Social Work and Social Development in Nigeria - Issues & ChallengesPresentation Transcript
SOCIAL WORK AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA : ISSUES & CHALLENGES Gbolahan Olubowale MSW,AMNIM Founder & Executive Director, Centre for Rural Health & Development, Oyo State, Nigeria. Email: [email_address] Tel: (+234)803 370 3772 or 225 276 7029 www.ringo.com/photos/recent.html?memberId=89304984
Nigeria is a complex country of about 140 Million people with many “nations” within it. It has over 250 ethnic groups speaking different languages and dialects.
35% of population lives in urban areas.
Major tribes includes:
- Hausa-Fulani [30%]– mostly Muslims in the North
- Yoruba [20%]– South West mixed Xtians with Muslims
- Ibo [17%]– South East, mostly Xtians
- Other tribes – Edo, Ijaw, Ibibio, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Kanuri, Jukun, Tiv, Nupes,
Nigeria has the biggest population in Africa [140 Million] with 1 in 6 Africans being Nigerian.
Nigeria’s rich human and material resource endowments give it the potential to become Africa’s largest economy and a major player in the global economy.
It provides a vast market for finished products from the industrialized countries.
It’s oil deposit is one of the best in the world [Bonny Light] with less sulphur content.
It is one of the major suppliers of Oil & Gas to the USA, Europe and China.
It supplies other raw materials to the industrialised world [e.g Coal, Cocoa, Rubber, Palm Oil, Cassava, Groundnut, etc.
Nigeria has a great deal of influence in West Africa and Africa. It is an important member of ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States) and plays a central role in ECOMOG's (the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group) peacekeeping operation. Nigeria also plays leadership roles in the African Union.
Any major crisis in Nigeria has the potential to destablize the whole of West Africa and Africa.
Why is Nigeria important to the USA & the World?
Nigeria, The Heart of Africa www.heartofafrica.com www.motherlandnigeria.com/picture
Nigerian Gas export to ECOWAS
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals set by the United Nations to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world's main development challenges. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations -and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000.
Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
A Traditional Village Settlement in Northern Nigeria.
Issues & Challenges
Governance – Precolonial, Colonial & Postcolonial
Economy & Economic Development
Social & Human Capital Development
Political & Electoral Process
Military Interventions & Civil War
Religion ,Tradition & Culture
Deregulation, IMF, World Bank, London & Paris Club
Debt & Debt Servicing
Corruption & High Cost of Governance
Govt Policies & Policy Instability
Nigeria: An Emerging Democracy
Nigeria a Paradox
Ordinarily, Nigeria should be a gigantic economic reservoir of national and international importance. Its rich endowments of oil and gas fed into the international economic system in exchange for massive revenues that carry the promise of rapid socio-economic transformation.
In reality, the country is suffering from maladministration, high unemployment, social deprivation and abject poverty.
Enormous possibilities for industrial development abounds in terms of the abundance of raw materials but these remain unrealized. Beyond vast oil and gas deposits, the country is blessed with good agricultural land, extensive forests and a large labor force. But juxtaposed against the potential for economic growth and sustainable development are deteriorating economic and social conditions that have been largely ignored by successive government
Approximately, 70% of the population live in poverty.
Prof. Wole Soyinka [Nobel Laureate in Literature] “Wasted Generation”
There is much regional disparity within Nigeria: social indicators are worse in the northern part of the country than in the south, and poorer in rural than in urban areas. The under-5 infant mortality rates are much higher in the northern parts of the country than in the south, and higher in rural than in urban areas. Fewer children go to school in the north than in the south. Twice as many women in the north have never attended school, and girls' participation in primary and secondary education continue to be much lower in the north than in the south. Regional differences in the knowledge and practice of family planning are also considerable .
Durbar Parade in Northern Nigeria
Oba [King] of Benin Kingdom [Mid West Nigeria ]
Lagos, former Capital City of Nigeria [West]
A Sculpture of the Ooni [King] of Ife – the ancestral home of the Yoruba Tribe in Western Nigeria.
Oil : A Blessing or A Curse?
Oil and Gas generated over 40% of Nigeria’s national GDP over recent decades.
Between 2000-2004, Oil accounted for about 79.5% of total government revenues and 97% of foreign exchange revenues.
Agriculture which used to be the major source of government earnings and source of employment for about 70% of the population has been grossly neglected with attendant social and economic dislocations.
The positive blessings of Oil derive mainly from the huge financial resources it generates for producing countries. As an internationally traded commodity that attracts foreign exchange, Oil is a quick source of capital accumulation or foreign direct investment for developing countries faced with capital constraints. Countries without Oil face a struggle to overcome capital shortages, a major developmental inhibition.
However, due to mismanagement, lack of transparency, accountability and fairness, Nigeria has consistently squandered her huge oil wealth prodigally on white elephant projects that have become a drain pipe for the countries resources enriching a few in governmental positions while leaving a vast majority of the population in abject poverty.
In 1980, an estimated 27% of Nigerians lived in poverty. By 1999, about 70% of the population had income of less than $1 a day.
Despite Oil export earnings of about $300 Billion since the mid 1970s, average income in 2000 was 20& lower than in 1975.
N500 Note showing an Offshore Oil Well. [second highest denomination in Nigeria]
“ Oil Boom & Oil Doom”
Broad National Goals of Social Development Policy in Nigeria
The continuous improvement of the quality of life of the entire citizens of the country, as groups & individuals..
The promotion and continuous improvement of initiatives & programs aimed at improving the welfare of the society’s most vulnerable & disadvantaged groups, notably the disabled; the poor & destitutes; the aged; children; youth; rural populations & women.
The development and mobilization of human & social capacity; in particular, the strengthening of the capacity of various institutions, communities & target groups to cope creatively & effectively with the challenges of change.
The anticipation, control and minimization of social problems.
The maintenance of high moral standard of the nation as a well as alertness and responsive action against policies & trends both foreign and local that militates against such standard.
The maximization of the contribution of the Social Development Sector towards the attainment of the country’s socio-economic integration & human development objectives
The promotion of policy orientations likely to strengthen the observance & protection of human rights, to advance social justice & human dignity & enhance the status of people in the scheme of national development.
Okunlola (2002), defined Social Development as the greater capacity of the social system (social structure, institutions, services, & policy) to utilize resources to generate changes in levels of living, interpreted in the broad sense as related to accepted social values & a better distribution of income, wealth & opportunities.
The Nigerian National Advisory Committee on Social Development [NACSD] in 1975 identified as social development, the subjects of social welfare, women program, sport development, & community development
This was later considered to be narrow in scope & subsequent governments have broadened the scope of Social Development in Nigeria.
“ the goal and substance s of social development is the welfare of the people, as determined by the people themselves, meeting human needs at all levels & for improving the capacity of human relationship between people & social institutions” ( Paiva; quoted in Okunlola 2002)
Today, there is a full fledged Federal Ministry of Social Development, Youth & Sport which was first established in 1977. All the component 36 states replictated this at the state level.
NGO [Not for –profit organizations:
- complements governments effort
- advocacy, community mobilization & development activities.
- pressure group to positively impact governments policies
Broad Street, Lagos State – the Commercial Capital of Nigeria
Pitfalls of Traditional Development Planning in Nigeria
Development planning in Nigeria dates back to the formative 10years National Development Plan for 1946-1955 prepared by the Colonial Administration. After political independence in 1960, successive post-colonial governments initially prepared mostly medium-term development plans namely 1962-1968, 1970-1974, 1975-1980, and 1981-1985.
A series of Rolling Plans followed between 1990 and 1998. These efforts were often associated with income-centered development paradigm, short-term and based on official convictions, they lacked essential Civil Society and grassroots inputs or preparation. They failed to be sufficiently far-reaching, longitudinal or symmetrical enough scope and coverage to pursue the inclusive goals of Human development.
In most cases, traditional planning efforts amounted to ends in themselves. They ended up either not being implemented or at best, being largely unimplemented.
The Apapa, Lagos Seaport; circa 1950
Jos, Plateau State; circa 1950
NEEDS – National Economic Empowerment Development Scheme
NEEDS is the response to the development challenges [social, political & economic] of Nigeria in 1999 which were grossly underestimated.
NEEDS is Nigeria’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. It recognizes that the fundamental challenge at this stage of Nigeria’s development is to meet the basic needs of its people and reduce poverty on a sustained basis.
NEEDS evolved from an extensive consultative and participatory process involving major stakeholders in its design. The national ownership of NEEDS will contribute to its sustainability.
It is a “living documents” subject to periodic amendments.
All the 36 States of the Federation were encouraged to develop a similar all inclusive State focused SEED [State Economic Empowerment]
NEEDS : A “Homegrown” Approach to Nigeria’s Sustainable Socio-Economic Development
NEEDS Progress Report
-Electricity generation has doubled since 1999.
-Number of Telephone lines rose from 400,000 in 1999 to about 3Million in 2003.
- Agricultural productivity grew by 7% in 2003
- Industrial capacity grew from 29% in 1999 to 60% in 2003.
- Unemployment fell from 18% in 1999 to 10.8% in 2003.
- 3.5 Million new jobs created.
- Foreign direct investment in non-oil sector grew at an average annual rate of 3.6% between 1999-20003.
- the police force doubled in size between 1999-2003.
NEEDS Progress: slow but steady
The Way Forward
Public Sector Reform :- Privatization, Commercialization, Professionalization.
Economic Reform :- Private sector driven
Massive investment in social infrastructures
Power & Energy Sector Reform [Electricity & Petroleum]
Political & Electoral Reform
Fiscal Federalism & Resource Control
Foreign Exchange Reform
Banking Sector Reform
Strengthened & Vibrant anti-corruption crusade.
The National Theatre; one of the recently Privatized former Nigerian Government’s investments
Reformation: Oil & Energy Sector
Social Work & Services in Nigeria
Nigeria's education and health services expanded rapidly during the oil boom of the 1970s, but there has been serious deterioration in the quantity and quality of services in the past two decades. Facilities are ill-maintained; personnel are often insufficiently or inappropriately trained and are demoralized; and there are critical shortages of materials and equipment.
However, in recent years attempts are being made to renovate and upgrade available infrastructures while also building new ones.
Social Welfare Services in Nigeria
Social Welfare Services is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. The traditional settings provided social welfare services through the elders, title holders, traditional rulers, family heads, age grades, traditional religious leaders, etc.
These institutions were responsible for the maintenance of discipline & settlement of disputes in the community & they also offered rewards where appropriate.
The communities were highly structured to handle cases of deviance. Minor disputes were usually settled by family heads while serious cases were referred to village heads or traditional rulers for settlement.
However, formal social work started in Lagos in 1940s during the Second World War when there were many stray and abandoned children and juveniles in the streets [ SDPN1992]. The services later spread to other parts of the country.
The main components of Social Welfare Services in Nigeria are:
- Family & Child Welfare
- Counseling & Corrections
- Care of the Elderly.
A Nigerian Nuclear Family [West]
Social Work Education & Training in Nigeria
In Africa, social work education has been particularly critiqued for retaining its colonial heritage even though the critical problems and challenges the continent faces today could not have been imagined during the colonial era (Midgley, 1981). Consequently, such Western social work knowledge frequently fails to address the unique issues and cultural characteristics of the majority of Africans.
When formal Social Work was introduced to Nigeria in the 1950s & 1960s, it completely replicated the social work system s that existed in Britain and was underpinned by a colonial mentality that believed that anything that came from the West was superior and therefore was worthy of inclusion in Nigeria’s social and economic system.
Currently, efforts are being made to contextualize the western influenced theories and practices of social work and training from one that emphasized remedial and charity work to one that lays emphasis on developmental social work.
There are about four Universities offering Social Work at the Masters level in Nigeria [MSW], with only one offering it at the Bachelors [BSW] level vis UI, UNN, LASU, Uniben.
Social Work is also offered as a Certificate course by some tertiary institutions.
Pictures from Philip Emeagwali [famed supercomputer pioneer from Nigeria] [www.emeagwali.com]
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. [One of the Federal Universities in Nigeria; founded in the 60’s]
Historical Overview of Social Work in Nigeria
The idea of social working in Nigeria predates colonialism, formal social work packaged as a profession with well articulated theories began with colonization Adepoju (1974).
Odiah (1991) notes that the “kinship system in the traditional Nigerian society provided for family welfare, child welfare, health, mental health, care for the aged, informal education, recreation, social planning and development”.
Not only did the extended family meet social welfare needs but it also dealt with problematic behaviors. Families dealt with behaviors that the community regarded as deviant by invoking the wider kin and it was not uncommon for restorative penalties to be imposed.
Traditional reliance on the extended family has been weakened considerably by modernization, industrialization & urbanization. The reciprocal obligations of family members toward one another still operate quite strongly in many Nigerian communities especially in comparison to the Western world.
Nigeria’s quest for modernization and industrialization after independence shaped the social welfare priorities that the country pursued which were tilted towards programs that benefited a newly emerging urban middle class. The provision of public housing, education and health primarily benefited an urban elite minority.
According to Midgley(1990), one of the challenges facing developing countries who have adopted Western social work theories and practice approaches includes limited relevance to the needs of the countries; human services that are largely remedial, urban-centered, limited in scope and informed by practice models that are inappropriate; and social workers who have been trained in the traditions of casework but who lack the necessary resources to effectively address clients’ needs.
Social Work Training and Practice in Nigeria: Need for Indigenization, Contextualization & a Social Development Orientation & Approach [A Traditional Bead Collection]
Nigeria : A New Dawn
A New Dawn in Nigeria
Children : Investing in the Future
Federal Republic of Nigeria (2000) - Social Development Policy.
Yemi Olowa (1987) - Social Services and Social Practice in Nigeria.
Funmilayo Faniran-Odekunle (2003) - Nigeria’s Social Welfare Service: Past , Present and Future.
Anucha, Uzo (2007) - Exploring a New Direction for Social Work Education and Training in Nigeria.
National Planning Commission (2004) – National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy [NEEDS]
US Department of State (2008)- Bureau of African Affairs publication on Nigeria