Public Expenditure on Education and Healthcare in Nigeria: Who Benefits and Why?

Uzochukwu Amakom


People routinely expect their government through public policy to reduce poverty and inequality, and public
spending is one way a policy maker works towards achieving such important task. Education and healthcare
provision have been suggested as key sectors that help every policy maker achieve the above objective. The
study evaluated public spending efforts in reducing inequality and poverty at all levels of these two sectors using
the Benefit Incidence Analysis (BIA) in Nigeria. Findings from the study suggest that primary education and
healthcare were more pro-poor in absolute terms than tertiary education and healthcare. Secondary education and
healthcare reveal mixed results, while the findings suggest location bias in benefits from public spending for
both education and healthcare. The study findings therefore, imply that subsidising government services can
have more positive effect on income distribution if properly done than direct consumption or income transfers.

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