The Developmental State Debate: Where Is Nigeria?

Benedict. I. Ezema, Kanayo Ogujiuba

Abstract


There is a renewed interest in the idea of the developmental state in Africa. This is partly a reaction to the failure of the pro-market reforms under the Washington Consensus to deliver socio-economic progress. Nonetheless, the Nigerian There is a renewed interest in the idea of the developmental state in Africa. This is partly a reaction to the failure of the pro-market reforms under the Washington Consensus to deliver socio-economic progress. Nonetheless, the Nigerian economy, after fifty years of political independence and economic governance and management, has suffered from fundamental structural defects and has remained in persistent stagnation. Many features in Nigeria’s economy combined with other non-economic factors have produced a weak private sector that is largely oriented towards distributive activities. The productive and technological base is weak, outdated, narrow, inflexible and externally dependent. Furthermore, infrastructure is poor, inadequate and lacks maintenance. Thus, the effectiveness of incentives has been generally low, giving rise to inadequate utilization of the factors of production. The paper blames the country’s overdependence on single product export-crude oil-without profound efforts to diversify the economy as a key weakness. Questions that the paper tries to address are; is Nigeria at present, making enough efforts to move towards the identified features of a developmental state? Does it require a sound re-thinking into the development agenda with regards to the various key issues relevant to developing countries? How can we break out of this vicious cycle? Correcting this scenario forms the crux of this paper. The paper suggests different solution scenarios to many of the problems on the platform of the developmental state paradigm. As such, the country should develop a class of entrepreneurs that possess the tacit knowledge required for rapid industrialization and development of the manufacturing sector. This proactive stance with capable institutions would move Nigerian economy to the desired direction.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/jsd.v5n1p100



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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online)

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