Nigeria is Africa's most populous country with 182 million inhabitants and an annual growth rate of 3 per cent. Fifty-nine per cent, approximately 105 million Nigerians, are under the age of 35.
Now Africa’s biggest economy, Nigeria covers 92.4 million hectares and 53 per cent of the population lives in rural areas. GDP growth averaged 3.8 per cent a year from 2009 to 2014 as Nigeria became a middle-income country.
However, amid falling oil prices, security risks and policy uncertainty, growth subsequently slowed sharply. The Government now wants to reduce oil dependency and diversify growth.
Poverty is especially severe in rural areas, at 44.9 per cent. Young people lack economic opportunities and sporadic civil unrest worsens poverty and malnutrition.
Poor rural women and men depend on agriculture: 70 per cent of rural people are subsistence smallholder farmers, who produce some 90 per cent of Nigeria's food on un-irrigated plots wholly dependent on rainfall.
Agriculture generated 21 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, but is underdeveloped because of numerous impediments. Only 46 per cent of arable land is cultivated. Farmers have no title to 95 per cent of agricultural land, so are impeded from obtaining finance or investing in improvements. Poor rural roads undermines farm profitability, increases waste, and impedes access to markets, inputs, equipment and new technology. Rural schools, healthcare and clean water supplies are inadequate. Land degradation and erosion arising from over-cultivation, deforestation and overgrazing are increasing, and drought has become common in the north.
Since 1985, IFAD has been Nigeria's trusted partner for reducing rural poverty.
IFAD loans help improve outreach and its impact, thanks to our expertise in building the capacity, productivity and market participation of rural people.
In line with IFAD's Strategic Framework 2016-2025, IFAD's approach encourages involvement in reducing rural poverty at all levels of government; sets up and strengthens farmers’ organizations; and supports empowerment of poor rural people, especially women and young people.
IFAD's current strategy, in agreement with the Nigerian government covers the period 2016-2021. The goal is a rural economy in which those we help can benefit from economic growth, in line with two strategic objectives:
- developing the sustainable, climate-resilient economic and financial inclusion of young people in profitable agribusiness; and
- strengthening institutions at state and community levels to work with private companies in key value chains.
IFAD continues to partner with the Nigerian Government in building rural institutions, establishing community-driven development initiatives, developing profitable smallholder agri-businesses, and pursuing financial inclusion for rural poor households.
- Nigeria is Africa's most populous country, with 182 million inhabitants, growing by 3 per cent per year.
- Much of the population is young, with approximately 105 million (59 per cent) under the age of 35.
- The country covers 92.4 million hectares, and 53 per cent of the population lives in rural areas.
- Agriculture generated 21 per cent of Nigeria's GDP in 2015, and 70 per cent of rural dwellers are subsistence smallholders.
- Since 1985, IFAD has invested a total of US$317.6 million in ten projects and programmes in Nigeria, benefiting more than 3,700,000 households.