UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN NIGERIA, A CASE STUDY OF BABANGIDA ADMINISTRATION

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ABSTRACT

The title of this study is underdevelopment and political instability in Nigeria, a case study of babangida administration, The broad objective of this study is to interrogate the link between political instability and underdevelopment in Nigeria, especially the study is aimed at establishing the link between underdevelopment and political instability in Nigeria, ascertaining that foreign aid is responsible for underdevelopment in Nigeria and determining if accountability and transparent leadership are capable of engendering development in Nigeria. The method of data collection in this research work is the secondary mode of data collection, first as stated in the research proposal. The secondary mode of Data collection here implies visiting of libraries, extraction of information from journals, newspapers and books. Since the method of data collection was the secondary mode of data collection, or rather the non-reactive method of data collection, the method of data analysis here, is the qualitative method of data analysis. It is more explanatory in nature. The scope of this study centers on the underdevelopment and political instability status of Nigeria, particularly. The scope of this study also emphasis on how a sustainable development can be attained inspite of the dependent nature of Africans and particularly Nigeria.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study There is almost a consensus concerning the impact of political instability on growth, although the concept of instability itself is rather ambiguous. It covers both legal changes of heads of state and governments and violent takeover. Whereas the first one refers to political changeover, the second one is more appropriately related to instability and has a broadly acknowledged negative impact on development. That second concept includes elite instability, as defined by Fosu (1992), as well as less dramatic events linked to social unrest (demonstrations, political violence). In extreme cases of instability like revolutions or coups d’état, Fosu (1992) argues that breaks in the production process might occur, reducing directly the level of GDP. Moreover, the impact on production factor accumulation can also be accompanied by a negative influence on their productivity. Indeed, the effect of investment and human capital accumulation on growth performance is likely to depend on the institutional context as efficiency of production factors is certainly improved in a stable environment. It was Ake (1995) who painted a gloomy picture of theAfrican continent saying: “Most of Africa is not developing.”This apt description of the decline in nearly all Africancountries underscores the depth of underdevelopmentravaging the people in the midst of abundant naturalresources. While most of these countries gained independencein the 1960s, the struggle to ensure nationaldevelopment and political stability proved negative. According to Ake (1995): “Decades of efforts have yielded largely stagnation,regression or worse. The tragic consequences of thisare increasingly clear: a rising tide of poverty, decayingpublic utilities and infrastructures, social tensionsand political turmoil, and now, premonition of inevitabledrive into conflict and violence”. Similarly, the military coups and counter coups were alsoplagued by bad leadership, although their successors didnot fare better. Consequently, development performancewas slowed down, and political instability continued to pervadethe polity, as focus was shifted to combat the loomingforces of insecurity and internal regime instability. Engerman and Sokoloff (2002) postulated that historical conditions, often due to agricultural necessity in the colonial era, could induce economic inequality and institutional structures that could persist to today. The results point to such conditions as perpetuating inequality as having an exogenous impact on political instability, which in turn holds back the national development of countries. The political instability measure here is Alesina and Perotti’s (1996) socio-political instability (SPI) index, which measures the average political instability by country during the 1960-1982 periods. Using principal component analysis, they construct their index from data on a nation’s number of politically-motivated assassinations, the number of people killed in domestic mass violence (as a percentage of the nation’s total population), the number of successful and attempted coups, and a categorical variable for whether the nation is a democracy or a dictatorship. Because the index uses deep disruptions (such as military coups and political assassinations) simple electoral change, even if frequent and sharp, does not count as unstable; violent change, even if infrequent, does. Because they weight the index with a categorical indicator of democracy, their index is not purely one of political instability in its intuitive sense. One of the major factors responsible for political instabilityis the failure of the political class to sufficiently adhereto the basic tenets of democracy and constitutionalism (Kew, 2006). As Harriman (2006) has rightly noted, thissituation “has given rise to abuse of power, brazen corruption,disregard for due process and the rule of law,intolerance of political opposition, abuse of the electoralprocess and the weakening of institutions.” This contradictsthe tenet of governance, which presupposes “theprocess of social engagement between the rulers and theruled in a political community” (Adejumobi,2004). One of the major challenges facing Nigeria and other developing areas of the world is how to create a context of stable political and socio-economic environment for policies and programmes to be implemented. The issue of getting the right leadership to fight corruption and propel good governance has been a recurring decimal in Nigeria and Africa in general. Once this enabling environment is created, it becomes easy for the people to confront and resolve challenges facing them by using resources within their environment to create a condition of life where each stage is progressively better than the preceding one. However, this is not the case in Nigeria due to corruption and bad governance. Good governance encapsulates transparency, accountability, freedom of choice and liberty for the people to pursue their individual and corporate interest. Indeed, at the core of Africa’s underdeveloped status are corruption and leadership deficit. Leadership and good governance are crucial to realizing any giant stride taken in pursuit of development anywhere in the world, Nigeria is not an exception. The reverberation effects of the failure of leadership, corruption and bad governance are visible and being felt across all sectors and segment of the Nigerian society. Unemployment and employment for cash, insecurity, crude oil thefts, crisis in education, dearth of infrastructures such as health services, transportation, accommodation, communication, medication etc are all common features in Nigeria. It is an irony that of all oil producing nations, Nigeria is the only country with the history of crude oil thefts. Michels (in Olayiwola, 2013) posits that an examination of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political history reveals that many of its leaders over the years have been using the “iron law of oligarchy” which explains the triumph of the leaders’ ambitions for office over the membership’s revolutionary goals. Since the flag of political independence in 1960, Nigerian leaders and their regimes have been deeply engrossed in excessive acts of corruption and bad governance. All available means have been employed by Nigerian political leaders to ‘grab’ power including the blatant rigging of elections, manipulation of census figures, violence, thuggery, arson, vandalism, gangsterism, corruption, religious bigotry, regionalism, tribalism, ethnic sentiments and acts of brigandage as witnessed in the utterances of some delegates in the 2014 national conference. Relegation of public interest, malpractices of all forms, crimes of every description, mendacity, lack of candour, readiness to cheat, grabbing, philistinism, ethnic and sectional inclinations are the only game in town. All these have precipitated social dislocation, insecurity, violence, abject poverty, socio-economic and political instability. National integration has been elusive, yet it is needed to achieve the universal goal of development, that is, the pursuit of people’s material welfare and wellbeing. A society that is unjust and devoid of equity and equality will inherently be unstable. Since the return to civil rule in 1999, Nigeria government has taken some steps to address the twin challenges of corruption and bad governance in the country. These measures include public service reform such as monetization to reduce waste and reduction of over bloated personnel, reform of public procurement; establishment of Anti-corruption enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Independent Corruption and other Practices Commission (ICPC) etc. Despite the successes achieved by these measures, the situation remains unacceptable as corruption and bad governance continues to pervade every facet of national life. More worrisome is that in spite of popular anger against corruption and bad governance, which have robbed the collective wellbeing of the people, there remains a lack of national consensus on repulsion against the perpetrators irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, class and gender. Yet, the emergence of popular movements that is capable of galvanizing the palpable rage of the people and channel it to series of actions and outcomes that could challenge the status quo appears to be lacking. 1.2 Statement of the Problem In this analysis, we shall explore into the most of the problems Africa, and Nigeria, in particular is faced with and as the analysis goes further, we shall understand the reason for this underdevelopment, political instability, and try to sort out possible solutions to go into that, it is paramount to point out factors necessitating the phenomenon of underdevelopment and political instability in Nigeria, such as; i. The reckless and excess lust for foreign loan and aid: This has to do with a financial assistance granted to third world country in order to boost their economy and project them capable for international trade. ii. The domination of import over export trade: This is one of the major problems in Africa, or third world countries economy, since they tend to patronize more of the foreign goods over indigenous goods thereby bringing the implication of exploitation from the foreigners at the detriment of indigenous traders. iii. Political Crisis and Corruption: Africa is conversant with the above, since it is married with different kind of political crisis ranging from military coups to party crisis and worst of all which is corruption since it is the end products of any political unstable nation. iv. The failure of policies made by the government: Since policies made cannot be strictly adhered to them the problems in which that policy was made for has not yet been satisfied or settled, and in most cases these policies made are irrelevant to the countries or nations development agenda. v. Lastly but not the least poor education: Here the level of education which is the key to every kind of success is too low and a times poor, in third world countries the education, sector is dominated with all manner of malpractices which includes bribery, strikes, indefinite closure of school, due to illegality in its operations, unaccredited academic structures and all other shortcomings etc. Against this backdrop, this study attempts to provide answers to the following questions, i. Is there a link between underdevelopment and political instability in Nigeria? ii. Is foreign aid responsible for Nigeria underdevelopment? iii. Is accountability and transparent leadership capable of endangering sustainable development in Nigeria? 1.3 Objectives of the Study The broad objective of this study is to interrogate the link between dependency and underdevelopment in Nigeria, especially the study is aimed at; i. Establishing the link between underdevelopment and political instabilityin Nigeria. ii. Ascertaining that foreign aid is responsible for underdevelopment in Nigeria. iii. Determining if accountability and transparent leadership are capable of engendering development in Nigeria.

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