In the 1970s, a new wave of development thinking generated the “basic needs” approach which focused on the direct provision of “essential” commodities and services, thus providing a counterweight to per capita income growth as a primary objective of development. The idea that a narrow focus on income was not justified received a significant boost from World Bank research in the 1970s which examined such concepts as “redistribution with growth” and “growth with equity”. In the context of Nigeria recent statistics indicate that the country seems to have a systemic structure of inequity; only such a system would permit just 20 per cent of the population to own 65 per cent of national assets while as much as 70 per cent of the same populations are peasant rural workers and artisans. As Nigeria continues to face the challenge of inequality in development, effective and evidence-based policies on promoting equity in development are of vital importance. Research on poverty reduction which is country-specific is essential. CPED,s research programme aims to address key evidence and knowledge gaps including research on regional patterns of development across the various geo-political zones in the country as manifested in highly unequal income distribution and differential access to basic infrastructure, education, training and job opportunities. CPED’s research programme aims to increase Nigerian policy makers and other stakeholders’ knowledge of evidence-based policies and programmes that improve equity in development across the country which in turn can facilitate the enhanced uptake of such policies and programmes. CPED will closely engage with these stakeholders from the very beginning and at every stage of the implementation of the research programme.