Current State of Infrastructure

Social infrastructure development cuts across almost all sectors of the economy, as it has to do with the wellbeing of all communities. Facilities and services for promoting community well-being are related to health, education, sport, labour productivity, environment, culture and tourism, and developmental facilities for youth and women.

The sector covers 11 sub-sectors (health, education, youth and sports, women affairs, social development, labour, productivity, information, environment, and tourism). The NIIMP groups these sub-sectors into four broader categories:

  • Healthcare, women affairs and social development;
  • Education, youths and sports;
  • Environment, tourism and information;
  • Labour and productivity.

Healthcare, Women Affairs and Social Development


Nigeria currently has an average 28 public Primary Healthcare Clinics (PHCs) per Local Government Area (LGA) (total of 21,808), 26 secondary facilities per state (total of 969), and 79 specialist hospitals across the country. There are a total of 8,290 private PHCs, 3,023 secondary facilities, and 10 tertiary facilities.

The health status indicators for Nigeria are among the worst in the world.

  • Life expectancy at birth has been reported to be 54 years (NDHS 2013).
  • In children, the major causes of mortality and morbidity are diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, malaria, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases, and the exacerbating effect of children’s malnutrition.
  • 350 women die per 100,000 live births. There has been improvement over the years. The rate of maternal mortality reduced from 800 women deaths per 100,000 live births in 2004 to 545 in 2008. When compared with 2015 benchmark, the 2012 figure is about 28.6 per cent short of 250 target, which means that an additional reduction of about 100 deaths (per 100,000 births) is required in 2015.
  • Access to primary healthcare is currently about 61 per cent with only 15 beds available per 1,000 population and only 30 primary healthcare centres per 100,000 people (NDHS).
  • Adult HIV prevalence of ANC survey 2010 is estimated at 4.1 per cent (ANC Survey 2010) while Adult HIV prevalence in 2013 is estimated at 3.4 per cent with an estimated at 2.9million people living with HIV/AIDS (NARHS 2013).
  • Estimated annual tuberculosis (TB) incidence is 293 new cases per 100,000 persons. Estimated prevalence (both new and old cases) of 546 per 100,000 implies that over 700,000 Nigerians have TB – the fourth highest number in the world.

In 2011, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) estimated a total of 34,173 health facilities in Nigeria of which 88.1 per cent are primary health care facilities, 11.7 per cent secondary and 0.2 per cent tertiary. This provides roughly one health facility for every 6,000 Nigerians, with wide variations across states, urban and rural areas. The 53 federal-owned tertiary facilities provide specialist services which are mostly not available at the secondary and primary levels, with the teaching hospitals also providing training for health workers and research.

Despite considerable investment in the health sector over the years, available evidence suggests that health services throughout Nigeria are delivered through a weak health system. This weakness is characterised by inequitable distribution of resources; decaying infrastructure; poor management of human resources for health; negative attitude of healthcare providers; weak referral systems; poor coverage of high-impact cost-effective interventions; unavailability of essential drugs and other health commodities; and lack of integration and poor supportive supervision.

The following infrastructural priorities relate to the Nigerian health sector:

  • A minimal number of functional primary healthcare clinics linked to a contiguous general hospital should be established in each LGA. States should have functional general hospitals in every LGA manned by qualified personnel, with a strong referral system to contiguous tertiary hospitals;
  • Existing tertiary and specialist hospitals should be revamped to meet the needs of the local population; and diagnostic and quaternary mono-specialist centres should be distributed in a manner that ensures equitable access to all sections of the country;
  • A robust health management information system is required which generates timely data for health decision-making as well as service improvement;
  • Institutions that conduct development research to address priority health needs of the country should be strengthened.


Women Affairs and Social Development

Infrastructure pertaining to women in Nigeria includes 77 skill acquisition centres and 1 school for social workers.

Various studies and surveys have shown that women are in the lowest income level in most Nigerian organisations and contribute the highest percentage of the poor and vulnerable. They also participate predominantly in the informal sector of the economy. The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has the mandate of promoting women development and protecting the rights of women and other vulnerable groups. The following infrastructure-related achievements are relevant:

  • Women Political Empowerment Offices were established in 2006, one in each of the six regions, as platforms to facilitate the improved participation of women in decision making.
  • A shelter for Survivors of Gender Based Violence was set up in the Federal Capital Territory. More are planned in the six regions.
  • Two women Cottage Industries (the Kwali Pottery Cottage Industry and the Damaturu Vegetable Oil Cottage Industry) were completed by the Ministry and handed over to the host state government. Additional Cottage Industries are being constructed in Abia, Ekiti, Sokoto and Bayelsa states.
  • The Nigerian Women Trust Fund is designed to boost women’s political participation in Nigeria. To commemorate the take-off of the Fund, support was given to women candidates across different political parties for the 2011 general elections.
  • The Women’s Fund for Economic Empowerment (WOFEE) was initiated in 2005 to provide group credit facilities to womens’ cooperatives in rural areas. 28 states are currently covered, with 3,039 beneficiaries.
  • The Business Development Fund for Women (BUDFOW) was established in 2005 to provide credit facilities to women entrepreneurs. 26 states are currently covered.
  • The Nigeria Girls Mentorship Programme was designed to give selected young girls access to knowledge and training on a range of issues at the intersection of security and development. The programme started with a pilot in FCT in 2012, and is expected to spread across the country in due course.

Education, Youth and Sports


Education is key to the growth and socio-economic development of the nation.  The overarching challenges to the attainment of educational goals have been the issues of access and quality of education:


Over 11 million children who are expected to be in school are not in school or are receiving poor schooling. At the pre-basic level, only children of the privileged few have access to schooling that prepares and orients them for basic education. This level is dominated by the private sector. At the basic education level, government is intensifying activities to increase access but progress is still impeded by economic and socio-cultural factors such as poverty. The Federal Ministry of Education (FME) launched a national campaign to boost school enrolment in the country in Enugu in 2012, but this is yet to be replicated in all the states and local government areas in the country.

Science and technology-based education required for the rapid transformation of society is hampered by a bias for senior secondary education against technical and vocational education and skills development. Currently, 60 per cent of basic education scholars proceed to senior secondary school; 20 per cent to technical education, 10 per cent to vocational and skills acquisition training centres, and 10 per cent become artisans. The efforts of government in this direction are still at the planning and capacity building stages.

At the tertiary level, access is even worse. Only 10 per cent of applicants seeking admission into tertiary institutions are placed because of the low-carrying capacity of these institutions. For instance, only about 100,000 candidates out of 900,000 find places in Nigerian universities annually. The number of universities in Nigeria….It is hoped that the establishment of 12 new federal universities and new licenses for 9 private-owned universities will address these inadequacies. Nigeria also possesses 21 federal polytechnics and 95 colleges of education.

Standards and Quality

Massive infrastructural decay and inadequate facilities have not only impeded access but also affected the delivery of quality education. Dilapidated school infrastructure includes classroom buildings, laboratories, school libraries, workshops, sporting and recreational facilities, roads, water, electricity, toilet facilities, staff and student accommodation. The issue of poor accommodation is even more acute in tertiary institutions.

The education curriculum is yet to be reviewed to meet the needs for a technology-based and enterprise economy. Generally, the mediocre quality of education at all levels still results in low employability of the resulting labour force.

There is still a palpable teacher gap across all levels of education in terms of quality and quantity of teachers. Most states are yet to adhere to the minimum teaching qualification of a Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE). With expanding access to education, the existing number of teachers has become grossly inadequate. Training institutions for teachers also lack adequate institutional capacity in terms of infrastructure and requisite manpower quality.

Public education also lacks adequate communication and sustained coordination and monitoring of educational programmes and activities in the system. Funding, above all, remains a big problem in the sector. Budgetary allocation to education is not only inadequate, but below the recommended international standard.

Access and equity are among the major strategic goals of the 4-year Education Master Plan. There is an urgent need to meet the Millennium Development Goals on education ahead of the 2015 deadline and the national objectives of Vision 20: 2020. The master plan requires mobilisation of huge financial resources for effective implementation of the programmes. The funding of educational programmes is beyond the capability of government alone. There is need to explore the possibility of public and private support to galvanise resources for the execution of the various projects/programmes in education.


The youth population in Nigeria is estimated to be over 60 million; they are the largest demographic group in Nigeria and have the potential to facilitate the rapid development of the country. Currently, however, the state of youth development is problematic. Youth unemployment is very high, particularly, amongst graduates from tertiary institutions. It is estimated that about 230,000 NYSCe444444 Corps members are discharged annually with less than 10 per cent of them gaining employment.

The sector faces the following challenges:

  • insufficient and late release of funds for both administration and provision of infrastructure;
  • unavailability of land and other problems associated with land allocation within areas where youth development centres are to be built;
  • peripheral involvement of the Ministry in core youth development programmes;
  • inadequate data on youth and youth NGOs across the country; and
  • limited collaboration with relevant MDAs in addressing challenges faced by youth.



An efficient sports system will assist in nation building through youth empowerment, wealth creation, employment generation, health and social mobilisation. The new strategic management activities for qualitative performance and mass participation are capacity building of coaches and administrators, early talent detection and development, policy direction on partnership and collaboration, sports facilities maintenance, a central national sports programmes system, and national sports performance monitoring and evaluation.

There are six national stadia at the federal level and 4 training centres (none yet completed). The federal government has also 20 sports centres at the local government level. In addition, the state and local governments also have sports stadia and other sports facilities and some private training sports academies.

The National Sports Commission does not have a clear and integrated infrastructure plan except for some stated projects and programmes mentioned below.

  • New facilities. Construction of 62 mini-sports centres in the various states, 15 grandstands and 3 football pitches.
  • Zonal Offices for the supervision of the grassroots sports development programme and assistance in the maintenance and security of the facilities. The project stands at about 15 per cent completion.
  • High Performance Centres. These are specialised centres with advanced equipment managed by sports scientists for research aimed at achieving high performance. The high performance centres projected to be constructed in each of the 12 zonal sports offices have only attained 15 per cent completion due to insufficient funds.
  • Talent development centres. The establishment of talent development centres in the six regions for the identification and development programme, along with required facilities, is still on the drawing board.
  • National Sports Information Centre. The centre is still in the pipeline. It will provide a comprehensive database, statistics and general information to offer a reliable information network which will be optimally maintained through zonal offices.
  • Sports Medicine Centre (National Stadium, Abuja). The centre is to foster research and development initiatives in high performance and develop standards for the analysis of high performance athletes. The project stands at about 95 per cent completion.

Other related projects which have also reached advanced stages of completion include Athletes Hostel, Abuja (60 per cent completion); construction of ANOCA offices (50 per cent completion) and maintenance of the five national stadia at Abuja, Lagos, Bauchi, Ibadan and Kaduna.


Environment, Tourism and Information


As Nigeria embarks on a path of rapid economic growth, it also aims to be a nation with a healthy environment for sustainable socio-economic development.

The country is currently faced with a number of longstanding environmental challenges including land degradation and oil spillages, pollution, urban waste management, desertification and erosion. Coupled with a poor response over the years to promptly address environmental degradation, these have led to negative indirect effects on other sectors of the economy and even direct threats to human existence and survival.

Some infrastructure developments have been planned over the years targeted at halting specific environmental hazards in Nigeria, such as:

  • promotion of sustained reforestation programmes to increase forest cover from 6 per cent in 2008 to 12 per cent in 2015 and 18 per cent in 2020;
  • management of the 3.2 million tons of garbage produced annually via landfill development and private investment; and
  • documenting and remedying past oil-impacted areas in the Niger Delta by the Nigeria Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).



This sub-sector is currently hindered by infrastructural inadequacies, inadequate funding, weak product packaging and marketing approaches, security and safety issues, neglect and underdevelopment of tourism assets. Other include the existence of an underdeveloped hospitality industry and non-competitive visa regime, poor perceptions by policy makers of the potential of the sector, low capacity building, poor data collection for planning purposes and poor inter-agency collaboration on tourism statistics. There has been limited to no focus on this sector over the years.



Information is a key instrument for transforming Nigeria into a critical player in the global political economy; the sector is a powerful tool for development in every human endeavour. Full participation of all citizens in the art of good governance is founded on the effective flow of information and the resultant dialogue between the government and the governed.

The information sector is thus vital to national developmental, be it in terms of revitalising the Federal Civil Service or in the development and implementation of the NV 20: 2020, the Millennium Development Goals and the Transformation Agenda. The sector requires effective deployment and use of information infrastructure.

It is in this respect that Government has deemed it necessary to provide:

  • an information culture that provides the public with easy access to official information through the enactment of the Freedom of-Information Act;
  • a regulatory/political environment where government is tolerant of critical media reports and where journalists feel safe to report and analyse information;
  • high standards of quality, professionalism and journalistic ethics in media and communication practices;
  • easy access to funding for training and the provision of media equipment; and
  • an established community media policy to relay information to the 90,000 communities in Nigeria.


Labour and Productivity

Labour remains a Nigerian national asset and a critical development factor. However, statistics show that unemployment is gravitating towards a crisis situation. National unemployment rates (in the past six years) average about 12-15 per cent and Nigeria’s poverty rate (currently at about 63 per cent) exceeds the sub-Saharan average of 25 per cent. The youth unemployment rate is three times the sub-Saharan and global averages.

Poor infrastructure in energy, transportation and communications is a major driver of this crisis, as it adversely affects capacity utilisation and productivity, resulting in retrenchment, labour casualisation, poor remuneration and industrial crises.

A number of infrastructure-related measures are required to improve the current labour situation in Nigeria. These include:

  • establishment of Labour Desk officers in all the MDAs to capture data on employment and vacancies;
  • establishment of NELEX (Nigerian Labour Exchange) in all the states, for unemployed youths to access job vacancies/opportunities on the internet;
  • Government to provide a social security fund for vulnerable groups and unemployed youths;
  • establishment of more and better coordinated skill acquisition centres;
  • revival of ailing industries to create more job opportunities through improved infrastructure (e.g., power, roads, markets); and
  • facilitation of access to finance for SMEs.