American Journal of Social Science Research, Vol. 1, No. 4, October 2015 Publish Date: Jul. 23, 2015 Pages: 226-237

Globalization and the Quest for Development in Nigeria

Derin Ologbenla1, Samuel Adetola Ogunwa2, *

1Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria

2Department of Political Science and International Relations, College of Business and Social Sciences, Crawford University, Faith City, Igbesa, Nigeria


Globalization and development in Nigeria is now more imperative than ever before, if the quest for development in all ramifications is to be achieved holistically. The development anticipated from globalization has turned to be a zero-sum game since the economy of globalization is intended towards consolidating the North hegemony. Developing countries continued to receive the pitfalls of globalization in spite of the fact that the developed and developing worlds should be co-beneficiaries. Also, globalization is subjective and at the same time Eurocentric as it propagates the philosophy of Western ideology housed in the New World Order. The paper is a warning signal for the Nigerian government to put the country in order, so that the wave of globalization which allows multinational corporations to decide the of fate of others through nationalization and internationalization of national properties of the peripheries to those of metropolitan cities who neither reside in the peripheries, but sent agents across the globe to monitoring their investments in and out. The paper argues that Nigeria has been at the receiving end of globalization and in fact globalization is a socio-parasite on the country’s quest for development. For globalization to be relevant in Nigeria and to benefit the majority of the Nigerian peoples, the leaders at all levels of governance should be autochthonous and sensitive before globalization is accepted in all ramifications. The paper concludes that there are benefits to be derived from the globalizing world, if both the givers of globalization and the receivers of globalization can create an atmosphere where political, economic, social, and cultural consensus can be made, so that what becomes ‘A’, that is the Global North becomes ‘B’, that is the Global South and what becomes the Global South becomes the Global North at long run.


Globalization, Development, Imperialism, Nigeria; Economy, Global North, Global South

1. Introduction

The internationalization of economic policies across the world by the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and financial institutions like the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) (the Bretton Woods institutions) have continues to shape and determine the place of developing countries in this era of globalization. While this is a paradigm shift from autarchism to trade liberalization, which encourages developing countries to open their borders from the obstacles and hindrances that hitherto prevented movements of goods, services and peoples into their territories. Thus, globalization in the words of Court and Yamagihara is about the;

International features of the world economy; rapid advances in communication and transportation technology, expanding geographical scope for business activities of private corporation and financial institution, the integration of markets across national borders, and higher degree of uniformity in policy and institutional environments that set the rules of the game for economic actions and interactions on the part of private agents based in various countries (Court and Yamagihara, 1998, cited in Alimi and Atanda, 2011: 345).

The developing countries quest for self-development, self-reliance, self-growth, self-independence and self-absolutism, self-initiatives, and autochthonous growth and development are redirected towards the dictates of Western societies. For decades now, globalization has privatized, commercialize, deregulate and liberalize Third World economies. The public enterprises and the private sector of economy became part and parcel of globalization movement. Therefore globalization encourages the deregulation of domestic markets across the board. The spirit of globalization is toward trade liberalization of the world and domestic economies across the board, encouraging foreign investors to invest domestically in economies of the developing countries. Thus, globalization is about bringing: financial capital, investments, experts, technical know-how, technology, markets, services and goods into the less advanced countries with the aim to ensure that these countries imbibe or accept in totality foreign goods and services, while at the same time discouraging local productions, local experts, local industries and other services as incapable of being produced by the host or peripheral countries.

However, the politics of globalization as Adeniran (1983: 151) observed produced different views for the one world. According to him, the global financial institutions ensure;

Monetary stability and economic expansion of the North – the North in this context implying the industrially more developed areas of the world, to the disadvantage of the South which comprises of the nations from the Third World.

This inequality, Edwards (2001: 26) posits "only the strong are represented and only the weak are punished". Thus, globalization created asymmetrical relationship between the North and South. Blake and Walters (1976:8) argues that;

The benefits of such international economic relations between rich and poor states are distributed asymmetrically in favour of the rich. This continued asymmetric in the distribution of benefits from a basically exploitative relationship between dominant and dependent states that is seen by adherents of radical thought as the explanation for the existence and the widening of the gap between rich and poor countries.

The Global South reliance on the industrialized Global North continues to encourage economic dependence devoid of autonomy and political independence;

But also because the United States was in a peculiarly advantageous position to benefit from international economic transactions conducted in accordance with the norms established by GATT and the IMF. … An international economic order based on the principles of free movement of goods and capital served perfectly America’s domestic and foreign economic interests and capabilities (Blake and Walters, 1976: 13).

The policy of globalization continues the trend which started in 1940s following the establishment of the Bretton Woods institutions (WB and the IMF) and more recently the WTO. For instance, the Global North dictated economic and developmental strategies for the Global South. Such strategies are: good governance, democracy, accountability, transparency, and due process. These institutions and strategies for Third World is on zero-sum relationship between both the South and the North especially for the Africans. Amuwo argues;

Perhaps nowhere is globalization more pernicious and debilitating to the interest of Africa than the hugely unfair trade practices institutionalized under the aegis of the World Trade Organization (WTO). By favoring the worst form of unregulated capitalism in modern history-with rigged rules and unfair agricultural standards for Africa—globalization imperils both democracy and development on the continent (2002: 68).

Globalization, therefore, ensures the new-comers into the global economy to replace and provide what the government institutions or enterprises failed to provide in terms of goods and services. Globalization has encouraged the various governments to ensure that all publicly owned enterprises are privatized and commercialized. What then is the trend of globalization in Nigeria? To what extent is globalization benefit the Nigerian peoples? Can the Nigerian economy grow under globalization? Will globalization useful for us now? Does Nigerian government have sufficient mechanisms to sustain, adapt and adopt globalization? What are the effects of globalization to the economy since 1999 to date? To what extent is the government managing globalization for sustainable development in the country? The rest of the paper is divided into six sections, namely: conceptualizing globalization; Africa and globalization; Nigeria and globalization – historical approach; Nigeria and globalization – constraints; Nigeria and globalization – prospects; and conclusion.

2. Conceptualizing Globalization

Globalization means different thing to different people. Maku (2007) opined, it is a world phenomenon which means different things to different people and different things to the same people across time and space. Held, et al (1999: 27) argues that "globalization is best understood as a multifaceted or differentiated social phenomenon" because there are "dynamics and consequences of globalization". Globalization is "the widening, deepening and speeding up of worldwide interconnectedness in all the aspects of contemporary social life, from the cultural to the criminal, the financial to the spiritual". Friedman (2005) commented that globalization has made the world flat, emphasizing that "individuals (not just countries and companies) can now communicate from anywhere to anywhere collaborating and competing for the first on a level playing field" (cited in Response, 2007: 28). However, for Amuwo globalization is multifaceted and perpetuated asymmetrical relationship;

Globalization is a complex process and phenomenon of antinomies and dialectics: integrating and fragmenting world; uniformity and localization; increased material prosperity and deepening misery; homogenization and hegemonization. Globalization is nothing but a mixed grill. On the one hand, it has the potentiality of eroding national sovereignty of the weakest and poorest states, whilst widening the technological divide amongst states; on the other, it tends to provide an enabling environment for greater respects for human rights and gender equality. It is an economic orthodoxy that is failing the people, but enriching investors and big corporations. When Africa’s political leaders rein into it, it is problematic; and when nation-states propose or seek to implement alternatives, they are punished. They are reminded by the rich and powerful nations, la Reagan and Thatcher, that there is no alternative to the only way—the market path—of running the ‘global economy’ (2002: 67).

Scholars like Ohmae (1995: 5), Wriston (1992), and Guehenno (1995) argue that globalization is a condition in which primitive or "traditional nation-states have become unnatural, even impossible business units in a global economy". This definition sees the nation-states no longer relevant in contemporary economy that is unfolding, because "denationalization" of companies or governments’ investments hitherto in the hands of governmental employees or appointed agencies. "Denationalization" or control of economies by the multinational corporations fitted properly into privatization and commercialization of essential services such as health, education, security, energy sectors, etc.

The nation-states have lost its sovereignty and became "borderless" since the government act on the scripts of the multinationals. Held, et al. (1999: 4) observes that;

Since the national economy is increasingly a site of transnational and global flows, as opposed to the primary container of national, socio-economic activity, the authority and legitimacy of the nation-state are challenged: national governments become increasingly unable either to control what transpires within their own borders or to fulfill by themselves the demands of their own citizens.

The view of Cooper (2001: 192 – 193) on globalization is relevant here. For him, globalization has manifested in three ways. "Banker’s Boast" today’s globalization remove governments sovereignty; secondly, "Social Democrats" this de-emphasis the subsidies on the social welfare programmes on social services like health, education among others; and lastly, "Dance of the flows and fragments" that is globalization as a mechanism erodes equal treatment between the Global North and the Global South. He further argued that globalization has benefited only few states especially industrialized societies such as America, EU, Japan, China and few others. While other countries as he argues "are in permanent economic crisis". In Africa, the socalled the macro-economic, neo-liberal, market-openness policies have retarded the economic development and contributed tokenism "Africa’s contribution to world trades and its intake of investment funds were larger in the days of national economic policy than in the days of economic openness". He concludes that the modern globalization is the "age of globalizing/deglobalization in Africa or of distorted globalization" (Cooper, 2001: 200).

Therefore the forces of globalization or the Global North render the powers, influences, and authorities of national governments in developing the Global South irrelevant actors. Strange (1996: 4) put it this way;

The impersonal forces of world markets… are now more powerful than the states to whom ultimate political authority over society and economy is supposed to belong… the declining authority of states is reflected in a growing diffusion of authority to other institutions and associations, and to local and regional bodies.

The consequences of globalization, Held, et al (1999: 3) commented;

Economic globalization is constructing new forces of social organization that are supplanting, or that will eventually supplant, traditional nation-states as the primary economic and political units of world society.

While globalization is eroding the necessity of national government, and other national stake-holders ‘partially’, globalization is an ideology or philosophy of the winners and loser’s syndrome as far as trade relations is concerned. The growing gap between the North and the South led to economic dependency on the North by the South as against inter-dependence.

No doubt, the movers of globalization are the multinationals or transnational corporations or what Hirst and Thompson (1996) describe as "internationalization", and "interactions between predominantly national economics as a result of integrated global market". This continues economic marginalization of many Third World as the traders and investors and investments flowing into the rich-North at the exclusion of much of the rest of the globe.

This inform the argument put forward by Mazrui (1999) that;

The continent (Africa) helped to develop Europe through labor, territory and extractive ‘imperatives’ of the colonial era, every stage of Africa’s contribution to globalization was also a stage in its own marginalization.

The economy inequality, cultural homogenization, global culture, global taste, global governance, and economic internationalization are "primarily Western protects" (Mazrui, 1999).

Thus, the continent is economically worse hit. According to Amuwo (2002: 67-68) "the autonomy and degree of maneuverability of African states are severely constrained". Manji (2002: 580) has the same thought that Africa lacks the ability to develop their own market capital and therefore "increasingly lost the authority to determine the direction of social development or the context of social policy."Therefore, globalization, is more for the corporate world both in the developed world and less for the hapless people in the developing world (Rugumaru, 2001: 5). Thus;

The phenomenon has been anything but a positive sum-game; poor countries not only routinely lose out to the rich, but also transfer huge export earnings to foreign institutional creditors in the name of debt servicing—four times more money than they spend on basic health care and education (Amuwo, 2002: 68).

The agents of globalization like the World Trade Organization (WTO) continue to marginalize the developing countries. Bello (n.d) provided five holistic ways the WTO perpetuated this. One, WTO has continues to protect the interest of the US through the signing of the Marrakesh Accord of 1994, and the Uruguay Round Agreement. This effectively rendered some states "their right to employ a variety of critical trade measures for development purposes".According to Amuwo the debilitating of this is the ‘local content’ rules used by several newly industrializing countries to achieve a judicious balance between foreign investment and national industrialization is lost (2002: 68).

Second, the Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) and Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) have removed the capacity of developing countries to industrialize and develop, but encourage continuing dependence on the Western nations in terms of technology and aid among others. Third, WTO did not put into consideration ‘special and differential’ status of developing countries in the UNCTAD and GATT mechanisms, but emphasis that development is only attainable through "radical trade (and investment) and liberalization". Four, the WTO’s Special Measures on Third World countries have not been respected or adhered to strictly. For instance, the agricultural measure assistance meant to help the developing countries especially on ‘Net Food Importing Countries’ which aim to offsetting the reduction of subsidies that would make food imports more expensive (Amuwo, 2002: 68). Five, the directive to the developing countries to withdraw their assistance to their famers in terms of fertilizers and other assistances, but the OECD countries have continued to increase theirs. Thus, Bello summarize the WTO as an organization which;

Systematically protects the trade and economic advantages of the rich countries, particularly the United States. It is based on a paradigm or philosophy that denigrates the right to take activist measures to achieve development on the part of the less developed countries, thus leading to a radical dilution of their rights to ‘special and differential treatment.’ The WTO raises inequality into a principle of decision-making.

In theory and practice there is no distinction between the international and domestic or external and internal affairs (Rosenau, 1990). Rosenau argues that the growth of "intermestic" affairs define a "new frontiers", the expanding political, economic and social space in which the fate of societies and communities is decided (1990: 4 - 5). Thus, globalization has become a propeller or agent for transformation of nation-states as Giddens (1996) put it "shake-out" of societies, including its economies, institutions of governance and philosophy of world order. Globalization is meant to restructure nation-states to meet demand of globalizing economic system, or what a scholar describes as "Netscape web browser, work-flow software, out-sourcing offshoring, and supply-chaining" (Response, 2007: 28).

For, Jinadu (2010: 20) it is a "new globalization is propelled by the trans-nationalization of finance capital, in search of new market, and the logic of capital accumulation". The contemporary globalization has been linked with the New Scramble for Africa resources, which is;

Mediated and facilitated on a world scale by technological advances, world trade regimes, and by hegemonizing and universalizing or homogenizing cultural and intellectual institutions, even as they generate their contraries or competing responses, in the form of the dialectics of domination and liberation.

Globalization or "new imperialism" is characterized with the expansion of production in metropolitan markets; control of world markets especially by the multinational corporations, seeking to control the most profitable industries in these markets; movement of manufacturing facilities by multinational countries to lower-wage countries; rise of an industrial-military complex; the articulation of the "new" imperialist countries to the periphery through transnational corporations and dependent national comprador bourgeoisies (Casanova cited in Jinadu, 2010: 20).

The transfer of surplus from the peripheral states to the metropolitan cities increased considerably the extent to which this greatly has negative effects on the peripheral states. Casanova put it this way;

The exploitation of the periphery by world capitalism has intensified … data on capital transfers and declines in standards of living in the countries of the periphery… indicate that the imperialist exploitation and domination of these countries is now thorough than ever (quoted in Jinadu, 2010: 21).

Globalization like the old imperialism is "anchored on structural foundations, which are complemented and reinforced by a number of universalizing cultural, legal, political and social factors which constitute its ideology" (Jinadu, 2010: 21). Thus globalization as an ideology is what is moving the world and is recolonizing the peripheral countries including its economies, political, social and cultural resources, and at the same time "they confer power and influence on the new imperialists without political responsibility and accountability to us" (Jinadu, 2010: 23).

Therefore, since the relationship between the Global North and the Global South is not a political responsibility, but for the North to consolidate their economies and governments. Held, et al (1999: 4) concluded that "Against this background, governments have to ‘manage’ the social consequences of globalization". And for others who are yet to embrace globalization "having been left behind, want not so much a chance to move forward as to hold others back" (Ohmae, 1995: 64).

3. Africa and Globalization

Globalization has as a positive development and open avenues for trade liberalism for African goods and services. Jinadu (2010: 20) commented that;

This new globalization is propelled by the trans-nationalization of finance capital, in search of new markets, and the logic of capital accumulation. Typically, this contemporary globalization, which has transferred the old globalization which the Scramble exemplified, with new centers, emerging centers, and new peripheries.

Yet, at independence as Amuwo put it;

This misreading of the global system is not new. Africa’s political leaders at juridical independence in the 1960s—and the state formations they inherited—were introduced to what they thought was a neutral, almost altruistic, international economic and financial system that was interested in the continent’s ‘accelerated development’ with a view to ‘catching up with the West’ (two of the buzzwords of that era). Once the euphoria of independence withered away, the leaders would discover a world ‘order’ that was, almost in all material particular, disorderly and anarchical. They found a global system where ethics and morality were—and still are—routinely neglected in favor of real-politick and an aggressive pursuit of national interests. They found a globe dominated by highly industrialized, rich and powerful nations that jealously protect their markets, industries and privileges whilst states that do little more than produce raw materials and sell primary goods, by virtue of an amoral ‘international division of labor,’ have to play second fiddle (2002: 69).

So there was no African representative at the White House when the new World Order, that is, when globalization was being decided on the countries in Africa;

Naturally, Africa’s political leaders have been frustrated by this reality more so that over four decades after, few, if any, of the promises of development have been fulfilled on the continent. On the contrary, almost by all accounts, Africans are, in general terms, worse off today materially than they were at nominal independence. Today, the majority of those 1.2 billion people the World Bank says live on less than one US dollar per day are found on the continent. Whilst foreign aid and foreign direct investments (FDIs) are drying up, much of what remains continues to be tied to buying goods and services from donor nations (Amuwo, 2002: 69).

Lester, et al (2000: 280) commented that investments on the continent are the lowest FDI in the world-less than 0.5% of the value of their GNP. Collier (2000) put the situation correctly;

Africa is currently attracting only those investments which cannot be located elsewhere, such as mineral extraction or production for the (tiny) domestic market. The major internationally footloose investments are simply bypassing Africa as a location" (quoted in Amuwo, 2002: 69).

Cooper (2001: 207) adduced the reason for this development is that Africa "is filled with areas where international investors do not go".

While globalization is meant to transform the battered socio-political economic system and to encourage quantum investments, this has not been possible as a result of the host government inability to articulate autochthonous policy for its operations. Also, investors have capitalized on the weaknesses of the hosts countries to ensure profitability of their investments. Thus, Amuwo infers;

To all appearances, Africa’s political leaders and their sundry economic and political advisers do not read the nature and character of the global system they are dealing with in the way we have articulated above. They seem to believe that genuine partnership is possible between them and their Western counterparts based on the existing rules of the contemporary global system (2002: 68-69).

4. Nigeria and Globalization: Historical Approach

The incorporation of Nigeria into the International Capitalist Economic System is traceable to the Berlin Conference of 1884/85 (Jinadu, 2010: 16) when African societies were balkanized into segments for easy administrative maneuvering. In Nigeria the process of official colonialism started from the Yoruba territory and later spread to other part of the country;

The phenomenon of globalization came to Nigeria for the first-time, not just in the last century as it is generally thought, but when the Portuguese and the British landed on our shores before the end of the nineteenth century to establish new trade links and to spread Christianity (Aware, 2004: 21).

The need for new markets made the "sphere of influence" (Jinadu, 2010) and colonialism spread to other parts of the country. To operate successfully, the British government imposed its own political system on the people (Aware, 2004). The policy of Indirect Rule was used as a political mechanism to govern the Nigerian peoples. The policy of colonialism in Nigeria transformed the mode of governance and other social aspects of life. In short, the indigenous system of government was replaced with the foreign system. Agbebaku and Aidelokhai (1995: 227) commented that;

Migration of new structures from metropolitan Europe without the underlying cultural and social imperatives favourable to their successful operation in the metropolitan centers: constructs like "Democracy", "Rule of Law", and institutions like the "Military", "Bureaucracy" and elected "Parliaments" among others are some of the migrated social structures engrafted into the new colonial situation.

These foreign concepts were fully incorporated into the Nigerian society and practically change in all ramifications all the existing structures which were once cherished and applauded.

It is important to say that the peoples contact with the British government disrupted existing trade network, denied industrial development and discouraged local production. Also discouraged local industries and compelled the indigenous peoples to divert to primary production in order for the British bourgeoisie to feed their industries in the metropolitan states. Furthermore, a colonial type of trade was established leading to money-economy and this made the European currencies become the medium of exchange. The establishment of the Bank of British for West Africa in 1894 was the main launcher of Nigeria, its people and resources into the World Capitalism (Agbebaku and Aidelokhai, 1995: 230). Indeed, the view expressed by Coleman (1958) that Nigeria is the British creation and the intension of that creation is the British economic interest is valid. Thus, colonialism, conquest, and integration of the Nigeria economy into the World Capitalist System, indeed was the beginning of globalization in Nigeria. Onimode (1983) argued that as the capitalist mode develops extensively, it confronts the non-capitalist mode of production which it forcefully transformed its many resources and products into commodities for the international capitalist system in the effort to create a dependent capitalist economy.

The incorporation of the country has severe consequences on the polity. Adejugbe (2004: 326) put it this way, "Displacement of indigenous products and processes through which importation of seemingly superior imported substitutes replace domestic products constitute distortions". Ajayi collaborated this view that the presence of the colonial government;

The colonial powers in Africa did not hesitate to destroy existing trade, if only to divert attention to the production and the export of such crops to European industries in exchange for ‘importation of European manufacture’" (quoted in Adejugbe, 2004: 326).

The disruption of local industries as Adejugbe (2004: 326) observed;

Good examples of such displacements include the extermination of the indigenous earth-ware industry, the dyeing industry (adire), the high quality textiles industry (which William Baikie, the British Consul found in Lokoja in the 1860s) and the brick-making industry. The indigenous distillery of spirit was outlawed for a long time while similar spirits were imported into the country unfettered. Similarly, patents were registered to inhibit domestic technological capability and development.

Other consequences were: the creation of an unviable and unhegemonic state; the establishment of weak and non-productive ruling class; the dependent of Nigeria on the production of narrow range of cash crops for foreign exchange; the vulnerability to price fluctuations; domination of the economy by the multinational corporations; reliance and dependent on foreign experts and loans; low level of technology; finance of national budget by the World Bank; reliance on the advise of the institutions of capitalist systems like the WB, IMF, and WTO; and finally, the integration of Nigeria’s economy at the periphery and at the same time as a Junior Partner.

The discovery of crude oil in Oloibiri in the Niger Delta area (Obi and Okwechime, 2004: 348) opened another prospects of integration of the economy than what we are used to in pre-colonial, and colonial eras. The fact that oil was discovered in large quantities in Nigeria gave industrialized nations, because of the technological-know-how to dominate the country’s oil sector of the economy. The giant companies are: Shell Petroleum Development Company; Chevron Texaco, Total Fina Elf, Exxon Mobil, Pan Ocean, Trans Ocean, Conoco, Philips, Statoil/BP, Adax, Agip, Abacan, Du Pont (Obi and Okwechime, 2004: 341) are all in the exploration of crude oil in the country.

The existence of these corporations in Nigeria was an extension of the country’s incorporation into existing pattern of trade, while at the same time open for further incorporation;

In the post-colonial era, with the transformation of Nigeria into a petro-state, oil multinationals became the sole agency for the subordination of the region to the imperatives of globalized extraction (Obi and Okwechime, 2004: 348).

Following the economic crisis suffered in the 1980s, the self-styled military president, Ibrahim Babangida made the country formally as an appendage of globalization following the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) instituted by the regime to redirect the nation’s economy toward self-reliance and to improve the living standard of the Nigerian peoples, "necessary for bringing about rapid and large-scale improvement in the levels of living for the masses of poverty-stricken, malnourished and illiterate Nigerians" (Fakiyesi, 2004: 389). Fakiyesi further argue on the necessity of SAP;

Nigeria’s public policy has been in disarray, devoid of any consistent ideology; policy consistency was anathema, corruption, bad governance, social insecurity, unstable political economy and hence a free and laissez faire environment for rent seekers and rent seeking behavior were the norm. It was in this sorry state of affairs that Nigeria discovered that the fund situation in the country could no longer support the unbridled profligacy of succeeding regimes and hence the first touch of the many ‘fingers’ of globalization was the Structural Adjustment Programme and its several branches (2004, 389 – 390).

Anyanwu (1993: 243) fingers the international institutions for the quest for SAP;

The Nigerian SAP was designed to fit the standard of IMF-World Bank structural adjustment package and meant to effectively alter and restructure the consumption and productive patterns of the Nigerian economy, as well as to eliminate price distortions and heavy dependence on the exports of crude oil and imports of consumer and producers goods.

Yesufu (1996: 93) identifies three factors for adoption of SAP namely: an excessive dependent by the nation on imports, especially consumer goods including food; almost total neglect of domestic production in all the five sectors of the economy: agriculture, industry, construction, commerce and transportation; and finally, almost total dependence on earnings from oil exports alone for boosting government revenues as well as for accumulated foreign exchange reserve.

The policy of SAP was meant to have three impacts on the economy. They include: monetary: deregulation of the interest rate; establishment of a market-based foreign exchange (FOREX) system; and, pursuance of a restrictive monetary policy. Second, Fiscal - privatization and commercialization of several public enterprises; adoption of cost recovery measures in health care delivery; and educational services; and lastly, Trade - abolition of import licensing system, and general reduction in the level of import tariffs (Anyanwu, et al, 1999: 456). SAP as a panacea is therefore meant to heal the Nigeria economy, but the healing balm was soaked in globalization since globalization has become the world order, propagated by the Bretton Woods institutions and its siblings. The fact that SAP is the brain child of IMF, the conditionality and supporting mechanisms is of the World Bank, and World Trade Organization. They are inseparable.

Therefore, institutionalization of SAP into the country is meant that globalization has become a doctrine, and the philosophy of the Nigerian government. In other words, the government met several conditions of IMF before the SAP was funded in Nigeria. These conditions were: devaluation of currency; tight fiscal policy; reduction of money in circulation; withdraw of subsidies on socio-services such as health, education, etc., retrenchment of work force across the levels of government including private companies, introduction of new taxes and levies among others.

The acceptance principles of SAP and conditionality meant that the country became the ‘full’ appendage of "New World Order". The country’s national budget is tied to WB, IMF and WTO advises. In other words, the government and peoples are tied to the whims and caprices of globalization, the oil prices and foreign exchange earnings are determined by these agencies. In fact the effect of SAP is enormous: reduction in purchasing powers of workers; astronomical increase in the level of inflation; reliance on the import materials by industries; increase of unemployment; increase in crime rate; increase in mental illness; and chronic poverty. These are essentially the flipside of SAP and globalization in Nigeria.

While SAP has failed to yield positive development on the living standard of the peoples across the board, the Nigerian government since 1999 has continued to toe the line of globalization, and the "IMF, IBRD and WTO have remained in the forefront of the propagation of globalization" (Fakiyesi, 2004: 391). Globalization is inherently in privatization, commercialization and trade liberalization. "Privatization", Anyanwu et al (1999: 459) opined refers to the reduction or total withdrawal of public sector intervention in economic activities. It involves the relinquishment in part or all of the equity and other interest held by the government or its agency in enterprises whether wholly or partly owned by the government, reduction in state provisions, reduction in state subsidies and reduction in state regulation of industries (enterprises).

On the other hand, commercialization is the reorganization of a public enterprise in such a way as to operate as profit-making commercial ventures without subvention from the government even though the government still retains its full or part ownership. With dictates of SAP and globalization, the government of Nigeria sold publicly owned enterprises in the name of inefficiency to some Nigerians and foreigners. The public enterprises were either sold fully or partially. Some of them were NEPA now PHCN, NITEL, Nigeria Airways, etc. (See Anyanwu, et al, 1999: 463 – 466). According to Fakiyesi (2004: 393);

Privatization, deregulation and demonopolization can be seen as part of a wider policy response (if not always conscious strategy) in the restructuring of the relationship between state, market and society.

This, however, is multidimensional in terms of budgetary, deregulation, liberalization, financial market modernization and financial instruments, customization, new management techniques and organizational structures, de-centralization and de-concentration (Fakiyesi, 2004: 393 – 394).

The era of oil booms in 1970s, 1990s and in the Fourth Republic (1999 -) has not produced desire results for the teeming Nigerians who are in search of what to eat, where to sleep, where to work and contribute to national development. The successive governments in the country especially under democratic government made attempt on development but this "comprehensive planning resulted in the modernization (and not development) of certain aspects of the economy" (Ekpo, 2013: 27). For instance, the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) between 1986 and 1992 under the Babangida administration further;

Drove the economy into underdevelopment and backwardness. Its conceptualization and implementation failed to consider the primary production structure of the economy. Consequently, from the 1070s, when government took control of the commanding heights of the economy to the 1980s and 1990s (a period noted for a heavy reliance on the market mechanism to drive economic development, the economy remained at the state of primary commodity production characterized by government and market failures (Ekpo, 2013: 27).

All the above were transferred into the Fourth Republic Nigeria which kick-started in May 29, 1999. The take-over by the civilians made the policy of globalization easy to operate under the liberal democracy housed in liberty, equity, egalitarianism, and free market. The period witnessed foreign investments in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. The signing of Trade Agreements by the Nigerian government and World Trade Organization was formally to;

Remove of trade barriers and the unrestricted operation of laws of market forces. Under these rules of trade liberalization and the free movement of goods and services and people. Nigeria is entitled to trade with any country of its choice in the world (Iwara, 2004: 29).

5. Nigeria and Globalization – Constraints

In Nigeria, globalization has some consequences on the country’s quest for development, because;

When the Scramble for Africa really started about three centuries ago, there was no Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Kenya, Algeria and their diplomatic representatives to sensitize their governments and leaders about the consequences of engaging the scramblers (Ariyo, 2010: 134).

While the country is free to move her goods and services around the globe, are Nigerian goods acceptable over the seas? What are the Nigerian goods that can be exported under a monocultural economy? Yet, other countries have invaded the country from all angles to dump their goods in Nigeria. Nwoke (2010: 64) argue that "US presence in the Gulf of Guinea and USA-AFRICOM constitute the second leg of the scramble for Africa, and the presence in Africa of the emerging economies of Asia, including China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia". What are the effects of globalization on the host community, that is, Nigeria? Has globalization been fair to us? The answers to all these questions are in the negative;

1.   The current management of economic policies is in the hand of Britton Woods sisters and the economic policies emanate from them are structured in such a way that it protects the industrialized societies. "The odds are heavily tilted in favour of the industrialized world given that the current participation of Africa in world trade is only two per cent" (Iwara, 2004: 21). The activities of the WTO, the WB and the IMF are all tilted to protect and to ensure the hegemony of Western societies and not to benefit Africa vis-à-vis Nigeria.

2.   The availability of multinational corporations in the country despite their usefulness continue to engage in the activities of oil extraction and money laundering from billions to trillions of dollars exported to the metropolitan countries to feed the home governments and industries. Token development is only recorded in the communities in terms of roads, schools constructions. Furthermore, the oil spillage and the killings of militants and activists in host communities through the private securities and the state apparatus continued unabated.

3.   Globalization has equally crippled the small scale industries in the country. The reliance of indigenous industries on the importation of raw materials from abroad to feed their industries created unprecedented illusion, and disappearance of local industries because of exchange rate fluctuations and crack in the world markets. The local industries’ becomes the receiver of the fall-out in global economic systemic distress over the years.

4.   Globalizing economy equally led to retrenchment of all categories of workers both in the public and private sectors of economy. Even the CBN Governor of Nigeria advised the federal, state, and local governments to retrench their workers nation-wide (Sanusi, 2012: 1). The banking industry has become no go areas for Nigerian school leavers since the phenomenon of globalization has made the banking industry to be recapitalized, down-sized and reorganized.

5.   The nation’s currency continues to be unappreciated in the local markets because the Nigerian workers cannot buy what they produced. Three square meals are absent on their tables leading to suffocation of bodies and souls.

6.   While GSM services are revolutionary in Nigeria since 2000, yet, GSM services providers have drained Nigerian scarce resources. The epileptic cum obsolete equipment which these GSM operators paraded malfunctioned intermittently. None of these GSM services providers have embarked on developmental projects like construction of roads, health services, but repatriate their profits back to the metropolise. They have engaged on spurious advertisements and cheat Nigerians day-in and day-out on the so call programmes such as "who wants to be a millionaire?" This programme is aired by the national and private stations. They are only interested in the sponsorship of spurious programmes that are not edifying enough to bring development to all segments of the Nigerian society.

7.   The political and economic sovereignty hitherto being enjoyed by all the levels of government, globalization has taken away their basic functions and handed them over to the multinational corporations who act as proxy to the government. It has ‘withered’ national governments away, since the multinationals are now in charge of political and economic matters. They decide on behalf of the states wherever they are located. The layers of governments in the country become irresponsible to the peoples’ needs including security.

8.   Unemployment in the country has continued. The World Bank Report in 2010 commented that "… 68% of Nigerians still live below US$1.25 a day in 2010" (World Bank Country Report, 2010). This development is not helping Nigerians school leavers and graduates.

9.   The reading culture of all categories of students across the national life has declined. According to Okebukola (2012: 2) "reading culture is poor, cultures of spending endless hours on facebook, Twitter, and pornographic videos have gained ascendancy". The implication of this is that it has punctured intelligent construct among the students, and teachers as well. The consequence is that globalization has ‘kill’ ‘original’ idea, "think tank" and intelligent needed for national development.

6. Nigeria and Globalization - Prospects

Either one like it or not, Nigerian governments having accepted globalization. Iwara (2004: 28) opined that

The formation of a government led by a school-teacher whose primary assignment was to provide a stable ready market for British goods and a constant flow of raw materials to London.

Indeed, this is the achievement of globalization in Nigeria, because privatization, commercialization, deregulation, trade liberalization and other fabulous concepts are in favour of Nigerian ‘prostitute’ politicians who Ake (2001) described as parasite in the quest for national development.

The positive side of globalization in Nigeria as Iwara (2004: 21) commented is that it has certainly opened our eyes to our needs, and it is up to us to be creative and competitive, and to find solutions to our many problems, including those of identity politics and the sustenance of our democratic institutions. Some realities of globalization and how it can be managed for sustainable development can be further seen in the following ways:

1.     Since the inception of the Fourth Republic in May, 1999 mechanisms like the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Joint Energy Empowerment Programme Strategy (JEEPS) and Joint Economic Empowerment Programme Strategy (JEEPSY), Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS). These economic policies should guide the Nigerian leaders and other stakeholders on how to engage any investor in Nigeria for what to do and what not to do before the compradors of foreign investments start any operation in the country.

2.     If Nigeria need to accept globalization at its face value or otherwise, either way, if the country fail to industrialize, the compradors of globalization would take the advantage of the government’s failure to industrialize or deindustrialize the country, but when they industrialize ‘US’ (Nigeria), they will as well continue the internationalization of our resources, our peoples, our government, and our culture. And like the old colonialism, the later colonialism in globalization will lead to severe consequences.

3.     Nwoke (2010: 90) had advocated "revolutionary path to re-ascertaining the economic independence of the countries of Africa" vis-à-vis Nigeria. While this seem not be right way to free Nigeria from both internal and external colonialism, engaging globalization should be done at the roundtable conference where all parties to the quest of globalization should engage in dialogue and put on the table benefits, counter-benefits, sanctions and counter sanctions before future globalization should take place.

4.     Also the multinationals institutions such as the WTO, WB, and IMF, if they are serious about equality, symmetric relations, balance of trade between ‘US’ and the rest of the world especially industrialized societies, they should be proactive and sincere in dealing or relating to Nigeria. To prefer one part against the other will cripple equality, world peace, and will entrench dictatorship across the globe. When it happens the Western nations would not be able to survive the crisis in the long run. In fact the population of Nigeria is enough to, s Europe.

5.     Agbebaku and Aidelokhai (1999: 227) have argued that foreign institutions e. g. legislature, judiciary, executive, political system, constitutionalism among others were imposed on the Nigerian peoples. The imposition of these institutions produced two citizens in one state. This trend is now at volcanic level that later consequences will be unbearable on the part of the leaders. The foreign structures are indeed inimical to the socio-political norms and must be restructured to give way for an autochthonous model that will serve our social existence and foreign investments coming into Nigeria. For instance, the current multiparty system will do the country no good, because the more political parties, the weakening are the opposition parties. Two party systems is emphatically important and necessary for our current socio-political configuration and existence (Ogunwa, 2009: 97 – 111).

6.     Political restructuring is another area that may make globalization thick and viable. The needs to restructure the Nigerian state in all ramifications will be the better for the Nigerian people. This will eliminate socio-vices like criminality, corruption, unemployment, or joblessness, homelessness and other unacceptable characters (Ogunwa, 2013).

7.     Democracy is another avenue through which globalization can thrive and benefit the majority of our peoples. Transparency in selection of leaders and in decision-making will nevertheless encourage, accountability, responsibility and fairness when allocating resources;

The characters of decision-makers should tally with true statesmanship. A statesman will pursue the truth, love truth, say truth, and die for truth. A statesman finds telling lies, cheating and embezzling public funds entrusted to him, will sell the national wealth, prestige and her peoples to the metropolitan countries for porch houses, cars, and political asylum when the dice is cast (Ogunwa, 2012).

8.     Nigeria is not viable enough to challenge the intrusion of globalization because such amenities like good roads, communication, security, electricity, employment, technology, railways, good water and other basic facilities to support industrialization in Nigeria are absent. These should be made available and functional.

9.     Lemo (2012: 7) observe that;

The youths constitute about 70 per cent of the population in Nigeria. It is therefore obvious to state no nation will experience development when the population that constitute majority of the population is idle and unproductive.

The Nigerian government including corporate bodies need to create job opportunities for the teeming youths who are being graduated year-in and year-out. Thus, in the quest for globalization government and multinationals corporations should find a place for the youths or else the unemployed and unproductive youths would constitute a time-bomb waiting for detonation to explode. The explosion will lead to several consequences with both the government and multinationals would not be able to cope with.

10. Finally, Nwoke (2010: 81 – 90) provided some panaceas for sustenance of globalization in Nigeria. They include: nationalist leadership with a sense of mission and vision; maximum economic policy-making space; well-calculated limits on imperialism; food security and basic needs; competitiveness; production-based regional integration; south-south cooperation; and natural resource-based strategic planning. No doubt if the leaders and decision-makers consciously look into these and other permutations, both the giver of globalization and receiver of globalization will benefit immensely.

7. Conclusion

Globalization started many centuries ago, even though such activity might not be known and termed as globalization. It manifested in mercantilism, classical economy, neo-classical economy, colonialism and imperialism. It is now globalization and the new scramble for African resources and markets. The concept has reshaped, redesigned the world with only those and whose political leaders and decision-makers are vast, fast, articulate and has political will, will enjoy the benefits or unfolding benefits of "The World is Flat" offers.

The involvement of the country in this paradigm shift is meaningful and useful when the statesmen and women especially those who are on the helm of the affairs in Nigeria consciously put themselves in a position and see the country as theirs and unborn generations to come. Through this autochthonous policies should be made to protect the country when imbibing the full concept of globalization holistically. While the public policies formulation and implementation is now in the hands of the non-state actors – WB, WTO, IMF and multinational corporations. The Nigerian government and other stakeholders should not seat behind and observe the signing of public policies on their behalf, but should be a participant in the process. This will give political and economic leverage to the country in the aftermath of implementation and benefits outcome. In fact autochthonous policies that will see the country deriving bigger opportunity in globalization should emanate from the Nigerian government and other stakeholders in the Nigeria project.

In today’s governance, the country’s government and the stakeholders should not seat on the passenger’s seats, but on the driver’s seat so that they can articulate and aggregate and see clearly the front and where they are driving the country to. When they do this, they can see the future and predict the future if indeed globalizing Nigeria is a positive or negative development.


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