The Path to Inclusive Growth in Nigeria: Are People with Disabilities Carried Along?

  • Emmanuel O. Okon Department of Economics, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria
Keywords: Poverty, Disabilities, People with Disabilities, Inclusive Growth, Nigeria.


The growing disconnect between the improving macro-economic indicators and the growing descent into poverty of over 170 million Nigerians is clearly anindicative of the fact that economic growth in Nigeria is non-inclusive as the country may have only attained what is known as growth without development. Using a purely descriptive and analytical methodology, this paper shows that inclusive growth is the growth that generates employment opportunities and reduces the depth and severity of the incidence of poverty. However, people with disability have in many cases been denied of job opportunities in Nigeria. This paper argues that the country cannot have inclusive growth unless disability is made an integral part of her growth. Considering that the economic inclusion of people with disabilities is a cross-cutting issue, successful results require complementary activities in multiple sectors. However, inclusion of people with disabilities in work/employment can lead to greater economic self-sufficiency. Though it should not be promoted as the only option for economic inclusion, self-employment can be a good alternative, especially in a country like Nigeria where there is a general dearth of opportunities for formal sector jobs. In that regard, this paper suggests that microfinance institutions should extend credit and other financial services for self-employment of people with disabilities.  Better still, specialized microfinance should be established for people with disabilities to provide supporting or complementary services.


Adamu, M. M. (2017).Delivering Inclusive Growth for Economic Development in Nigeria. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Development, Education and Science Research, 4(1), 209- 217.
Adeyanju, A. (2009).State and Living Conditions of Persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.!topic/usaafricadialogue/Bu1tPDD71VE
Ali, I. (2007). “Pro-Poor to Inclusive Growth: Asian Prescriptions”. ERD Policy Brief Series No. 48, Economics and Research Department, Asian Development Bank, Manila.
Banks, L. M., and Polack, S. (n.d.). The Economic Costs of Exclusion and Gains of Inclusion People with Disabilities: Evidence from Low and Middle Income Countries.
Burns, D., and Oswald, K. (2014). ‘We Can Also Make Change’: Piloting Participatory Research with Persons with Disabilities and Older People in Bangladesh. Sightsavers, HelpAge International, ADD International, Alzheimer’s Disease International & Institute of Development Studies.
Dell Orto, A., E., and Power, P. W. (2007). The Psychological and Social impact of Illness and Disability. 5th edition. NY: Springer Publishing Co.
DFID (2000). Disability, Poverty and Development. Department for International Development, London.
Economy Watch(n.d.). Nigeria Economic Statistics and Indicators.
Elwan, A. (1999). Poverty and Disability: A Ssurvey of Literature. World Bank. 1999.
FMWASD (2011).Report of the National Baseline Survey On Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.
Fougeyrollas, P., Cloutier, R., Bergeron, H., Côté, J., and St Michel, G. (1999). ‘Quebec Classification: disability creation process. International Network on the Disability Creation Process, Quebec.
Handicap International (2006). Good Practices for the Economic Inclusionof People with Disabilitiesin Developing Countries: Funding Mechanisms for
Handicap International and Blindenmission, C. (2006).Making PRSP Inclusive. World Bank, Washington .
Harris, C. (1997). ‘El autoempleo de las personas con discapacidad en países en desarrollo’. IDRC Reports.
Hernandez, B., McDonald, K., Divilbiss, M., Horin, E., Velcoff, J. & Donoso, O. (2008). Reflections from Employers on the Disabled Workforce: Focus Groups with Healthcare, Hospitality and Retail Administrators. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 20 (1), 157-164.
Heymann, J., Stein, M. A., and Moreno, G. (Eds.). (2014). Disability and Equality at Work.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Hope, T. (2003). Disabilities: Aid groups call for a UN Convention to protect rights. UNWire.
Grider, J., and Wydick, B. (2015). Wheels of Fortune: The Economic Impacts of Wheelchair Provision in Ethiopia. Journal of Development Effectiveness. Advance online publication.
Kelikume, M. (2015).Economic Development and Growth in Nigeria.
Lambo, T. A. (1981). Global concern for the Disabled: Its Social and Economic Implications for
Africa. Lagos, Nigeria: Paper Delivered at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, in Honour of the International Year of Disabled Persons (IYDP). Sept. 19.
Lamicchane, K. (2015). Disability, Education and Employment in Developing Countries: From Charity to Investment. CUP.
Lamichhane, K., and Sawada, Y. (2009). "Disability and Returns to Education in a Developing Country," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-645, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
Lanchovichina, E., and Lundstrom, S.(2009).What is Inclusive Growth. A note written for Donor
Supporting the Diagnostic Facility for Shared Growth. PRMED.
Lang, R., and Upah, L. (2008).Disability Issues in Nigeria. Commissioned by DFID.
Leadership (n.d.). Including Persons Living With Disability inthe Scheme of Things.
Loeb,M., and Eide,A. H.(2004).Living Conditions Among People with Activity Limitations in Malawi.Oslo: SINTEF.
Mauro, V., Biggeri, M., Deepak, S., and Trani, J-F. (2014). The Effectiveness of Community Based Rehabilitation Programs: An Impact Evaluation of a Quasi-Randomised Trial. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68(1), 1102-1108.
McKay, A. (2008). ‘Economic Growth, Inequality and PovertyReduction: Does Pro-Poor Growth Matter?’, IDS in Focus, no.3.
Mendoza, R. U., and Thelen, N. (2008). ‘Innovations to MakeMarkets More Inclusive for the Poor’.Development Policy Review, 26(4), 427-458.
Microsoft Encarta (2009), › Softwares › Education
Mji, G., MacLachan, M., Melling-Williams, N. and Gcaza, S. (2009) Realizing the rights of disabled people in Africa: An introduction to the special issue. Disability and Rehabilitation ,31 (1), pp.1-6.
Morgon Banks, L., and Polack, S. (2014). The Economic Costs of Exclusion and Gains of Inclusion of People with Disabilities: Evidence from Low and Middle Income Countries. CBM, International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Momyer, A. (2010).The Importance of Sports and Recreation to Disabled Youth. (n.d.). Nigeria Profile.
OECD (2014). Inclusive Growth. At on 25 April 2016.
President Muhammadu Buhari. 2016 budget of Change in Nigeria.
Ogujiuba, K., and Alehile, S.K. (2011).Inclusive Growth in Nigeria: Policy Issues and Options for Poverty Reduction. International Journal of Social and Economic Research, 1(1), 71-82. Available from: [accessed Apr 18, 2017].
Shier, M., Graham, J. R., and Jones, M. E. (2009). Barriers to Employment as Experienced by Disabled People: A Qualitative Analysis in Calgary and Regina, Canada. Disability & Society, 24(1), 63-75.
UK Essays (2015). The Need for Inclusive Growth in India. Economic Essay. Athttps://www.ukessay.coo/ess.
Walton, E. (2012). Using literature as a strategy to promote inclusivity in high school classrooms’. Intervention in School and Clinic, 47(4), 224-33.
Wehman, P. (2011). Employment for Persons with Disabilities: Where are we now and where do we need to go? Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 35(1), 145–151.
World Bank (2006). Disability: Towards an Inclusive Development.,,contentMDK:20264373.
WHO (2005). ‘Disability, Including Prevention, Management and Rehabilitation’. Fifty-eighth World Health Assembly.
Wolfensohn, J.D. (2003) Poor disabled and shut out. Washington Post, 3 December. (2016). Where is Nigeria?
World Economic Forum (2015). The Inclusive Growth and Development Report. At
Wikipedia (2016). Economic Development.
World Report on Disability (2011). Geneva: World Health Organization.
WRC. (2015). ‘I See That It Is Possible’: Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-Based Violence Programming in Humanitarian Settings. New York: Women’s Refugee Commission.
United Nations (1993). Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.United Nations General Assembly.
How to Cite
Okon, E. O. (2018). The Path to Inclusive Growth in Nigeria: Are People with Disabilities Carried Along?. American Economic & Social Review, 2(1), 6-19.
Original Articles/Review Articles/Case Reports/Short Communications