percentage points of GDP by 2030-a level higher than the average low-income and developing countries. Relative to other low-income and developing countries, additional spending is higher in education and water and sanitation, and lower in health, electricity, and roads (Figure).


Given scarce resources, a long-term vision is imperative. Given scarce resources, a long-term vision is imperative. The authorities have made important progress in developing long-term plans in sectors such as health, electricity, and water and sanitation.


  • Education-increasing access and improving quality. The relatively low resources devoted to education are insufficient to deliver quality education for all. With 50 percent of the population in school-age, we estimate that total annual spending in education would need to increase by 7.7 percentage points of GDP by 2030. A pragmatic approach should be taken depending on resource availability. For example, expanding enrollment could be done at a more modest cost of some 1 percentage points of GDP.
  • Health-tackling inefficiencies. Nigeria should deliver better outcomes at its current level of spending. Rebalancing the system, with an emphasis on primary care with public support, is critical. In the medium-term, additional annual spending of 4 percentage points of GDP would be needed to expand health workers, improve infrastructure, and improve health outcomes.
  • Electricity-rehabilitating and expanding power infrastructure. Annual investments of 1 percent of GDP are needed to expand electricity access and keep up with population growth. Rehabilitating the existing capacity can help meeting part of these investments. Mini-grids can play an important role in mobilizing capacity to remote and vulnerable communities.
  • Roads-expanding the road network. Increasing access roads from 26 to 75 percent of the rural population will cost 2 percent of annual GDP. It is critical to outline the road network and identify projects with high economic and social returns. The private sector can play an important role in this sector, supported by strong oversight to ensure value for money.
  • Water and sanitation-picking low-hanging fruit. A priority is improving access for the most vulnerable. Ending open defecation and expanding basic water and sanitation can be achieved at a modest annual cost of 0.6 percent of GDP. In the medium-term, providing safely managed water and sanitation for all will cost an additional 2.5 percent of annual GDP.

Beyond resources, improving coordination and strengthening governance is critical to delivering on the SDGs. The federal administration through its Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs) is committed to advance towards the 2030 goals. In line with policy options outlined by the World Bank and the United Nations, progress in these sectors requires a whole-of-government approach, supported by strong coordination between the federal, state, and local administrations.


While development partners and the private sector can help, the government should be in the driving seat of these efforts. To support decision-making based on evidence, one priority is to collect and analyze data to inform best practices and better target scarce resources.


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Nigeria: Technical Assistance Report-Additional Spending Toward Sustainable Development Goals  

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