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Accepted Paper:

Nigeria: Politics, Social Protection and the Emerging Influences of COVID-19  
Victor Ogharanduku (Save the Children International (SCI))

Paper long abstract:

Before COVID-19, social protection in Nigeria witnessed a not too significant improvement in terms of provision, expansion, coverage and benefits since the country’s return to democratic governance, a period when policy-makers began paying attention to social protection and its role in poverty reduction. But provision, expansion, coverage and benefits remained very poor, in spite of high levels of economic growth that saw the country’s fiscal space grow and expand exponentially. This expansion in fiscal space did not translate into improvement of social protection. The inherent structures and dynamics of the country’s political economy wielded greatly, enormous influence over social protection; but more importantly was its politics; indicating a challenge of institutionalising progressive general welfare improvements and reconciling the influences of politics and the political economy. However, COVID-19 seems to have compounded this by placing enormous pressure on politics, shrinking the fiscal space and increasing the demand for social protection. This paper examines the impacts, the country’s politics has been having on social protection as well as the influence of COVID-19 on politics and social protection in the country using the framework employed by the Effective State and Inclusive Development Research Centre (ESID) with the aim of providing an in-depth explanations including proffering practicable policy options to improve the current state of social protection in the country. Specifically, it focuses on the influences of politics on social protection at actor, institutional, national, economic and social levels. As well as the paper discusses the impact that social protection is having on politics.

Panel P27a
The politics of expanding and sustaining social protection: continuities and ruptures in unsettled times I
  Session 1 Tuesday 29 June, 2021, -