Nigeria has enjoyed relatively strong economic growth over the past seven years but poverty is still a major concern. Exports and government revenues are driven largely by oil, while most Nigerians work in agriculture. Economic growth is constrained by inadequate infrastructure, electricity, incentives, and policies that promote private sector development, and poor access to quality education.
Sustained broad-based economic growth and poverty reduction are critical to Nigeria’s economic stability. USAID supports the Government of Nigeria’s poverty alleviation efforts to improve agricultural productivity and expand jobs in rural areas. It also works to improve market access, increase the country's energy supply, reduce obstacles to trade, and expand access to clean water. USAID is helping to develop a policy environment for small businesses and expand access to market-driven vocational and technical training linked with private sector employment opportunities. U.S. assistance also focuses on expanding access to commercial financial services, including microfinance.
Trade and Regulatory Reform
USAID is supporting customs regulation and policy reform to encourage internal and external trade, encouraging the use of U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act incentives for trade with the United States, and developing private sector capacity to meet international trade and export standards.
USAID works closely with the Government of Nigeria to implement activities that promote increased trade. These activities include assisting the National Customs Service for customs reform and modernization, reducing congestion at the Lagos seaport and increasing transport flows along the Lagos-Kano Jibiya Transport Corridor; and building trade capacity at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. At the same time, USAID also supports private enterprises to stimulate exports through training and capacity building. This includes topics such as access to finance, export competitiveness, and linkage to international markets and partners.
Nigeria’s economic growth is also constrained by insufficient electricity generation capacity, which results in a lack of a reliable and affordable supply of power. At the same time, Nigeria flares considerable amounts of associated gas, a by-product of offshore crude oil extraction. Flaring generates significant greenhouse gas emissions and wastes a considerable amount of energy. To reduce gas flaring and increase generation of clean energy generally through greater private sector participation, USAID is supporting the Government of Nigeria’s efforts to better manage the sector.
How do you transform agriculture in a country the size of Nigeria? A pioneering USAID project is showing the way with a private sector approach that's producing dramatic results.
Last updated: May 10, 2013