Smart Economics: Inclusive Growth, Poverty Alleviation and Decent Employment in Nigeria

24 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2014

Date Written: June 13, 2014


Conventional wisdom has been that rapid economic growth would lead to job creation. However, despite laudable growth rates in past years, Nigeria has experienced a worsening in human development indicators including poverty, inequality and unemployment. Literature shows that economic policies do have an impact on employment, but evidently Nigeria’s employment policies have not lent to fill the ever-increasing employment gap. Why has this been the case? Furthermore, why have women tended to fare worse than men on most employment indicators? This paper gives an exposition on Nigeria’s jobless growth situation by looking at some economic policy choices that have been embarked on since independence and how they impacted on poverty and employment. It portrays this sequence of events, in addition to drawing attention to various other institutional factors, in order to produce a rich narrative of the labour market scenery in which Nigerian women have to “act”. It applies the concept of smart economics that recognizes that gender equality contributes to greater efficiency, productivity and inclusive growth. Finally, in addition to recommending that labour market policies should continually be aware of the importance of and strengthen the productive capacities of small and medium enterprises, and the informal economy which tend to be drivers of job creation in the economy and for women in particular, it proposes integrating a decent work agenda that promotes full and productive employment, rights at work, social protection and the promotion of social dialogue into future employment policies.

Keywords: Decent employment, Growth, Poverty, Smart Economics, Women

Suggested Citation

Ola-David, Oluyomi and Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Oyebanke, Smart Economics: Inclusive Growth, Poverty Alleviation and Decent Employment in Nigeria (June 13, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Oluyomi Ola-David (Contact Author)

Covenant University ( email )

Km 10 Idiroko road
Ota, 24001

Oyebanke Oyelaran-Oyeyinka

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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