The Effect Of Military Rule On Nigeria Political Economy (A Case Study Of Abacha Regime 1993 – 1998)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

The Effect Of Military Rule On Nigeria Political Economy (A Case Study Of Abacha Regime 1993 – 1998)


Military rule has been one of the greatest factors responsible for the set back of the African continent. Infact General Sanni Abacha’s regime has been described by many scholar’s, as the most unconcerned government when it comes to the issue of economy. Therefore, this project assesses the effect of military rule on the Nigeria economy choosing the General Sanni Abacha’s regime as a case study. Chapter one serves as the general introduction to the study. Chapter two reviews the past relevant literatures on the issue of military rule of General Sanni Abacha’s regime in particular. In chapter three, General Sanni Abacha’s intervention in Nigeria politics and its aftermath on the economy and discussed. Chapter four guest the in-depth comparative analysis of the regimes policies with its achievements. Chapter five serves as the conclusion of the study where recommendations are govern. The research work, having observed the shortcomings of military rule concludes that all stakeholders in Nigeria politics should do everything possible to prevent military from coming to power in Nigeria.

Table of Contents

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Purpose of the Study
  • 1.4 Significance of the Study
  • 1.5 Research Questions
  • 1.6 Scope and Limitation
  • 1.7 Definition of Key Terms

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Survey of Military Rule In Nigeria
  • 2.3 Features of Military Rule
  • 2.4 Remote and Immediate Causes of Military Rule of Nigeria

Chapter Three:

Military Rule in Nigeria Since its Inception

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 The Military Rule Under General Yakubu Gowon (1966 – 1975)
  • 3.3 The Military Rule Under Muritala Muhammed/Olusegun Obasanjo (1975 – 1979)
  • 3.4 The Military Rule Under Muhammed Buhari and General Idiagbon (1983 – 1985)
  • 3.5 The Military Rule Under Ibrahim Babangida Regime (1989)
  • 3.6 The Military Rule Under Abacha’s Regime (1993 – 1998)
  • 3.7 The Military Rule Under Abubakar Abdulsalam Regime (1998 – 1999)

Chapter Four:

Abacha’s Regime and Nigerian Political Economy and his International Relation

  • 4.1 Economic Situaton Under Abacha
  • 4.2 Political Situation under Abacha
  • 4.3 International Relations Under Abacha
  • 4.4 Consequences of Abachas Regime

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The most populous country on the African continent, the Nigerian experience with democracy has been paradoxical and ambiguous (Diamond, 1995). Although the military controlled the government for twenty-four of the first thirty-four years of independence, Nigeria has never accepted indefinite authoritarian rule, and no military rule that has not committed itself to a transition to democracy has been able to survive. Through ten national government, ix successful military coups, a civil war, and a dizzying economic boom followed by a crushing depression – not to mention repeated assaults by military regimes on human rights and associational life Nigerians have maintained a passionate commitment to personal freedom and political participation.

The various military regimes, in Nigeria have embarked on lasting reforms that have transformed Nigeria polity, hence, their impacts are seen in political and economic spheres (Aliu, 2000). The impacts of military rule in Nigeria is seen in political and economic lives. These have both positive and negative effects, politically the military has contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria through state and local government creation exercise, constitutional engineering and enunciation of transitional programmes. The military regimes that came to power had in their various ways contributed to the realization of the unity in Nigeria, on the other hand, military regimes had contributed to democratic instability and human right abuse in the country.

On the economic scene, the contributions of military rule is also felt, whether positive or negative. The military economic contributions and policies formulation and implementation for instance, the Nigeria Enterprises promotion Decree of 1972/1977 or the indigenization policy was formulated by the military rule. Additionally, the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) by Babangida regime was aimed at revamping nation’s economy. Some other economy policies of successive military regimes in Nigeria are the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructures (DFRRI). Operation Feed the Nation (OFN) and so on.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Military intervention in the polity of Nigeria is an aberration – a deviation from the normal practice. However, in appraising the impact of the military on Nigerian political economy, therefore, evidences abound to show that the Armed Forces have touched the political and economic life of the nation and its citizens some of the policies of the successive, military regime have heaved had both developmental and modernizing effects while others are outright negative.

From the above premise therefore, the problem which this study intends to solve are as follows to what extent has military regimes contributed to the political economy of the Nigeria – State? Are the political and economic achievements of the military regimes being consolidated by the civilian administration. How can the political economy lives of Nigeria be improved? These and other questions will form the basis of this study.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

Specifically, this study will examine the effects of military rule on Nigerian political economy. Other objectives include:

  1. To identify the reasons for military intervention in Nigeria politics.
  2. To discuss the impacts of Abacha’s regime on the political and economic spheres on Nigeria.
  3. To proffer suggestions on how the Nigerian political economic climates can be stabilized.

1.4 Significance of the Study

There are dearth of materials on the effects of military rule on the political economy of Nigeria. This study is therefore one of the intellectual contributions to this topic. The study will enable the citizens to compare the political and economic impacts of military rules with that of the civilian administration in Nigeria. Beside, it will assist government in the political economy reforms having learned from the experiences of the successive military regimes in Nigeria.

In addition, this study will be beneficial to students lecturers and researchers who currently conduct research on military and political economic in Nigeria. It will also be a source of reference for future research on similar topic.

1.5 Research Questions

This study is aimed at answering the following questions.

  1. Is military is the best system of government?
  2. Does military rule allow the citizens to contribute to the development of the nation?
  3. Does military rule guarantee human right?
  4. Does military rule violence pose a threat to democratic government?
  5. Does ethnicity constitute the effect of military rule on Nigerian political economy?

1.6 Scope and Limitation

This study covers the effects of Abacha regime on Nigeria political economy from 1993 to 1998. It will also be restricted to aspects of military administration, such as the features, historical background, and organisation.

The underlisted constraints are the obstacles of this study.

  1. Inadequate materials on the military and Nigerian political economy.
  2. Financial and time constraints limited the study to Abacha administration.

Inspite of the above problems, optimum use of the available resources were ensured.

1.7 Definition of Key Terms

These definitions have been adopted as operational meanings for the following terms in the study.


This refers to a political and highly skilled body of persons specially trained to protect the territorial integrity of a nation.

This includes the arm, Navy and the Air force.

Military Rule:

This is a system of government by the military or the khaki boys: Army, Navy and Air force.

Political Economy:

Political economy refers to the interrelationship between political and economic system. It explains how the political and economic set up of a nation is being organized. Presently, the Nigerian political economy can be best described as liberal democracy.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Summary

This study focused on the effect of military rule on Nigeria political economy with a case study of Abacha’s regime.

Chapter one of this study dealt with an introductory aspect. This contained background of the study, statements of the problem purpose of the study, significance of the study research question, scope and limitation of the study, as well as definition of key terms.

In chapter two, various review of related literature on the topic were reviewed. This is sub-divided into the following: – survey of military rule in Nigeria, features of military rule remote and immediate causes of military rule in Nigeria.

Chapter three discussed the history of military rule in Nigeria from the first military coup detals of 1966 till when military disengaged in politics in 1999.

In chapter four, the study examined the effects of military rule on Nigeria political economy with particular references to Abacha’s administration.

Finally, in chapter five of the study summarized the entire work make conclusion and offered suggestions as recommendations.

5.2 Conclusion

This study has examined the effects of Abacha’s regime on Nigeria political economy and his international relation and observed that the regime contributed both negatively and positively to the development of Nigeria political economy system.

The various military regimes in Nigeria have embarked on lasting reforms that have transformed Nigeria polity, hence, their impacts are seen in political and economic sphere. The impacts of military rules in Nigeria can be seen in political and economic lines. The military has contributed to the development of Nigeria through stable and local government creations, constitutional engineering and enunciation of transitional programmes. Their contribution can also be seen in the area of economic development through was meant to revamp the Nigeria ailing economy.
However, the negative effects of military rules in Nigeria can also be seen in corruption, unemployment and poverty.

5.3 Recommendations

The military controlled the government for twenty-four of the first thirty-four years of independence with obvious consequences on the political and economic lives of the citizens. In view of the problems of political and economic instability that are often experience as a result of military rule, it is expedient at this juncture to offer certain suggestion through which the problems of military in Nigeria politics can be redressed.

First, the politicians must imbibe the true spirit of sportsmanship so that military will be prevented from polity, hence political and economic stability.

Secondly, the democratic regime in Nigeria should always complement on the effort of successive military administration in order to ensure stability in the Nation’s political economy. Besides, all economic programmes of the past military rules that are of importance to development should be adopted by the democratic governance in Nigeria.

In addition, to the political and economic plans to be successfully implemented, there is the need to eliminate the problem of corruption which has become an endemic problem to nation’s political and economic development. This will equally stabilize democracy in Nigeria.

Finally, there is need for mass orientation programme that will change the attitude of the citizens and the political class towards political and economic development. If all these suggestion are adopted, the problems of political – economic instability inherited from the successive military rule will be solved.

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