Neo-liberal State and Child Welfare Policy in Nigeria



Neoliberal state, Privatization, Removal of state subsidies, Deregulation, Child welfare, Policy.


Nigeria has many child welfare policies; however, many do not have effective impact on the welfare of children. . Economic dynamics in Nigeria and the introduction of the neoliberal state and economic policies which led to the breakdown of the family structure undermine the implementation of child welfare policies in Nigeria. This study argues that the introduction of the neoliberal state, that is a minimalist state and its economic policies such as privatization, removal of state subsidies and deregulation undermine the implementation of existing child welfare policies in Nigeria. These policies are market and profit driven perspective which has a significant impact on the prospects of sustainable development and welfare of children. The aim of the study is therefore to explain how the introduction of neoliberal economic policies created a gap in policy implementation in which children are not provided for within the social safety nets in the neoliberal Nigeria. These gaps have increased the rate of exclusion and integration of children in the area of education, health, protection, nutrition and wellbeing among others. This is mainly because the priorities of neoliberal policies are to expand market forces, facilitate open competition, enhance mass production, attract foreign investment, and maximize consumption which in many ways undermines child welfare and development. The article adopts a methodology involving qualitative research based on interviews of 70 participants and analyzed using thematic analysis.

Author Biographies

Nkemdilim Anazonwu, University of Nigeria

Lecturer, Department of Social Work

Peter Mbah, University of Nigeria Nsukka

Professor of Political Science

Chukwuedozie Kenechukwu Ajaero, University of Nigeria

Lecturer, Department of Georgraphy


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How to Cite

Anazonwu, N., Mbah, P., & Ajaero, C. K. (2023). Neo-liberal State and Child Welfare Policy in Nigeria. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 24(1). Retrieved from