Pro-Poor Growth and Social Policy Approaches to Sustainable Human Development in Nigeria
One of the intriquing paradoxes for most developing countries including Nigeria is the rising rate of low human development indices. This study is a critical examination of human welfare issues and human development indices as a parameter for sustainable development in Nigeria. The paper contends that one major issue in the development challenge of Nigeria is the continued decline in the human development indices despite recorded increase in annual economic growth rates. Social indicators reveal that the welfare and human development profiles in the country have worsened over decades. Given that overall economic growth by itself may not necessarily ensure sustainable human development and poverty alleviation, this paper places its thrusts on the premise that without broad-based growth (with equitable distribution by social policy measures), human development worsens. It is also the belief of the authors that social and economic policies need to be growth-oriented as well as people-centred to achieve substantial human development and poverty alleviation. This paper emphasizes the importance of implementing basic-need centered policies through which the benefits of growth would trickle-down to the poor.
Key Words: Human Development, Economic Growth, Social Policies, Pro-poor, Social Services, Quality of Life, HDI, HDR