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Our Work

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Nigeria
USAID works with Nigerians to improve agriculture, health, education, and governance
A. Fleuret/USAID

Agriculture and Food Security

Agriculture employs about 70 percent of Nigeria’s population but only accounts for about 27 percent of its GDP and 2.6 percent of exports. Nigeria does not currently grow enough food to feed its population, and as a result, an estimated 2.9 million children five years and younger suffer from severe acute malnutrition. Through the US Global Food Security Strategy - Feed the Future, USAID collaborates with the Nigerian people and their government to increase agricultural productivity, expand market participation, deepen the resilience of vulnerable households, improve the business enabling environment, and increase access to finance and technology.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance

While recent legislation has improved transparency and access to government information - which has enhanced democratic governance - entrenched corruption and conflict remain major challenges. Civil society often lacks the capacity and resources to engage with the government and advocate for positive change. To support democracy and governance in Nigeria, USAID partners with federal and state governments, civil society, and private sector institutions to improve the quality of the electoral process, strengthen civil society advocacy, and mitigate conflict.

Economic Growth and Trade

Nigeria boasts the largest economy in Africa and its large population provides a huge workforce, and an attractive market for domestic and international investors. Nigeria’s economic potential is constrained by inadequate infrastructure, barriers to trade, low foreign investment rates, insufficient access to foreign currency, lack of confidence in macroeconomic policy, limited export diversification, security challenges, and limited and unreliable access to power. USAID supports Nigeria’s commitment to improving the business enabling environment by removing barriers to trade and investment, expanding economic opportunities for women and youth, facilitating power sector growth, and improving access to energy.

Education

USAID’s strategic technical assistance has enabled states to access high quality methods for early grade reading delivery, benefiting more than one million children to date. This assistance aims to help the millions of children that do attend school, particularly in the north, who cannot read or demonstrate basic skills. USAID is also expanding educational and training opportunities for Nigeria’s underserved deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind communities.

Energy

Limitations in the Nigeria power sector constrain growth. Nigeria is endowed with large oil, gas, hydro, and solar resources, and it has the potential to generate 12,522 MW of electric power from existing plants.  The Nigerian power sector experiences many broad challenges related to electricity policy enforcement, regulatory uncertainty, gas supply, transmission system constraints, and major power sector planning shortfalls that have kept the sector from reaching commercial viability.  With approximately 85 million Nigerians lacking access to reliable electricity, the Government of Nigeria is encouraging investments in distributed renewables and solar home systems. Power Africa supports the Presidential Power Initiative, Nigeria Electrification Project, and Solar Power Naija. 

Health

USAID’s health program strategically implements interventions in states with the greatest need where impact is likely to be highest. Programs work to address some of the worst health indicators in Africa as Nigeria’s health sector faces critical development challenges. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, USAID works to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate, promote reproductive health, expand immunization coverage, and prevent and treat malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis (TB). USAID also supports the Government of Nigeria to better integrate health services and achieve universal basic health coverage through state social health insurance programs that now include HIV/AIDS and TB services for improved sustainability of our investments. Our work also strengthens capacity in private sector health clinics, which play a critical role in supplementing government services.

Water and Sanitation

Nigeria has considerable water resources, but has only made modest increases in expanding access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. Through the U.S. Water for the World Act, USAID​ is working to improve the management of water resources to address the long-term sustainability of water access and improve sanitation and hygiene. In order to achieve this goal, USAID is working to: 1) expand availability of water and sanitation services;  2) strengthen water resources governance; 3) expand private sector opportunities to increase competition in urban water service delivery; and 4) leverage large infrastructure investments through complementary activities to develop laws, regulations, commercial viability, governance, and management capacity.

Crisis and Conflict

Widespread conflict – driven by ethnicity, religion, and access to resources – poses an ongoing threat to Nigeria’s democracy, while hate speech and “fake news” increase fragility. USAID promotes stronger and broader collaboration between government and civil society at all levels, supporting Nigerians to build robust conflict early warning systems at  local levels, in states vulnerable to violence, to identify and reduce sources of communal tension and cleavages. To address the root causes of conflict, our work draws on the expertise of religious and traditional leaders, women and youth groups, as well as government officials and civil society to identify and promote community-based solutions to divisive issues.

Last updated: June 13, 2022

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