Supporting The Public Sector of Nigeria



There are nine years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary six, with two cycles each of three years. Some 80 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2009).

The Independent Schools Act 2004 facilitates private sector participation in the education sector, while the Nigeria Private School Authority acts as the regulatory agency. Nigeria uses the model of Universal Basic Education (UBE) that was designed to conform to the Millennium Development Goals and Education For All. In 2010, private enrolments made up 7.8 per cent of total primary education enrolment and 21.5 per cent of secondary education enrolment (World Bank).

Private and public schools offer the same curriculum, although most private schools also incorporate the Cambridge International Examination curriculum, which lets students take the IGCSE exams during their final year. Private schools average a cost of US$1,000–2,000 per student per year, while federal government colleges cost $100 and state-owned schools are funded by the government, although students are required to buy equipment totalling around $200. At the end of 2013 there were 2,000 private schools in Nigeria.

By October 2013, the National Universities Commission had accredited 40 federal universities, 38 state universities and 51 private universities, including four federal universities of technology, three federal universities of agriculture and the National Open University of Nigeria.


Public spending on health was two per cent of GDP in 2010. Half (58 per cent) of the population uses an improved drinking water source and 31 per cent have adequate sanitation facilities (2010). There are 18 university teaching hospitals in Nigeria (2014). Infant mortality was 78 per 1,000 live births in 2011 (123 in 1960). In 2011, 3.7 per cent of people aged 15–49 were HIV positive.

The pre-independence Common Law supports private sector participation within the health sector, with the Ministry of Health functioning as the regulatory agency. More than two-thirds of the health sector is privately owned.


The Nigerian Federal Housing Authority functions as the regulatory agency for private sector participation in the housing sector. The authority’s mandate is to reduce the housing deficit in Nigeria and to make housing a main driver towards Vision 2020:20. The adoption of public–private partnerships in housing provision is anticipated to increase urban housing numbers and address challenges in affordability and accessibility. In 2013, information on how PPP housing schemes have addressed these challenges was yet unavailable. The Housing Finance Development Programme, approved in September 2013 and scheduled to end December 2018, will support the establishment and operation of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company. The company will be created through a partnership of private financial institutions, development finance institutions and the Ministry of Finance.


There are 193,200 km of roads, 15 per cent paved, which link all main centres. Some secondary roads are impassable during the rains. The main ports are at Apapa, Tin Can Island, Warri, Sapele, Port Harcourt and Calabar. Ferry services operate along the Niger and Benue rivers and along the coast. Murtala Muhammed International Airport is 22 km north of Lagos; other main international airports are at Abuja (35 km from the city), Kano and Port Harcourt, and main domestic airports at Benin City, Calabar, Enugu, Jos, Kaduna, Lagos, Maiduguri, Sokoto and Yola.

The transport sector contains some of the largest projects in the country, which relate to the development of airports, roads, light rail, ports and the Lagos Badagry Expressway. Lagos state announced plans to buy back the rights relating to the 30-year design–build–operate–transfer concession for the expressway in August 2013.

Rail: There are around 3,530 km of railway, the main routes running from Lagos to Kano, and from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, with a branch line from Zaria to Gusau and Kaura Namoda. Much of the network is single-track and the narrow gauge restricts speed and load-carrying capacity. The federal government is eager to attract investment into the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to facilitate long-term sustainability. In May 2013, NRC revealed plans to engage in a PPP in order to get hold of the huge investments required to move the sub-sector forward. An amendment to the Railway Act must be approved and passed before the partnership can go through as the current laws regarding privatisation make PPPs nearly impossible.

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