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GOVERNANCE AND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN NIGERIA (2011-2015)

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[icon type=”icon-pencil”]: GOVERNANCE AND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN NIGERIA (2011-2015)
[icon type=”icon-book”]: Chapter 1 – 5
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This study,GOVERNANCE AND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN NIGERIA (2011-2015) contains concise information that will serve as a framework or guide for your project work. The project study is well-researched for academic purposes and are usually provided in complete chapters with adequate References.

Keywords:GOVERNANCE AND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN NIGERIA (2011-2015)


RESEARCH BODY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

This conceptualization of government effectiveness implies that governance is the channel through which policies are transmitted and enforced. Therefore the effectiveness of existing governance structure through effective economic reforms determines to a large extent its ability to promote the transition toward a market-oriented economic order that would yield the highest payoffs or lead to adverse economic performance (Essia, 2011). The nature of governance structure in an economy affects the incentives of politicians, legislators, bureaucrats, and private economic agents alike and determines the terms of exchange among citizens and between them and government officials. Thus, the capacity of a governance structure plays a critical role concerning the formation, implementation, and enforcement of economic reforms and social policies as well as development projects; and private sector development and coordination (Osisioma, 2012).

With respect to problems of initiating, implementing and sustaining government policies, the political institutions of a country’s governance structure play a dominant role, because they determine how different actors are involved in political processes, what kinds of economic reforms are politically feasible, and how the behaviour of individual actors is shaped. Indeed, Instead of imposing additional formal constraints on administrative units, as it is often observed in government bureaucracies (Wilson 1989), effective governance need to rely on more sophisticated institutional arrangements with powerful incentive schemes and screening, signalling, and monitoring mechanisms, which imply a fusion of interests of politicians, bureaucrats, business, and non-elites.

1.1       BACKGROUND OF STUDY

The concept of reform is multidimensional; it encompasses political, social, economic and cultural aspects. A lot of interpretations have been ascribed to the concept. To reform is to change for the better. It can be defined as to improve by alteration, correction of error, a removal of defects, or to put into a better form or condition. By this description, there is no economic system that is too perfect or too advanced to be reformed. The Nigerian economy is in distress, characterized by policy summersault, near collapsed of social/economic infrastructure, rising level of poverty, unemployment, huge budget deficit, high rate of inflation, high import dependence, neglect of non-oil section, poor governance environment, high cost of doing business, inefficient state owned enterprises, pervasive corruption, and general insecurity of life and property. Nigeria has tried different reforms agenda with resultant poor outcome. There is no doubt that Nigeria is capable of achieving far more than it has achieved now. The various claims of achievements by past governments show that radical changes are possible. However, change must be purposeful towards the attainment of defined goals; it must be effective, efficient and equitable. It must impact positively on the well-being of majority of Nigerians. (Garba 2006)

The various economic reforms that has been initiated in the past are targeted towards wealth creation, generating employment, reducing poverty and bringing about a re-orientation of values. So far the performance of Nigeria’s economic development has not been too impressive when compared with the quantum of resources expended to finance the reform agenda. There is no doubt that Nigeria is capable of achieving far more than it has achieved now given the human and material resources available to the country. The truth is that the nation have been neglecting some critical and basic issues that make change as painless and tolerable as possible, and the complexity of the Nigerian problems have been over simplified. The managers of the economy had made certain claims about the achievement of the economic reform programme; namely that the reform is impacting positively on the economy by creating wealth, employment, reducing poverty and diversification of the economy.

There is no doubt that the economic reform agenda had made some impact, if nothing else Nigerians are now engaged in debates and discussions about the reform agenda. The government is claiming that the reform agenda has made tremendous contribution to the growth of the Nigerian economy. But the question to pose is at what cost, given the amount of resources that had been expended on economic reform agenda, it’s obvious that Nigeria is capable of achieving far more than it has achieved, if the fundamentals of the reform agenda were right. Given the level of underdevelopment, economic reform is necessary and inevitable; however, such economic reforms must be tailored towards achieving the strategic interest of the country, must take into cognizance the resource base of the country and must be geared towards meeting the basic needs of the people. For any reform agenda to succeed and have its intended impact, the people (the citizens) must be part of it right from inception.

It is amazing to note that despite the bogus claim by the authors of the reform agenda that it had a wide consultative participatory process, the truth is that most Nigerians are oblivious of the economic  reform agenda, because they were not involved in the process of articulating and formulating the reform agenda. If the relationship between the state and the citizens is skewed in favor of the government like is the case in Nigeria, the government can impose a reform agenda and claim that it is the people’s reform. It is obvious that most of the economic reforms are written and designed by foreign consultants in collaboration with Nigerian elites whose interests are in tandem with the foreign consultants and multilateral organizations/agencies who influences the appointments of these elites into government to protect their interest.

The economic reform agenda had not been able to re-orientate the average Nigerian.  Man must be at the centre of any reform, for any reform to achieve its desired goals, it must begin by transforming the attitudes and values of the society, her institutions and adequate incentives for individuals to be productive. The Nigerian people were not adequately informed about the economic reforms, nor were they part of the reform process right from the point of articulation to implementation. This explains why our reform agenda lack clarity of what we truly want, there is insufficient commitment to the stated objectives and more importantly there is weak intellectual and institutional support base. The process of economic reforms must be a domestic process led by domestic actors willing to carry them out (Duru 2009).

Institutional building is necessary for bringing forth the potential benefits of economic reform and sustaining such benefits. The emphasis on institution building points to the ability to take account of local conditions in policy formulation as a key to success. The experience with past economic reforms has shown the need for priorities in the reform process. Whereas, the past efforts on economic reform concentrated on reducing the state’s role and broadening the role of the markets. The government have not focused on areas that are fundamental for ensuring the proper functioning of the market, particularly institution building. Unfortunately the Nigerian state is saddled with very weak institutions, because of this weak institutions and the lack of institutional reforms, policies and the act of governance in Nigeria are personalized after the government initiating such policy. There is no continuity of policies and no sustainability of such reforms because Nigeria have been very inconsistent with reforms, moving from one ad-hoc policy to another.

1.2   STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

Economic reforms have grown in popularity and acceptability in both developed and developing economies. It has become a critical factor that various governments can use to promote economic growth and development, improve the production and distribution of goods and services, and reduce government structure. What is essential wrong with the economic reforms in Nigeria is that the country wants to go through the process without passing the proper legal and regulatory framework. And that the absence of a regulatory framework has led to uncoordinated implementation of the reform programmes.  The driving force of the economic reform is that the various components of the economy be liberalized to give way for full participation of the private sector in the economy (Duru, 2011).

Corruption has been a major reason why the economic reforms agenda had not achieved its stated objectives, as some of the issues are better managed by government for the benefit of all, and that the modalities of the economic reforms agenda are faulty.

The general economic reforms has been poorly managed as most of the sectors like industrial, social, agricultural, trade and investment, to mention but a few, have all performed woefully, even though these sectors drains reasonable percent of the total GDP during the economic reform process. Road construction has not met the required standard, hospitals are few and not working, portable water supply is not available and power supply is even worst (Duru, 2011).

Overall, the effective transition to a market economy which should necessarily underscore economic reforms is inadequate, not effective and had caused more miseries of poverty, social, political, and economic problems in Nigeria.

In this study after going through the related literature on economic reforms in Nigeria, it was realized that there are gaps to be resolved about economic reforms between 2011 and 2015 in Nigeria. Therefore, the study will attempt to investigate the following:

  1. Is the economic reforms between 2011-2015 adequate enough to enhance economic development in Nigeria?
  2. Does economic reforms between 2011-2015 impacts on the social welfare of the citizens of the country?
  3. Was the future of Nigerian economy improved significantly with the economic reforms introduced by the government of Nigeria between 2011 and 2015.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The broad objective of this study is to examine the governance and economic reforms in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015.

Specifically, the study aims to:

  1. Determine if economic reforms in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015 is adequate for Nigeria’s economic development.
  2. Ascertain if economic reforms in Nigeria between 2011 and 2015 impact on the social welfare of the citizens.
  3. Show if the future of the Nigerian economy improved significantly with the economic reforms introduced by government of Nigeria between 2011 and 2015.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study will contribute to the ongoing discussions and debates among scholars and writers on the issue of governance and economic reforms in Nigeria between 2011-2015. This work creates awareness on the masses to understand the economic reforms agenda of the previous administration, under Goodluck Jonathan. The analysis of this study examines, describes, explain and predict the economic reforms of the previous government. Both students and some literate people that are not familiar with economic reforms ideology of the government will find this work very interesting and be able to make their own view.

The study is also theoretically significance because it will help to disabuse the minds of individuals and organisation, that hold misconceived views about the economic reforms. There are many scholars in Nigeria who persists that this policy is still the best answer to the economic problem in Nigeria. So far, the neo-liberal economic system imposed on people of Nigeria manifested in unending poverty, misery and hardship overwhelming majority of the society in the midst of potential abundance.

The significance of this study is also obvious because the findings there of can be useful to government, especially, National Economic Planning Unit for reference purpose. This study will enhance proper evaluation of subsequent economic policy and plan for adequate implementation and application. It will also be valuable to government executives at the different levels, and policy makers, in formulating good economic policy and plan for socio economic development of the state.

1.5   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study is a piece of research work that concentrates on neo-liberal economic reforms of between 2011 and 2015 under Goodluck Jonathan administration. The economic reforms tagged, transformation agenda, includes, privatization policy, deregulation and removal of subsidy in the downstream oil sector, job creation, diversifying the economy of Nigeria, agricultural transformation agenda, improvement on energy and power sector and general improvement on social welfare and standard of living of the people Nigeria.

This work covered the economic reforms of the previous government from 2011 to 2015 under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration with his strategies to boast the economy and make Nigeria the biggest economy by 2020. In every economic reforms policy there must be effects, which may be positive or negative should they be addressed. The future of Nigeria economy is another area, which will not be left out and be covered.

1.7       LITERATURE REVIEW

Transformation is a complete change in somebody or something especially in a way that improves them. It is also a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional change affecting every component of the individual or society. Transformation according to Osisioma (2012) cited in Asobie (2012) is a fundamental shift in the deep orientation of a person, an organization, or a society, such that the world is seen in new ways and new actions and results become possible that were impossible prior to the transformation.

In governance, transformation involves structural changes in major institutions and the society as a whole. It should guarantee improved Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Per Capital Income, Standard of Living and other basic socio-economic indicators for the majority of the citizenry.

Thus, Gyong (2011) posits that transformation can be said to be a total package that involves every facet of the individual, organization or society. It is meant to be a vehicle for a better society where virtually everyone will be reasonable comfortable.

The five (4) years Transformation Agenda of the President GoodluckEbele Jonathan between 2011 to 2015 was to reposition the country’s drive to development in the critical spheres of the economy hinged on the rule of law where equality, peace and justice shall reign (Businessday 2012:4). The Transformation Agenda also seek to address the rising unemployment, inequality, poverty as well as other flaws affecting the development of the Nigeria economy. In order to accomplish this task, a presidential committee was set up consisting technical experts drawn from both public and private sector tagged the Economic Management Team (Gyong, 2011).

Chinweoke (2011) among other noted that the Nigerian economic development process tends towards industrial strategy that was based on import substitution. It aimed at acquiring technology, develop internal market through private sector to stimulate local demand and block economic leakages. However, the transformation programme in Nigeria is dominated by low technology. In addition, infrastructural failure, economic disorderliness, corruption and security challenges are issues hindering socio economic transformation in Nigeria.

The economic reform between 2011-2015 tagged “Transformation Agenda” is meant to touch every aspect of the socio-economic and political life of the nation, certain key areas were summarized by the National Planning Commission blue print (NPC 2011). These include job creation, good governance, agriculture, security, power sector among others. This will examines the performance in some of the sectors.

Itah (2012) stressed that the economic reform agenda of President Jonathan was aimedat addressing the surge in poverty and insecurity. In the same vein, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga described the economic reform agenda between 2011-2015 as a development policy that is embedded with good governance, security, energy and human development (IT and TELECOM DIGEST 2012). According to Gyong (2012), the transformation agenda seeks to catapult Nigeria in economic growth and national development. In analysing the policy thrust of the transformation agenda, the Minister of National Planning Commission gave an insight of the policy. According to him, the transformation is designated into three core areas. The first area was to revamp all ailing industries, encourage agriculture and agro businesses, and promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES). Secondly, to reduce poverty and creates employment and thirdly, to fight corruption (ibid.). Furthermore, the Minster posited that the transformation agenda will focus on good governance vis-a-vis the protection of lives and property, rule of law, anti-corruption crusade and public reform. He continued by saying the policy will make the provision of infrastructural development and the promotion of human development which will be running alongside with the Millennium Development Goals (Gyong 2012).

In order to actualize all these, “effort will be made to fast track constitutional and electoral reforms to provide the necessary legal framework for the policy packages; overcome security challenges, create an enabling environment for private sector participation; encourage coordination and collaboration of policies, and not competition, among sectors, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government” (National Planning Commission (2011) as cited by (Gyong 2012).

Keywords: GOVERNANCE AND ECONOMIC REFORMS IN NIGERIA (2011-2015)



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