Historical origins of persistent inequality in Nigeria
Horizontal inequality by ethnic group has remained remarkably persistent for wealth, education and access to certain public services in Nigeria. While there has been notable progress made towards improving access to, and reducing ethnic inequality in access to locally administered services like some sanitation services and potable water, outcomes are stickier for wealth, education and historically federally administered services like grid-based power access in the country.
Populations in the Northwest and Northeast ethnic and geopolitical zones consistently report below national mean levels of wealth, education and electricity, while there have been significant gains made in closing the ethnic gap in access to water and sanitation over time.
This paper explores different explanations for the patterns observed and puts forth the thesis that persistent ethnic inequality in access to federally administered services is partly driven by historical heterogeneous federal government policy towards different groups in Nigeria.