Nigeria’s Development And Globalization Using Akwa Ibom State As A Case Study (1987-2010)

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Nigeria’s Development And Globalization Using Akwa Ibom State As A Case Study (1987-2010)


This study is designed to examine globalization and Nigeria’s development using Akwa Ibom State as a case study (1987-2010). The study investigates the submission of two schools of thought. The anti-globalization posits that it is the “mother” of the world’s ills. That it has widened the gap between the haves and have nots and viewed globalization as a paradigm set up by North to perpetuate their economic dominance of the South. Conclusively, sees no opportunity for Nigeria and of course Akwa Ibom State benefiting from it. This study reveals that the drawn conclusion was predicated to the period they reported on and moreover they failed to take cognizance of the fact that globalization is a process and as such dynamic. The proponents of globalization see it as the panacea for most of the world’s challenges and submitted that globalization has led to the prosperity of many overtime, thereby raising the living standard of many people. That it has opened many opportunities giving new power to good and bad. Finally, it is submitted that the merits of globalization have outweighed the demerits hence Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular should embrace it. The methodology adopted for the study was descriptive and survey methods. The data gathering instrument for the study was in-depth interview conducted in the study area since it provides first hand information. In conclusion, globalization has started changing the face of Akwa Ibom with massive infrastructural provision paving way for economic growth and development.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

One of the issues that is captivating international attention is globalization. Thus since the 1980s, the term globalization has become currency in the national and international discourses. Globalization according to Giddens (1990:14) is defined as the intensification of worldwide social relationships which link distant localities in such away that local happening are shaped by events occurring many miles away. Edmond and Marshall (1960:12) coined the popular phrase of the world being “a global village” when they argued that “post literate man’s electronic media contract the world to a global village or tribe where everything happens to everyone at the same time. Television gives quality of simultaneity to events in global village.

The available historical fact reveals that issue of globalization is not a recent phenomenon, its date back when trade link was established among nations of the world. It gains acceptability when in British industrial revolution gained momentum and other western countries before it expanded to the rest of the world including the African continent.

The 19th century set in motion the second phase of globalization process when Europe began the mass production of industrial goods. However, the sphere of globalization seems to be having the greatest impact on global economic system. The increasing interdependence of states provides the basis for globalization. The challenges of contemporary international political economy are in broad terms the coexistence of a territorially based political system with an economic system that is increasingly global in scope. The increasing interdependence of states has marked a movement from distinct national economies towards a single global economy.

Just as there are many gains and opportunities of globalization, so also are problems associated with it. Indeed, the problems or criticisms against globalization are enormous and overwhelming. For instance, the plight of African and by extension the Third World Countries in the globalization process, offers Africa the opportunity to be fully integrated into the emerging global capitalist order to exploit the developments in science and technology, the new information revolution, and the expansion of the global market. But in spite of these apparent benefits, the changes in the world system hold the possibilities for further marginalization. The reason being that such constraining legacies as colonial and neo- colonial exploitation, mismanagement, the crisis of state and society, and conditions of poverty, foreign domination and instability make participation in the global order impossible. Further to this, the globalization process has led to imposition of reform programs on Third World States which tended to erode the autonomy of sovereignty of these countries Ihonvbere (1996:347).

1.2 Statement of Problem

The World is changing and the culminating factor to this change has to do with the contending opinions on the issue of globalization. The world has been reduced to a global village to the point that nation’s boundaries are gradually becoming less relevance.

Globalization increases interdependence and integration which occurs as money, people, and images, values and ideas flow ever more swiftly and smoothly across national boundaries. The literature on globalization tends to emphasize the economic dimension. It enables countries to benefit from the doctrine of comparative advantage by encouraging countries to concentrate in the production of those things they are endowed. Globalization offers Nigeria the opportunity to be fully integrated into the emerging global capitalist order to exploit the developments in science and technology, the new information revolution, and the expansion of the global market.

Globalization tends to erode the autonomy and sovereignty of countries in the third world. On that note, the study seeks to find out whether globalization can lead to Nigeria’s development? What are the problems associated with globalization? What are the opportunities offered by globalization to Nigeria’s economy and Akwa Ibom State in particular?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of the study includes to:

  1. Examine the historical- evolution of globalization.
  2. Examine globalization and Nigeria’s development and Akwa Ibom State in particular.
  3. Examine the problems associated with globalization
  4. Analyze the opportunities offered by globalization to Nigeria’s development

1.4 Significance of the Study

The study will be significance in the following ways:

  1. The study will offer the researcher the opportunity to ascertain the problems and opportunities of globalization and to learn more about globalization of economics.
  2. The study will form a useful information base for future researchers embarking on the same or related topic.
  3. The study will be useful to policy or decision makers to use the opportunities offered by globalization to integrate economy.
  4. The study will be of immense benefit to the general public as it will impact on them with knowledge of the changing pattern in the global system.
  5. Finally, the study will add to already existing literature on globalization.

1.5 Scope and Limitation on the Study

The study focuses on globalization and Nigeria’s development, a study of Akwa Ibom State from 1987- 2010. The year 1987 was chosen because it marked the period Akwa Ibom State was created, while 2010 is chosen as the end point.

The most obvious limitation faced by the researcher was inability to gather resource materials at the stipulated time. Also, continuous visit to most informants posed a serious limitation to the researcher. However, using historical method of analysis, all the fragmented information gathered were incorporated into a sensible historical writing.

1.6 Organization of the Study

The study has five chapters with chapter one focusing on the background of the study and introduction. Chapter two has review of related studies-Marxist and Liberal views. Chapter three reports on research methodology and chapter four focuses on results and discussions while chapter five has summary and conclusion of the research work.

Chapter Five

Summary and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

This work has assessed the issue of globalization and Nigeria’s development with a particular reference to the effect on the economy of Akwa Ibom State. The major issue was to point to the fact that globalization is the panacea for development in Akwa Ibom State, and of course Nigeria in general. In a bid to arrive at the fact that it is panacea for development of Akwa Ibom State, it was imperative to examine the pros and cons of this phenomenon called globalization. Basically in some quarters learned and knowledgeable writers have put forward their views seeing globalization in the negative side of it. Their findings especially on this part of the world rested on the fact that globalization instead of progressive economic emancipation, it will rather fetch us retrogressive economic influence especially in Akwa Ibom and indeed on most third world countries such as Nigeria. No blame is attributed to this view of theirs on this subject matter because life itself is made of dualities. It is either on negative or one sees it on the positive side of it. To them seeing globalization as a tool that would tend to worsen the economy of the country and Akwa Ibom State in particular was not without some measuring instrument known to them. They came out with the basic analysis of the mechanisms having adverse consequences on the political, economic, social and technological needs of the country.

Retrospectively, history has it that the country has been a victim of too many negative developments in the world system. Aside from the fact that the country was forcefully integrated into the orbit of the world’s political economy on unequal basis, in both power, commence, social standing, her technological foundation was destroyed. Her environment degraded while the culture was distorted.

At inception, Akwa Ibom was plagued with poverty, low per capita income, import dependence, weak industrial and manufacturing base, a low level of agricultural production, a weak private sector, mono- cultural export economy which of course was the country’s malady. They also contended that globalization would lead to economic marginalization and further exploitation of Africa by the West. In some quarters, they opined that these scholars see liberalization, privatization and deregulation as economic methodologies of globalization. That the measure will transfer the economy of African countries to the hands of the nationals of western countries by the multi-national companies that have the capacity to buy over the assets from the government of African countries. Critics also contended that globalization encouraged trade inequality, trade in balance between the western countries and African countries who had virtually nothing to sell (export) to western countries while they become importers of virtually everything western, from electronics, vehicles, clothes to even food items. They opined that African countries have been used as dumping grounds for even the goods that have been discarded by the western countries. Owugah in his submission posits that the system is marked by an unequal distribution of opportunities, constraints and disadvantages. Some opined that globalization is feared in that it will bring about a more divided world. That it has widened the gulf between the haves and the have nots.

Narrowing it down to Nigeria as to how it would affect the country according to their own perception, they opined that indeed opening of borders for free trade will bring- about unequal exchange relation; that it will also have negative effect on our territorial boundary. That the infant industries in the country will close shops for better goods.

Another school of thought sees globalization in the positive side of life. Before long, one needs to know that it is information and technology driven. It manifested in Nigeria/ Akwa Ibom through information technology such as introduction of internet, electronic information transfers, World Wide Web and western money transfer. It went on to manifest in other areas such as privatization, deregulation, devaluation and new or acquired technology build up. These facilities boost globalization.

Proponents said that globalization would lead to economic development and improve standard of living of Africans. This conception is supported by the fact that there are different institutions and technologies put in place so as to enable these objectives to be achieved. The most important of these are International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Also important is the World Trade Organization (WTO) which is responsible for making and regulating rules covering world trade. What this is potent to mean is that globalization in itself devoid of poor implementation of the mechanism that propels its instrument, will be a blessing in that it will make mankind to come closer together. The proponents postulate that globalization has turned the world into a “global village”. Its process is inevitable because it is part of human nature. They went on to say that man by nature is a social being with an irresistible urge to associate with his fellow human beings. The implication is, it affords a synergy that fosters economic, political, social, and cultural integration among nation states. The Nobel Prize winner in economics- Amarthya Sen postulates that globalization “has enriched the world scientifically and culturally and benefited many people economically as well” (Awake May 22, 2002).

The Human Development Report 1999 likewise points out that globalization “offers enormous potential to alleviate poverty in the 21st century” (Awake May 22, 2002). It was further stated that the average family in the world today has three time more income than it did 50 years ago. Some analysts see another advantage to economic integration. They feel it will make countries more reluctant to go to war. Thomas L. Friedman, in his book ‘The Lexus and the Olive Tree’, asserts that globalization “increases the incentives for not making war and it increases the costs of going to war in more ways than in any previous era in modern history”.

Having weighed the pros and cons of this phenomenon called globalization in relations to development, one is not in doubt the fact that the advantages definitely has out- weighed what one would think to be the demerit of it.
Based, on this background, one now has the privilege to assess how globalization affects Akwa Ibom/ Nigeria considering the fact that those factors which used to inhibit its smooth running have been reversed. For instance, when the state was created it was a matter of small syndrome. Most of our young boys and girls were used as servitude in other parts of the country. This later gave way to the concept of think big “plan big” and implement or establish your big plans (courtesy of Governor Obong Akpan Isemin of blessed memory).

To start with, the state of infrastructure was in the state of decay. The inherited industries no sooner than not closed shops. For clarity sake, and as a matter of perspective, from 1987- 1999 precisely, the state and the entire nation could not come up to say anything about globalization in any positive way. The reason is not far fetched. Of a truth, we were of mono-economy (that is only able to export crude oil) and opened up to receive virtually everything from the world market. This of course was due to undiversifications of our economy, political instability, neglect of agriculture and inability to key into industrialization of the state/ nation. Lack of good governance, high level of insecurity and corruption in the state/ nation was noticeable everywhere in the country and Akwa Ibom State in particular. Inadequate attention to our educational system which was begging for attention but to no avail. The health facilities and health care delivery in the state was below average in all aspects. Power/energy situation was without hope and it went a long-way in frustrating the industrial sector of the economy. Tourism which is money spinning industry was purposely neglected by every successive government during the period 1987-1999.

It is often said, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it is on record that we started having Akwa Ibom of our dream in about May, 1999-2010 and beyond. The new Akwa Ibom better call it the “African Dubai” like some people will like to call it, started the journey to its great success during Obong Atta’s administration. Some key projects were initiated and work started on some with various stages of completion. This was in a bid to key in the state to the global world as there was no alternative since globalization has already affected everyone. Then came another government which saw the emergence of a new helmsman in the person of Chief (Dr) Godswill Obot Akpabio as the governor of the state in 2007. No sooner he was sworn in, he declared that the development of the state would be pursued with anger. He rolled out the drums as the Independent Power Plant in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area which he met at 20% completion was targeted and completed. His anger kindled against the state of roads in the state capital. He ceased the bull by the horns as he ventured into the state and federal roads, daulized them using foreign companies for the construction work. Within the period under-review, three flyovers were completed and commissioned with street lights lighting coupled with landscaping where necessary so as to provide the aesthetic aspect of life to the state.

Indubitably, the scenario that was experienced between 1987-1999, May 1999-2010, beyond could be viewed as a reverse of the trend. This is true because in the area of road network between 2007 and 2010 over 300 roads have been constructed. All with well drainage system. Without doubt in Uyo metropolis, government has provided the first in Africa “Pipe Jacking Underground Drainage System” and this has taken over the issue of flood in the state capital Education has been given a boost as there is a free and compulsory primary/ secondary education in the state. Akwa Ibom has made impact in this global village in the area of a sea port as work is in advance stage at Ibaka wharf.

In the area of health service delivery, it is on record that all the medical doctors were given brand new cars to boost their moral for effective service delivery. New ones were employed, likewise nurses. Five new general hospitals built with over 20 new cottage hospitals in the state. In addition, work is in advance stage in the new specialist hospital at Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area known as “The 20th Anniversary Hospital”. In order to provide both medical and paramedical staff, four school of nursing have been properly positioned a health technology school with courses well accredited all in a bid to provide adequate health care delivery. Tourism has been given its rightful place. It needs be mentioned that it is a service industry and has significant role in this globalization era.

In the aspect of industrialization, whooping sum of 20 million dollars has been ear- marked for the establishment of one industry in each of the 31 local government areas. The concept is to change the state from civil service status to industrialized state so as to have full benefit of globalization. Even the State House of Assembly in their over-sight function few months ago embarked on foreign trip all in a bid to go and woo investors into the state. This is in addition to the statutory function of Akwa Ibom Investment and Industrial Promotion Council (AKIIPOC) which is statutorily charged with the responsibility of sourcing for private investors. Without mincing words, the state has been positioned in order to tap from the global world because of the provision of infrastructure. It is not over-statement to say that 95% of Akwa Ibom towns and villages have been joined to the national grid. The 189 villages remaining, work is going on assiduously in anticipation of making them to enjoy the soon to be switched on Independent Power Plant. The IPP issue would have for now been a foregone issue but for the fact that the Federal Government has to approve the gas processing plant unit to run the turbine. When contacting, the Commissioner for Special Duties, the response was positive because the on- going negotiation would be concluded in favour of the state. Akwa Ibom Water co-operation has been privatized. In Uyo metropolis- they have started building water outlet to sell to the public. This will go a long way to provide a healthy living because unlike the private/ individual bore-hole that is not treated, water from Akwa Ibom Water Company is well- treated and fit for consumption.
The revolutionary trend in the field of telecommunication has come to ease the bottleneck that used to act as a hindrance in communication. One would be indebted if mention is not made that the state has a research institute. What propel it is the fact that development can not be achieved without scientific think-tank institute like this hence a science park has been built and well equipped for research and development to be encouraged in the state/nation. As a matter of fact the United Nation 2% recommendation of Gross Domestic Product for Research and Development is vigorously pursued. In order to benefit from the global world, occasioned by this era of globalization, the state has built and commissioned the first e-library in the country which is the first of its kind in West African sub-region This has prompted the Federal Government to order 30 e-libraries to be built in 30 unity schools nation wide as a mark of appreciation to what Akwa Ibom State Government has done. (NTA news)
The state capital is being remodeled to such an extent that the new governor’s office under construction has an international conference centre with facility that can interpret 120 languages. It also has a provision that can enable the governor to stay in anywhere and hold executive meeting with his/her executive members.

5.2 Conclusion

The unsocial sociability in man is inevitable and irresistible fact that can not be over-ruled as far as far as life is concerned. The implication of it is that a tree can not make a forest. When looking at globalization in the true sense of it, one indubitably concludes that it is a process which is inevitable because it is part of human nature. Man on his own may want to be independent but because life does not permit, he has to associate, unite, love, tolerate, interact with other man. Therefore considering the issue of globalization and Nigeria’s development taking Akwa Ibom State as a case study, one has to agree into to that Emmanuel Kant’s theory of man’s unsocial sociability is relevant. Globalization should not be feared especially in this part of the world rather it should be embraced in totality so as to ensure rapid transformation. It is on this backdrop that the researcher ceases this opportunity to persuade the state/ nation to adopt the following measures so as to bring about a sustainable development envisage by globalization.

(I) Education

They say “knowledge is power”. Akwa Ibom no- doubt has woke up in this sphere of life in2008 by initiating and implementing free and compulsory education from primary to secondary school level in the state. This is because it was realized that in this era of globalization, education counts. That the level of education in a given environment will determine the level of advantage gain in a globalize world. In addition there has been training and retraining of teachers for qualitative service delivery with 27.5% award salary- wise in order to boost their moral in education sector. Moreover, the federal government has also reacted positively by donating free- books to the primary schools and has also taken over the payment of primary school teachers’ salary all in a bid to position educational sector on a good pedestal.

In spite of all these, a lot more, are still expected in order to fully tap from the global world that we have found ourselves. That is, in this educational sector, in the state/and at the national levels, there should be free and compulsory university education. More of infrastructural facilities should be provided, research institute should be well positioned, training and retraining of the dons and non- teaching staff should be given adequate attention. If this step is taken, without doubt, globalization could be seen to be the best thing that has happened to this generation and in our time.

(II) Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Globalization is related with foreign direct investment in developing nations. In Akwa Ibom State, government is determined to explore this avenue in order to boost the industrial sector by partnering with foreign investors. One of the steps taken so as to ensure success is fighting corruption. For the past five years statistics has shown that the level of corruption has reduced to the barest minimum in the state. At the national scene, the issue of corruption is not treated at levity. The present federal government has positioned the EFCC, ICPC to fight corruption to a stand still. Actually, in the real life situation there is no society in the world that is completely crime free. The difference could be the level in which it’s tolerated in a given society. This is potent to say that in Akwa Ibom State /Nigeria political atmosphere has assumed 95% stability. The Niger Delta that was engulfed with militancy, amnesty that was granted to the militant group has brought relative peace to the area. It is only in the North-Eastern part of the country that the Boko Haram issue has come up. But the government at the affected states and most specially the federal government are working around the clock to stamp it out. If this is pursued sincerity of purpose, relative peace would be achieved in the entire country and development as envisaged by globalization would be guaranteed.

(III) Power/Energy

It should be noted that no industries establishment can do well without good power/ energy supply. In Akwa Ibom / Nigeria, it would be a disservice if one does not say that the era of solely depending on Power Holding Company is over. The reason is that in Akwa Ibom State and of course some other states, they built their Independent Power Stations. Some have been commissioned, some awaiting commissioning. Therefore, there is hope for the survival of any industry set up and the level of performance will be impressive because power/ energy is a key ingredient for effective success of industry.

(IV) Infrastructural Development

Infrastructural developments, such as roads, ports, airports are some of the indices of proper globalization. In Akwa Ibom State, one can boast of the building of 300 new roads, four flyovers with four federal government roads dualized across the state. The state that did not have airport can now boast of an international airport with a hanger for effective repairs of aeroplane. A seaport in Ibaka is nearly completion. Although the issue of railway is being political, but there is hope because it is in the drawing board as the federal government has indicated its intention of running it across Akwa Ibom through Cross River linking it with Abia State and Rivers State to the Northern part of the country. This is a good omen, as is well known that globalization is propelled by communication and functional transport system in order to bring about optimal benefit.

(V) Value, Skill and Culture

Indubilately, globalization has to do with value, skill and culture. In this its era, it is an established fact that economic prosperity of a nation is less determined by the abundance but rather natural resources possessed by her, but rather by more of its stock of knowledge, the skills and expertise of its people as well as the capability of its institutions. No wonder Akwa Ibom State government is devoting, prioritize much of her attention on health and education. These two areas of life have been given adequate attention. Research and development have also received a boost through the establishment of institutions that enhanced economic development.

(VI) Foreign Policy

No nation can exist without well articulated foreign policy and well defined national interest in international relation. The real reason is that in life according to popular adage any tree than wants to live long must stand close to the kolanut. Every country and every responsible government can not ignore entering into bilateral trade agreements and economic conventions for its survival. In Nigeria successive governments have entered into certain global policies within the paradigm of international agreements and these have helped both the country and Akwa Ibom State to boost the living standard of the citizenry.

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