Realization of Economic and Social Rights in Ngieria: Challenges and Prospects

Every person is entitled to the full realization of the right to development. Development does not just consist in improving people’s wellbeing, it also includes the capacity of economic and social systems to provide the circumstances for that wellbeing on a suitable basis. Development includes the protection of the economic and social rights of citizens. In Nigeria, these rights are provided in Chapter II of the Constitution under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. There are also a plethora of international instruments which protect economic and social rights of citizens which Nigeria has ratified. Despite the existence of these laws which seek to promote the common good as well as ensuring the happiness and welfare of citizens, Nigerians have continued to suffer deterioration in their standard of living, unequal access and opportunities to resources, unequal access to education and health facilities as well as lack of opportunities to work. This study revealed that the situation in Nigeria, where there is lack of enjoyment of equality of rights, obligations and opportunities for all persons amount to a violation of the social and economic rights of citizens. In conclusion, it observed that the suppression of equal participation in socio-economic activities in Nigeria, is as a result of corruption, poor management of natural resources and the non- justiciability of Chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended). It is therefore recommended that Nigeria should amend her laws to make Chapter II of the Constitution justiciable so that citizens can enforce their social, economic and cultural rights, diversify her economy to promote job creation and poverty reduction and take adequate steps to strengthen her institutions in the fight against corruption.