ECONOMIC REFORM AND NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF NIGERIA AND CHINA, 1999 – 2010

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ABSTRACT


Economic reforms are the different macroeconomic and microeconomic policies designed by
the government to redress the distortion in the economy of any nation. It is important to
mention that Economic reform is not peculiar to Nigeria alone. Almost all countries the world
over have undertaken different forms of economic reforms at one time of the other. The
contents and strategy of reforms have varied from country to country depending on the
circumstance of each country. One of the countries that have consistently implemented
economic reform policies in recent time is China. The rapid rise of China as a major
economic power within a time span of about 30 years is often described by analysts as one of
the greatest economic success stories in modern times. The Nigerian government over the
years has embarked on several economic reforms aimed at bettering the lives of its citizenry
but these policies have always failed to live up to their projections. This study attempts to
answer the following questions; has the economic reforms impacted on National
Development in Nigeria and China? Policy inconsistencies and policy consistency is
implicated in the economic reforms failure in Nigeria and success in China? The Political
economy approach as propounded by Karl Marx was employed as our theoretical framework.
The Marxian political economy approach also known as dialectical materialism places
emphasis/primacy on material or economic conditions of society. It is premised on the belief
that man is dominantly motivated by economic needs. Using this approach, this study attempt
to look at the factors which made the economic reforms in China to be successful and has led
to national development, while the same attempt by Nigeria to carry out economic reforms
have always met with failure. Methodologically, the study adopted Ex-post-facto research
design, field observation technique which invariably led to the sourcing of data through
primary and secondary sources and our data was analyzed using content analysis. Findings
revealed that due to policy consistency and strong leadership, China economic reform led to
economic growth that impacted on national development. Chinese elites adopted an inward
looking,
trial and errormethod or what can be called gradualism. The reform process in
Nigeria was marred by policy inconsistencies. Aside this, the reform process has also been
dodged with problems and controversies.
We recommend that the government of Nigeria should be consistent with making and
implementing economic policies that will impact on national development. The Government
of China has to make sure that huge amount of revenue pouring into the country is not
restricted to few individuals as it is obtainable in Nigeria, rather the Chinese leadership
should make sure that these revenues get down to the masses through a trickledown effect in
the form employments and incentives to boost private initiatives.

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