Nigeria has applied many development policies in the past. They are truly pro-poor policies, but generally gender-neutral. This means that they give no thought to the fact that there are differences between poor men and women.

These past development policies in Nigeria included:

1. Agricultural Development Projects (ADPs): To stimulate increased food production and enhance the income of the rural populace

2. Better Life Programme/Family Support Programme: Aimed at alleviating rural poverty, particularly among women

3. Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI): Responsible for financing construction and rehabilitation of rural infrastructure – road, water supply, earth dams and rural electrification

4. National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA): To encourage smallholder farmers to bring more land under cultivation and thereby improve agricultural output

5. River Basin Development Authority: To raise agricultural productivity as well as the living standards of the populace

6. Strategic Grains Reserve Programme (SGRPs): To achieve stable prices for grains by buying large quantities at harvest period, storing and releasing them during off-season periods when prices are high because of scarcity

7. National Directorate of Employment (NDE): Responsible for vocational skills development and small-scale enterprise programmes designed to combat unemployment

8. Mass Mobilization for Social and Economic Reconstruction: A macro approach at mass mobilization whose aim was to encourage the participation of rural people in their development

9. National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND): To provide long-term loans at concessionary interest rates to promote small and medium scale industrial projects

10. Community Action Programme for Poverty Alleviation (CAPPA): To improve the living conditions of the poor through targeted cost-effective, demand-driven, promptly delivered programmes and to enhance the productivity of the poor through skill improvement; and to improve the nutritional status of the poor through improved household food security and health practice

11. Family Economic Advancement Programme (FEAP): Established to complement CAPPA

12. Primary Health Care (PHC) Scheme: Aimed at providing at least one health centre in every local government

13. People’s Bank and Community Banks: Designed to make banking services more accessible and extend credit to the poor

14. National Urban Mass Transit: To ease the problem of transport congestion for workers in urban centres

15. Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI): To provide types of immunization as advocated by the WHO and UNICEF

Source Human Development Report, Nigeria, 1998.