Global Resources

Public administration reform and transition from MDGs to SDGs in Nigeria

Author: Otive Igbuzor
Publisher: News Diary Online
Publication Date: Oct 2015

There is a desperate need for public administration reform in Nigeria if the country is to achieve the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That is the central message of this report by human rights activist and policy analyst Dr. Otive Igbuzor, who draws on academic literature and the lessons of Nigeria’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) implementation to highlight the key role that public administrations play in the success of any development programme. Igbuzor contextualises the argument against the growing global wealth inequalities, before briefly introducing, and highlighting the flaws and weaknesses of, the MDGs. Next the author assesses Nigeria’s efforts in implementing the MDGs, finding mixed results.


Globally, a number of lessons and trends become apparent when assessing the impact of the MDGs. These include that economic growth need not mean an improvement in health and education, and that human development can be significantly improved even without significant economic growth. The report identifies a number of actions that were successful in Nigeria's MDG process, and that should be scaled-up for the SDG implementation. Examples include MDG-specific budgetary allocations, the Institution of Monitoring and Evaluation, and the establishment of a dedicated government office.


The author notes several areas that require improvement going forward however, including increased financial resources, the need for overarching strategies at all scales of government, better coordination between federal and state government, and greater citizen participation and ownership. A section is dedicated to criticism of the backsliding in women’s political representation, which signifies a major failing in attempts to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. As a central pillar of the SDGs, this must be addressed as part of wide-ranging public administration reform.