Globalization And The Nigerian Economy: The Babangida Period

Project and Seminar Material for English Language

Globalization And The Nigerian Economy: The Babangida Period

Chapter One


Globalization is a comprehensive term for the emergence of a global society in which economic, political, environmental, and cultural events in one part of the world quickly come to have significance for people in other parts of the world.1 The term is also used to refer specifically to economic globalization in the context of integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, and capital flows, migration and spread of technology.2

It is the transnational circulation of ideas, languages, or popular culture through acculturation. Bhagwati Jagdish sees the globalization process as the result of advances in communication, transportation and information technologies as well the “growing economic, political, technological, and cultural linkages that connect individuals, communities, businesses, and governments around the world.”3 The term describes a process by which regional economies, societies and cultures have become integrated through a globe spanning network of communication.

In the history of inter state relations, travels, trade and migration have been taking place for centuries. Even in the ancient and medieval world, international trading companies were formed, promoted and financed by states, governments and groups of individuals to explore and, at times, pillage and conquer distance and less ambitious ones. Globalization is a concept which is not new in the international trade, although in the world scene, it has been known by different names.4 Those who are conversant with the industrialization of Europe and America will recall the writings of Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations where the doctrine of globalization and liberalization were enunciated.5

Globalization describes a process by which regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a globe-spanning network of communication and trade. The term is sometimes used to refer to specifically to economic globalization: the integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration and the spread of technology.6

However, globalization is usually recognized as being driven by a combination of economic, technological, socio-cultural, political and biological factors.7 Globalization as it is used today, refers to the growing interaction in the world trade, national and foreign investments, capital markets and the ascribed role of government in national economies. Globalization focuses on economic capitalism and world market power. It seeks to encompass all the countries of the world into one economic unit, possibly without government or without borders.8

The Romans, Phoenicians, religious crusaders, European slave dealers and their collaborators and colonizers operated internationally and in the global world of their time. Particularly after the 15th century, the various exploration, trading and colonizing groups of the west transverse East Indies, North America, South America and Africa, in search of economic gains and empires usually at the expense of those within when they made contacts, conquered or colonized. The European powers partitioned Africa among themselves. The political and economic domination of Africa assisted and complemented the Christian missionary evangelistic and Islamic crusaders who brought new and different cultures, goods and gods in Africa.9

All these worldwide enterprises were globalization of a sort and were undertaken by almost the same group of countries and races that are the main protagonist of today’s globalization. Even though the present day globalization bogey differs in scope, manner and intensity from the earlier international processes, like slavery, colonialism or religious fervor, it benefits the same powerful nations at the expense of the developing nations.10 Globalization is diminishing the economic competitiveness of an increasing number of people and countries outside the triad (Europe, North America and China), because the less economically developed economics are finding it increasingly difficult to be fully integrated into the global economy.

On the other hand, many of the weaker countries are being, once again recolonized economically and politically. Africa is obviously the hardest hit by the globalization process and by financial and economic institutions that promote and sustain the globalization paradigm.11 The African continent has suffered and is still suffering from the problems of arrested development. Attempts by Africa to catch up or bridge the gap between it and other continents have always be frustrated by African’s technological and organizational inferiority vis-à-vis the more dominant economies.12

Aims and Objectives

The objectives of this research are as follows:

  1. To show how globalization has affected the economic and political status of the Nigerian economy.
  2. The role of global institutions in the globalization process as it concerns Nigeria.
  3. To show how the dependency of the less developed economy on the western economy has led to underdevelopment of the less developed countries, through evaluation of the dependency theory.


This study will focus on the globalization process, right from the 19th century and its effect on the African economy, using Nigeria economy as a case study.


This work will review the works of both African and foreign authors view in the area of globalization, Africa and development. The works mainly rely on both primary and secondary sources from newspapers, journals, development reports, lecture notes, internet sources, and textbooks.

Significance of Study

This study is important, as it will look at globalization process and the challenges to African development especially in the area of its economy. It will also look at the impact of some of the global institutions like the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization in Africa. The study will also add to the existing body of knowledge in the area of Africa economy.

Globalization And The Nigerian Economy: The Babangida Period

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