Oil resources have made a small number of
Nigerians stormy, while half the population is expected
to live below the poverty level. In terms of human
development, the country lies behind many other
countries in Africa. This is partly due to the fact that
healthcare is unusually poorly developed.
The World Health Organization WHO has judged the
healthcare system in Nigeria as one of the world's
worst. Health care has deteriorated following the large
investments made by oil revenues in the 1970s. In an
attempt to improve the situation, a compulsory social
security system for public employees was introduced in
2003. A 5 percent fee earned entitlement to health care
for the employee, spouse and up to four children.
Exceptions were made for certain diseases such as cancer
and HIV / AIDS. Other employees would have the right to
join if they wanted to.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Nigeria, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Child mortality is very high, every year around
800,000 Nigerians die before the age of five. The cause
is generally diseases that are both preventable and
treatable. This is particularly bad in the northern
parts of the country. Yet mortality has decreased: just
before the turn of the millennium, every fifth child
died before his fifth birthday; the figure is now
approaching half that.
Just over one child in three is suffering from
inhibited growth due to nutritional deficiencies.
However, malnutrition among the general population is
not as common in Nigeria as in other, equally poor
countries. The proportion of malnourished people in the
population has decreased from almost 40 percent in the
early 1980s to between 5 and 10 percent today. A lot has
happened thanks to the fact that new, more high-yielding
cassava varieties have begun to be grown.
Maternal mortality is also high. Many pregnancies at
a young age are one reason. Another is inadequate
medical care; there is a doctor of 4,000 residents.
Nevertheless, healthcare resources have been focused on
staff rather than buildings and equipment.
A third reason for the high maternal mortality rate
is that abortions are only allowed if the woman's life
is in danger. Desperate women turn to illegal
abortionists, who often lack medical education. Every
year, thousands of women in Nigeria die as a result of
abortions. Attempts to change abortion legislation have
so far been halted by conservative forces.
Every third inhabitant lacks access to clean water.
Genital mutilation is prohibited
The woman's position is difficult. It is common for
underage girls to get married, and in some people
groups, the woman lacks inheritance rights. Polygamy
occurs, among both Christians and Muslims. The same goes
for genital mutilation; At least one in four women is
estimated to have been subjected to some form of female
circumcision. The custom became illegal at national
level only in 2015 (there were bans in some states
In southern Nigeria, twin births in ancient times
were considered unnatural and unfortunate, and it
appeared that both mother and child were killed, but
that custom is now banned everywhere. It still happens
that widows have to submit to difficult rites, that
childless women are subjected to severe discrimination
and that people are persecuted because they are believed
to be engaged in witchcraft. Since the 1990s, the state
of Akwa Ibom in the south-east has been haunted by
conceptions of child witches, which has led to the
abandonment, abuse or even killing of children.
Pseudo-Christian "pastors" earn big money in expelling
evil spirits from the designated children.
Homosexuality is forbidden. Following a stricter law
in 2014, it is punishable by up to 14 years in prison to
openly show homosexual orientation or act for the rights
of gays. The law drew harsh criticism from, among
others, the UN, the US and the EU.
In some places, slave settlements are counted as
special castes that are discriminated against (for
historical background, see Older History). In November
2009, the human rights organization Civil Rights
Congress of Nigeria called on the traditional rulers
(kings, emirs, rulers, etc.) to recognize the role some
of their ancestors played in the slave trade of the last
century as they captured and sold their countrymen.
Crime is a major problem, especially in the cities.
Nigeria is, among other things, a transit country for
drug smuggling from South America and Asia to the US and
In 2019, a Abuja court ruled that prostitution is not
a crime in Nigeria, as there is no law prohibiting it.
It was the first time a court in Nigeria has ruled on
whether or not sex work is legal. The verdict was
expected to be a preliminary ruling. It is common for
prostitutes to be arrested by security agents, and there
are many testimonies of harassment and abuse by the
HIV is not as widespread as in southern Africa. The
number of HIV-infected Nigerians is still estimated to
be around 3 million, as the total population is so
large. More than 1.5 million children are orphans due to
AIDS. The authorities, in collaboration with the UN,
among others, have sought to increase access to brake
medicines with the aim that everyone should have access
A rumor campaign against polio vaccination in Kano in
northern Nigeria in 2003 led to a global effort to
eradicate polio. Nigeria was then one of only six
countries in the world where polio viruses still
existed. The rumors claimed that the vaccine contained
both HIV viruses and substances that made the recipients
fearless. Religious Muslim leaders fueled the rumors and
a Sharia court ruled that the United States produced the
vaccine to reduce the number of Muslims in the world.
Vaccinations in Northern Nigeria had to be
interrupted quickly and could only be resumed almost a
year later. Meanwhile, polio spread from Nigeria to at
least 20 countries where the virus had been considered
extinct. In 2008, Nigeria was the center of a new
outbreak of polio in West Africa, but soon the number of
new cases was reduced by several vaccination rounds. In
2015, WHO was able to remove Nigeria from the list of
countries where polio is spread, as it had been a year
since the last disease was found. But a year later, new
cases were discovered and a new vaccination campaign had
to be planned quickly (see Calendar).
The epidemic of hemorrhagic ebola that affected other
countries in West Africa in 2014 never took root in
Nigeria. Only a few cases occurred and the WHO praised
the country for an exemplary effort to stop the spread
A comprehensive vaccination campaign against measles
was carried out in 2017, as the number of outbreaks of
the deadly viral disease increased. Nearly 30 million
children were vaccinated, which was seen as a great
success. Yet there are more non-vaccinated children in
Nigeria than in any other country.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
76 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
1.5 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.8 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.5 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
67.3 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
39.2 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
3.6 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
$ 79 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
6 percent (2018)