Globalization And Economic Development In Nigeria; A Philosophical Analysis

Project and Seminar Material for Philosophy

Globalization And Economic Development In Nigeria; A Philosophical Analysis


Globalization and economic development in Nigeria is one of the results of colonialism. It widens the gap between the rich and the poor; hence it is force of inequality which enslave the African nations and it economy. Globalization is not a course in totality but it is relative on the impact it has for each economy, whether developed or underdeveloped since it opens an avenue for each economy to compete in global market without restriction. The research work on globalization and economic development in Nigeria uses analysis, exposition and evaluation as its method of inquiry. It is a burden of this research to suggest a best possible solution on how Nigeria will develop both material and human resources without any resources left unutilized just as the developed nations of the world. At the end, all Nigerians will have equal access to the national resources without robbing the future generation what nature has endowed to all mankind

Chapter One

General Introduction on Globalization and Economic Development in Nigeria

Globalization is the process of making the world economically interconnected in the modern form. Globalization and economic is a twin brother of development . Globalization is a process by which free movement of ideas, capital flow, information and technology are moved across borders and national boundaries which result in the integration of the world economies. Just as Heraditus says that change is the only permanent thing in the world, globalization is a phenomenon that was brought by change. And man ever since creation has been craving for change.

Nigeria after the formal independence in 1960, the political elites saw that the pursuit of power as the dominant theme for politics, this had left the nation in bad condition. Consequently the ethnics of business has penetrated politics and politics was seen as equivalent warfare. This had added to the fact that Nigeria obtained political independence but not economic independence compounded problems for the young nation. Like in the colonial era, the economy still reacted to the vagaries in the international market. Nigeria incorporate into the international market as capitalist market as a junior partner which started with the supply of continued unaltered with supply of commodities like palm oil, cocoa, groundnut, cotton etc. even crude oil, then she later become the greatest foreign exchange in the nation Nigeria in Africa. But the context of dependence between Nigeria and it formal colonial master did not change with independence, only the context did. The structure of dependence on western nations and exploitation of peasant producers as well as the expatriate domination of investment opportunities. The indigenous entrepreneur became an intermediary between foreign interest and indigenous polity and economy and they turn to state as a source of capital and contract. The pursuit of power became easy and access to wealth and fame. Politics became a “dirty business”, its practioniers scheming and crafting. Access to resource including opportunity for profit making, thus require favour of those who control private and public institutions which allocate them.

Polities thus affords the “opportunity” to acquire wealth and prestige to be able to distribute benefits in the form of job, contracts, scholarship and gift of money and so on to the allies. The difference among region and ethnic group in the power equation, discrimination in favour of particular groups, where access to office and it spoils is the object of politics. It is on these compounded problem , that research on globalization and economic development in Nigeria is looking forward to suggest the best solution for the national development. And never to depend on dogmatically in the international policies which has utility in the short basis and consequential effect in a long run.

1.1 Background of Study

The economist has always maintained that man is always faced with the basic economic problems; what to produce? How to produce? For whom to produce? And how the available national resources are to be shared? likewise an ethical question like what ought do ? that is, should man do good everybody should benefit and avoid evil that will effect everybody will affect everybody? However it is on the above question that man battles every day to meet an end that he will maximize happiness all his life. German- Jewish born economist philosopher Karl Marx rightly said that, “the welfare of the society is governed by class struggle or economic force”[Omoregbe 1990:191[1]
Now if globalization is to attain economic and sociopolitical status which will facilitate free movement goods and capital flow and then integrate the world economy. Then development is a measure on its structural change and capital accumulation that moves the society closer to the condition in which basic need of people are met; employment opportunity and social economic equality on the increase. Philosophically, questions may ask globalization in developed countries, is it the same in the third world like Nigeria bearing in mind the imperial and neo-colonization policy they have for underdeveloped countries?

Does IMF and world bank programme for Africa change and alleviate their predicament? The answer to the above question is phantom ( that is, the idea is phantasmagoria) if they can enslave us and colonize us and we struggle for independence then we are inferior to them. We can never be in the same economic status, hence their policies are imperial to Africans and other third world countries.

The fall in the countries oil earning from peak of about 10 Billion Dollars in the 1979 to about 5 Billion Dollars in 1982, at a time when Nigeria monthly import averaged 1 Billion Dollars, led to a major crisis in the economy, the heavily imported dependent manufacturing sector being hard hit. Capacity utilization in industries declined, workers are daily retrenched while unemployment reached unprecedented. The level of corruption in the public sector increased and as Geoffredo Coccia asserts:

Not only does theft go on in the state apparatus, but the state itself is the main apparatus of theft. In Nigeria, not only do the officials steal, but stealing is is in the very principle of Nigeria class rule and subservience to the west.[2]

It was an introduction of globalization policies in Nigeria through (S A P) made corruption become an order in Nigeria.

Globalization policies is not an even development because it is a winner takes all. “It looks at man as a means to an end not man as an end itself as” [ Ekwutosi; 2006: 63].[3]

1.2 Statement of Problem

Nigeria is nation bestowed with vast human and natural resources with oil exports accounting for about 95%of the foreign exchange income and some 80%of government income, with a population of about 158million people. Despite its enormous array of resource the Nigeria economy has witness a period of stagnant economic growth. This has been a blame on corruption and gross mismanagement of the country’s vast resources. Corruption is the western concept that was brought into Nigeria economy by globalization and it imperial policies. Ever since Nigeria accepted global policies of (IMF) and World Bank to introduce (SAP) into Nigeria economy, Nigeria economy crumbled. Following the devaluation of naira, unemployment increased, human trafficking increased, Nigeria debt increased, poor leadership, ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry becomes order of the day. Nigeria and many Africa countries are regarded as failed state and nation. This is because nothing seems to be working in them. In spite of the existing favorable condition for development, these countries appears to be drifty back into the dark centuries of the past. The questions of whether Nigeria is underdeveloped, is not disputed. The facts are there for everyone to see. At present; the country is cogitating and nursing the idea of becoming one of the largest economy of the world by the year 2020. This is a wishful thinking, an idea that is ill conceived, a wide goose chase. Because according Chinua Achebe on weekly star newspaper of may 15, 1983 “ an every average Nigerian is corrupt and to stop them from being corrupt is like to starve a goat from eating yam or grasses”.[4]

1.3 Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate and elucidate the inherent problem that hinders the economic development of our great country Nigeria and suggest the possible solution to those problems. It is a matter of fact that economy is not static but flexible because some great nations sometimes have their economy shaking. As a human mind desires to know all the time, so we are transformed to a better knowledgeable person. So transformation is the gradual process by which human affairs; such as economic activities, cultural, political and social policies meet the needs and demand of people. We must strive to overcome the problem of the economic dependence of the country on the force of imperialism. So, also must the question of political, economic, regional ethnic and social inequalities in the nation be seriously addressed. If we must have political stability, the various nationalities in the federation should have a sense of equality with others. Given the increase polarization of the country along religious lines, the true status of the state to be truly upheld. To revive industrial production and increase agricultural output, the exchange rate need to be stabilize and actual encouragement ought to be given to the peasant producers. The question of liberalization of trade and massive devaluation of the nation’s currency would have to be reviewed.

1.4 Significance of Study

The significance of this research work cannot be over emphasized as it will serve as an eye opener and it will go a long way in influencing the government policy makers, the general private sector, foreign investors and in general, it will enjoin scholars and spirit minded individual in Nigeria to rise up to the challenges of poor economic development in Nigeria. The problem of economic development is the problem of man and is left for man to solve it.

This research work is my own effort in getting Nigeria in the same plain of economic status with developed countries of the world.

The activities of man in daily basis constitute basic economic problem like ; what to produce? For whom to produce? And how the available scarce national resources are to be shared? “We should act on duty through a good will because it is only absolute good in nature” says Immanuel Kant. [groundwork;1964:61] [5] This will help us to solve enigmatic economic problem

1.5 The Scope of Study

The scope of this study will be stretched as to take an indept study of globalization and economic development. And it will also take a cursory study of negative and positive implication of globalization on the economic and political development in Nigeria. finally it will comment on some of the scholars that have same or related views on globalization as well as some that have opposing views and subsequently hints on the possible ways forward to actualize economic independence and development in Nigeria.

1.6 Methodology

The methods used in this work include analysis, exposition and appraisal for the authenticity of this project work. And also in keeping the mind with the nature of the research, we made use of library materials to include text-book, journals, articles, internet and also the lecture notes. This will help to enhance the efficiency of this work.

1.7 Clarification of Terms

1. Globalization:

This is the process of the going to more interconnected world or the process of making world economy dominated by capitalist.

2. Economic:

This pertaining to the study of money and it movement within a country.

3. Development:

The process of growing and moving directed towards a charge.

4. Economic Development:

This concern with the Improving the general standard of living of people of the society.

5. Corruption:

Is the act of impairing, integrity, virtue or moral principle or it also means to lose purity or integrity, depravity, weakness impurity and bribery.

6. Migration:

This is a movement of people from one place to another for a temporal living.

7. Slavery:

The act or the process of using human being as a means of economic gain especially the used of forced labourers

8. Ethics:

A set of principles which guild a human conducts.

9. Imperialism:

The policy of forcefully extending a nation authority by territorial gain or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over another country.

10. Neo- Colonialism:

The last stage of imperialism, a situation in which the former imperial power acquired new subtle means of exploiting the former colonies.

11. IMF

International Monetary fund.

12. SAP

Structural Adjustment Programme.

13. GDP

Gross Domestic Products.

14. NDE

National Director of Employment.

15. GNI

Gross National Income.

16. ILO

International labour Organization.


Heavy Indebted Poor Country .

18. LDC

less developed countries.


United Nations Office for Drug and Crime.

20. Norm of Morality

Is the standard to which the human art is compared and which enable us to determine if an action is good or bad

21. Ethical Theory

Is the process by which we justify a particular ethical decision.

22. Moral Law

Is the principle by which a moral agent act on demand.

23. A Rational Agent

Is one who has the power to act in accordance with ideas of law or principles.

24. Utility

The state or condition of been useful; usefulness.

25. Utilitarianism

The theory that should be directed towards achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.

26. Deontologism

Is an ethical theory that looks at ones obligation and duty to determine what is good or bad.

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Chapter Five

Evaluation and Conclusion

In our quest to improve the national material well being and welfare of the citizens, various government have over a time embarked upon numerous development policies, plans, programmes and projects notable among these was first national development plan (1962-1968), which was design to put the economyon the path of accelerated growth by priority. Agriculture and industrial development as well as training high level and intermediate man power. The second National Development plan (1970-1974) through to the third National Devlopment plan (1975 -1980), was devoted primarily to reconstruct and rehabilitate infrastructure that were destroyed during the civil war years.

This period witness massive investment of resources into the rehabilitation and construction of new infrastructional facilities. Moreover the forth National Development (1981-1985) was designed to reduce the dependence of the economic base as well as develop the technological base. The economic downtown of the early1980’s necessitated the improvement of economic stabilization measures and later the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which aimed at creating a more market friendly economy to encourage a private enterprise a private enterprise through the removal through the removal of cumbersome administrative mechanisms in the economic management. The economic regulation of and liberalization policies of the late 1980’s and 1990 had the good of fostering effective allocation of scarce resources. Furthermore, Nigeria vision 2010 was aimed at “transforming the country and focusing it firmly on the path to become a developed nation by the year 2010 ”. according to the document , private sector was expected to be very active within a market oriented , highly competitive broad base, private sector- deriven development process. In addition the return of democratic governance in the country in 1999 brought along with it the introduction of a series of reforms, aimed at reducing the distortion in the economy and restoring economic growth. The National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) of 2004 was a home grown poverty reduction, value re orientation and socio- economic development strategy for the country.

It is important to note , that all plans, programmes and vision enumerated above were to guarantee Nigeria’s economic development by altering the model of economic structure of production and consumption pattern, reduce dependence on oil, diversify the economic base , generate employment, create a globally competitive and stable economy looking back, it is clear that the economy has not actually performed to its fullest potential, particularly in the face of its rising population. The Nigeria economy has grossly under performed relative to her enormous resource endowment and the achievements of her peers other developing nations with no similar characteristics, this is particularly so, because agriculture remained e peasant, while the high contribution of the tertiary sector to output suggest that the sector is not really servicing the Nigeria economy but indeed, other economies. Little wonder then that the diversification index remain 0.4 percent over the years inspite of the numerous reforms that have been put in place.

Comparison with Countries with Almost Equal Economic Standing at Nigeria’s Independence

Nigeria economic performance has been rather weak and does not reflect its level of resource endowment especially when juxtaposed with the experience of some emerging Asian economies that faded similar challenges and choice about five decade ago. A number of east Asian countries notably China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore were far behind Nigeria in terms of GPD per capita in the 1970’s. Today these countries have transformed their economies and there not only miles ahead of Nigeria, but also major players on the global economic arena. In 1970, while Nigeria had GDP per capital of US $233.35 and was ranked 88th in the world, China was ranked 114th with a GDP of US $111.82. However with the visionary leadership and the collective resolve of the citizens China had recorded am impressive average annual growth rate of GDP of 9.5 percent at the start of its market reforms in 1975 to 1994. Thereafter China has sustained this rapid growth, perhaps the highest in the world and has been transformed to the second largest in the world behind the USA.

It is instructive also to note that the expertance Indonesia offers us a great deal to lesson due to the fact of being a plural society with over 200 million people. Indonesia with a per capita income of about $55 in 1965, has recorded with other major emerging markets. This was possible by the good leadership that was able to surmount the numerous challenges and achieve tremendous growth and development such that it now towel over Nigeria in all material aspect of development. As a matter of fact, being the largest economy in south-East Asia, the government has induction wide …ranging reforms. These include the pro-poor, pro-growth, pro- employment economic policies, which resulted in a fiscal deficit of less than 2 percent , among others . By 2011, Indonesia’s per capita income has risen to US 2,981, with more than 60.0 percent of the population having access to save water compared with 39.0 percent for Nigeria.

With a percent GDP of US $299 in 1960, Malaysia has successfully transformed from a producer of materials goods to emerging multi- sector economy. In 2011, the real GDP growth rate stood at 5.2 percent, while the population living below the poverty line is less than 4.0 percent, with unemployment projected at 3.1 percent. Electricity production was about 118.2 billion kw/h while consumption stood at 93.8 billion kw/h. foreign exchange reserve stood at US $129.6 billion while her total debt stood at about US $78.2 billion. The transformation of the country’s economy from mono-primary product exporter to a dynamic and vibrant industrialized nation has been linked to a variety of pull factor namely; political stability, prudent and influx of foreign investors, business friendly policies, productive working force, developed infrastructural that is comparable to that any western nation, and a host of other amenities making the nation or country a good destination for foreign investments. By 2011, Nigeria was still lagging behind with GDP per capita income of $1,500 compared with Malaysia’s US $2,981 and 87.0 percent of population having acces to safe water. In 1960, singapore’s GDP percapita income was $395 which grew to $925 by 1975, while Nigeria rose from US $96 to US $219. By 2011 with GDP percapita income of US $1500 Nigeria was seriously lagging behind Singapore’s US$ 43,865 per capital GDP. The proportion of the population with access to safe water increased to almost 100 percent of the population of singapeans. Today Singapore is ranked as the worlds 2nd most open economy in the Asian pacific region. The country is highly developed, and operates under a successfull free market system and an environment devoid of corruption. The government runs efficient and competitive tax rate and low public sector expenditure. The regulatory environment has been flexible and transparent with a strong tradition of openness to the global trade and investment, which continued to boast the country’s productivity. As a fall out of best practices, the private has been the source of Singapore economic success, while the government continues to play a proactive role in guiding it economic development. The country is rank as 3rd wealthiest nation in the world. Singapore miracle was made possible by years of successful visionary leaderships that were able to transform the economy through consistent policies.

A cursory examination of these economics have been remarkably transformed over a space of 50years. A closer look at the aforementioned indices signaled to the fact that Nigeria failed to keep a pale with its contemporaries despite being more resource endowed than these countries. As a matter of fact, history has it that Malaysia at the early of its development procured improved oil-palm and rubber from Nigeria and become the worlds largest palm oil- producer/exporter and a major exporter of rubber, with Nigeria having nothing to show for it, but instead become a major importer of commodities.

At this point we must ask ourselves why these countries far better than Nigeria? The obvious answer no doubt point to the leadership question. Today, these countries have been able to surmount the economic guagemires that characterized their economics at the early stage of development having transited from poverty ,corruption, and political imbroglio into a more stable stable and prosperous nation. Therefore the success stories of the East –Asia countries attested to the truism that leadership plays a crucial role in the development of society. The commitment and good government by the leaders in these environments translated the societal aspiration and vision into concrete term as demonstrated in the amazing economic and political progress. Visionary leadership and good government no doubt, remains the hallmark of pursing the growth and development as well as accelerated pale of economic progress. We can without any fear of contradiction asset that these leaders were nationalist, visionaries, and uncomprising leaders in their various right.

At this juncture, it will be appropriate to affirm some of these leaders who champion the course of development in their countries. Mohammad Mahathir of Malaysia, Jiang Zemin of people’s Republic of China, Lee Kua Yew of Singapore, Suharto of Indonesia, to mention a few, were reformer and change champions in their own right. The former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohammed was responsible for the creation of the world class economy in Malaysia, and was able to guarantee higher standard of living, higher literacy and higher life expectancy for his people. Accordingly, he implemented approximate economic policies to encourage enterprises in Malaysia to grow and expand by adding lastest technology and management practices and ultimately complete globally. The former president Jiang Zemin of the people’s republic of China shouldn’t be forgotten. His leadership were extilled for exposing centralized communist economic system to capitalist market stimuli and spectacular progress for China.

Leadership Question and Nigeria Economic Developmental Challenges

We must state emphatically that though the Nigeria economy have achieved some considerable progress, the accomplishment is far below her realizable potentials given her abundant human and material resource endowment. The country is still grappling with numerous challenges, which has continues to militate against the achievement of economic transformation. First from the standpoint of leadership, the country is seriously beset with numerous shortcoming in the leadership arena, be it in the place of politics, co-operate or at the community level, etc. In fact, the case of Nigeria could be rightly classified as leadership decadence across all spectrum of human endeavour. The bane of leadership in our environment could be conveniently be grouped into the following categories.

  1. Prevalence of executive / legislative/judicial lawlessness and corruption within the body polity as the personal interest of many leaders override collective goals the frenzied quest for wealth over and above all other considerations has rendered leadership most ineffective.
  2. Abuse and manipulation of ethnic relationship by leaders in authority by way of reposition, tribalism, favouritism and religion bigotry.
  3. Lack of leadership education and skill to discharge expected roles and preform leadership duties effective.
  4. Inadequate motivation and subordination and followers to disconnect in leadership and followership relationship.

Second, the economy is yet to achieve the necessary structural changes require to jump-start rapid and sustainable economic growth. The attitudinal and structural changes needed economic growth for economic transformation are still very much lacking. This is traceable to the manifestation of structural rigidities occasioned by the apparent weak images exiting among the primary, secondary, tertiary sector of econmy. The home foreign exchange inflow from oil have also not been effectively harnessed to ensure a comprehensive diversification of the economy.

Third, the economy is faced with widespread dilapidated and dysfunctional economic and social infrastructure. This has hindered the growth of economy, and was the result of decades neglects, weak technology based and poor maintenance culture over the years. It is the reflection of low research and development effort on the part of the government.

Fourth, corruption has become endemic and has continued to ravage the entire strata of the society. Infact, corruption is direct result of the weak leadership, poor value and reward system in the country. According to the transparency international 2012 Nigeria’s position in the corruption perception index for 2011 was 143 out of the total of 183 countries with a store of 2.4/10, which clearly reveals countries in the world.

Fifth, the menace of weak governance constitute a serious challenge to the various effort and reforms meant to economic growth for sustainable development. Thus, the prevalence of the weak institutions, poor governance as well as poor ethnic standard in most public and private organisations, constrain the realization of economic policy and private organisations, constrain the realization of economic policy objectives of the government. The effect of all these have permeated the country’s regulation and law enforcement, rendering them ineffective.

Sixth, is the environment factors particularly the weak investment climate, owing to the legal and institutional challenges as well as the spate of insecurity, which has continued to constrain massive flow of investment is the key potential wealth creating and employment generating sector of the economy.

The finally, the policy incoherence and incoherent and occasional policy somersault also pose a major constrain to economic development in Nigeria. Through, government policies, plans and initiatives tend to be laudable, but they often discontinued with any change in regime. Thus regime changes in the past had often truncated the implementation of good project and project and programs.

An Ideal for Addressing the Economic Development and Leadership Challenges in Nigeria

Looking at the various challenges confronting economic performance in the country, one pertinent question to ask is how do we refocus our energies (political and corporate elites as well as the ordinary citizens) to attain the much desired economic progress and development? I am sure with no doubt that the answer as we all know is leadership rejuvenation at all strata of our society. This is because leadership is the hub upon which every other thing is revolves.

According to ATG Educational series, “leadership is the process or the ability of a leader to motivate other to unite and work towards achieving a common goal”[1] . From the stand- point of the current situation, Nigeria needs leadership at level of the society to manage the wide spectrum of our socio-economic and political activities. As a the leader of all leaders, the political leadership is very vital in acheiveing the total transformation of the economy over a space of fifty years from minor to major players on the world of economic stage.

For Nigeria, it is essential for the political leaders to be visionary and transformational, to be able to see, project and assemble a vision of a desired future for the nation. In addition by should be selfless, engaging and motivational as there are fundamental pre- requite for mobilizing followership, particularly in a multi- ethnic group, multi- religious and multi- cultural society like Nigeria. As a motivator, leadership vision must be clear, attractive and attainable. An engaging leadership would be able to build brides across divides, and as such be able to foster necessary harmony for collective good. Leadership that should be effective in a setting like Nigeria must be also courageous to take radical and progressive decision/action. Finally, such leadership must be committed, determined and persistent to be able to realize a vision as well as attain the desired goods and objectives. As engraved on the plague on the wall of Ray Krocan American Businessman who was behind the success of Mc Donald’s Corporation:
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence Talent will not; Nothing is more common than the unsuccessful men with great talent. Genius will not; unrewarded Genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated dereceits. Persistence and determination alone are omniponent [2]

In the light of the foregoing quotation, Nigeria would require committed, determined and persistence leader in order to be able to realize the collective vision and take our nation to the “promise land”. Therefor,the attainment of the vision 20:2020 to be among the top to largest economics in the world by 2020 in contingent upon our contribution as leaders in our various callings. These word are golden and would assist us in re- evaluating our ways and actions as leaders. According to Phil Dourado author, speaker, leadership, development, speaker and journalist, and creator of the hub:

People need to know who are and what you are you stand for; before they agree to be lead by you. Leadership is an agreement. You lead with permission. If your self story about consistent and based on integrity who you really are people will see through it. And not give you permission to lead their disagreement and apparent leadership will be fake.[3]

Given the ability of Nigeria to realize its development aspiration during the past 52 years of political independence and the seemingly forlorn hope for realistic progress by many citizens, it is obvious that country needs a new kind of leadership. Such leadership should be inspiring and resolutely courageous. It is this kind of leadership that will be capable of taking the country into new frontiers of development, that has been demonstrated by the Asian countries that we had enumerated earlier. Leadership with a different kind of mind- leadership that sees beyond the obvious spot the unusual solution, if we are to realize the inspiration of vision 20:2020 document.

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