Efforts to develop the Nigerian health care system have been hindered by several notable challenges, including limited public funding, a high communicable diseases burden, rising incidence of non-communicable diseases, and elevated rates of infant and maternal mortality. However, Nigeria’s large, young population, widening deficits in primary and specialty care, and the state’s encouragement of investment have created opportunities for growth across all levels of service provision. The government’s willingness to plan and partner with private providers should help to considerably improve the quality, access and outcomes of patient care in the years to come. Meanwhile, the education system presents itself as well with some challenges. Budget shortfalls have stretched the public system thin, while disparities in enrolment and outcomes across the K-12 spectrum continue to emerge along the lines of gender and geography. Moreover, primary and secondary enrolment has slipped in the midst of insecurity in the country’s north, even as the insurgency has ebbed. However, recent policy reforms should propel public investment in new facilities, classroom resources and teacher training, which should improve student outcomes and reduce the country’s large out-of-school population.
This chapter contains an interview with Abubakar A Rasheed, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission.