Legislation, Policies and Social Exclusion in Nigeria

18th November 2019
Author: Jenny Birchall

In Nigeria, there are several pieces of legislation, and a selection of policies that, if implemented, will impact on social exclusion and which aim to increase excluded people’s access to services. There are also examples – such as the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, which will increase the social exclusion of marginalised groups. Examples of policies, legislation and evidence of action at the federal and state level in Nigeria that either promote social inclusion, or impact on social exclusion, are grouped in the following sections: Legislation and policies relevant to social exclusion broadly, Gender equality legislation and policies, Disability legislation and policies, Legislation relevant to ethnicity and religion, Legislation and policies on migration and displacement, Legislation and policies on children and young people, Legislation impacting on sexual minorities, and Legislation and policies on HIV. More published literature is available on legislation and policies at the federal level, with less information publicly available on what has been done at state level. In the time available for this review, it was not possible to look in detail at implementation of legislation and policies, although it does appear that there are significant gaps between policy and practice. This report focuses on policies and legislation in place at federal and state level in Nigeria, which will impact on social exclusion. A review of learning from programmes in this area can be found in another helpdesk report (Kelly, 2019).

Suggested Citation

Birchall, J. (2019). Legislation, policies and social exclusion in Nigeria. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


18th November 2019


Continent: Africa

Country: Nigeria