The agriculture sector is largely subsidized and has made a 26.8 per cent contribution to GDP in 2005. Industry and services contributed by 48.8 and 24.4 per cent respectively. Although, Nigeria had once been a large net exporter of food, it is now importing some of its food products. Nigeria's economic progression has been disturbed by corruption, political instability and poor macroeconomic management for years. Following the restoration of democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria is now undergoing substantial economic reform (Anthony Maduagwu, 09/09/00).
During the period 2003 to 2007, Nigeria put into effect National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) which aimed towards raising the standard of living of the people by establishing macroeconomic stability through deregulation of the economic environment privatization of government ventures, economic liberalization and accountability. This initiative also addressed the basic deficiencies such as unreliable power supplies, poor infrastructure and lack of fresh water for household and irrigation. It was also aimed towards creating 7 million employments, boosting non-energy exports, increasing industrial capacity utilization, improving agricultural productivity and diversifying the economy. Similar initiative called State Economic Empowerment Development Strategy was also implemented at the state level. The UN sponsored the National Development Goals program for Nigeria, as a long-term economic development program, covering the period 2000-2015. Under this program Nigeria is committed to achieve number of set targets in the areas of poverty reduction, gender equality, health, education, environment and international development cooperation.
Despite these efforts and with the presence of enormous resources, both physical and human and potential for development, Nigeria still remains the 20th among the world's poorest countries. It is also predicted that Nigeria is far away from meeting the global development targets. According to UN statistics, Nigeria has made progress in providing universal primary education, protecting the environment, and developing global development partnerships. However, no significant achievement has been made in eliminating extreme poverty and hunger, reducing child and maternal mortality, and combating diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and malaria.
Widespread poverty has been an enormous challenge to the development of Nigeria. Per capita GDP in Nigeria increased from US $ 1,200 in 1981 to US $ 2260 in 2007, but 55 per cent of its population falls below the poverty line (World Bank). About 92 percent of its population survives less than $2 per day and 71 per cent survives on less than $1 per day (2010 Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO). Poverty conditions are more acute in rural areas. However, city dwellers, especially thousands of those living in urban slums also face severe economic and social hardships. Increasing incidences of crime and kidnapping are indicative of the alarming level of insecurity in the country. Political violence, prostitution and child