The Paradox of Economic Growth Without Development in Nigeria

18 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2015

Date Written: November 20, 2014


This study on the paradox of economic growth without development seeks to investigate and determine the abnormalities associated with economic growth and development in Nigeria. Poverty in Nigeria is rising with more than 110 million people living on less than $1 a day, despite strong growth in Nigeria’s economy. In spite of its growth, the Nigerian economy has failed to generate decent jobs and poverty is widespread. The unemployment rate is about 23.9% compared to 21.4% in 2010. Poverty is very high and persistent. Social indicators in health and education remained relatively weak. Corruption, fraud, high level of insecurity and treasury looting has been identified as the major systemic problems that entrenched this paradox and an albatross on the neck of the national economy. In Nigeria, economy is seen to be growing on paper but ironically and unfortunately, in reality, it is a progressive deterioration, at best, depressive stagnation of the economic indicators. Unemployment and poverty in the country is at crisis level already. With these myriad of problems, the country’s economy is in a paradox state. The study involves archival studies to examine extant literature on why the Nigerian economy is growing yet no development. Data for analysis are extracted from publications of regulatory agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as well as other relevant international agencies reports. The paper therefore recommends among others; that government should operate inclusive growth economy to tackle poverty and unemployment. It was therefore concluded that positive growth has not translated into development as evidenced by high and rising rates of unemployment and poverty of almost 70% and low Human Development Index (HDI).

Keywords: Development, Economic Development, Economic Growth, Poverty, Unemployment.

Suggested Citation

Edet, Lawrence, The Paradox of Economic Growth Without Development in Nigeria (November 20, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Lawrence Edet (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

United Kingdom
+447404340789 (Phone)

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