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Sustainable Development Goals Integrated Policy Analysis and Costing

The intractable development challenge faced by many developing countries, including Nigeria, relate to development management process itself: understanding the scope of the challenges and their systemic properties, the tipping points where policies have the most impact, and implementation challenges. In Nigeria, this has manifested in poor delivery of public services, high levels of poverty and inequality, huge infrastructure deficit, and overall poor human development indices.

To address its development challenges the Government of Nigeria has identified key priorities to focus on in its medium-term development plan, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020). The Government of Nigeria is determined to achieve the SDGs and sees the ERGP as a vehicle to advance this objective.


In partnership with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MBNP), the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Budget Office of the Federation, and the United Nations Development Programme, Millennium Institute conducted an integrated analysis and costing requirements for achievement of the SDGs in Nigeria with a customized iSDG model. 


  • Provide insights into the adequacy of current policy initiatives and interventions aimed at achieving the SDGs; and identify additional policy initiatives that may be required and their impacts.

  • Determine the additional cost of scaling up public investments; and assess the implications of alternative financing strategies to close identified funding gaps.

Key Policy Insights and Recommendations

  • Simulation of the iSDG Nigeria model suggest that implementation of the ERGP is insufficient to reach the SDGs even under optimistic assumptions. Therefore, to improve on the achievement of the 2030 targets, significant additional SDG-related policies and programs need to be articulated and effectively implemented by both federal and sub-national governments.

  • Nevertheless, the ERGP could lead to substantial progress on some SDGs. Many of the interventions together synergize to increase economic productivity, which together with the assumed increased revenue collection efficiency, increases governmental leverage. Increased production and increased governmental leverage then foster further improvements in many (but not all) development areas.

  • Under very optimistic scenario, SDG 2 (End Hunger) has the greatest potential to be achieved by Nigeria. To increase the prospects of achieving many more SDGs beyond Goal 2, Nigeria will need much more than the estimated cost of 125 trillion Naira in real terms. It will therefore be necessary for Nigeria’s domestic and international partners to provide financial support substantially in excess of this amount.

  • An adapted policy mix could get much closer to the SDGs at lower cost. Strongly reducing fiscal pressure on the poorest income-quintile of the population is important when increasing overall fiscal pressure. This may even enable reducing the needed increase in subsidies and transfers, which also need to be reallocated towards the poor.

  • Strong population growth exacerbates many other issues. A sustained reduction in population growth could alleviate this through increasing the resources available per capita. Investment in family planning is therefore an important policy lever (although population growth reduction is a combined effect of interventions in several areas, e.g. improved education and better wages).

  • The ERGP does not provide sufficient resources for the important enabler education. Substantial additional efforts to increase secondary and tertiary enrollment are necessary. Increasing literacy through school education alone is much too slow, and adult literacy programs are necessary.

  • Renewable energies are a special area of concern as they have multiple benefits, e.g. concerning affordable access to electricity, economic activity but also concerning air pollution and thus respiratory diseases, education etc. Their success however depends on successful reform in power sector.

  • The typical problems of emerging countries (overuse of resources, pollution crisis) are an undesirable side-effect of economic growth. They can only be preempted through early action of “leap-frogging” (skipping some development stages directly to modern sustainable solutions). If the conventional economic growth path is followed because these are considered “future luxury problems” action will be taken too late.

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