Prospects for Recovery and Sustainable Development in Africa

By Aguibou Y. Yansané | Go to book overview

the policy and institutional reform will be more difficult, and backsliding on reforms already implemented could occur.

A civilian regime is unlikely to put emphasis on agricultural development and export promotion since investment in these areas will not generate noticeable results in the short term. Besides, emphasis on these areas is not in the immediate interests of the vocal minority -- the urban middle and upper classes -- that control the media and political debate. Public sector inefficiency and corruption have not been a feature of current political debate; it is not likely to be a major focus of the civilian administration. In summary, the prospects are that Nigeria will continue to try to muddle through in an environment of big government, corruption, and macroeconomic instability. Change will come only with the emergence of strong political leadership and when the people and the politicians have gained a better appreciation of the fundamental factors in rapid economic growth. Rapid economic change requires good government, knowledge and its effective organization and application, hard work, and consistently good policies.


NOTES
1
The external debt of Nigeria stood at U.S. $34.5 billion in 1991.
2
This is quite similar to the experience of Mexico over the same period. See William R. Cline, International Debt: Systematic Risk and Policy Response ( Washington D.C.: Institute of International Economics, 1984), 258.
3
See for example, an article on the assets of Nigerian political aspirants in the African Guardian, Lagos, "Cash for Cash: How the party Chieftains Rate," October 9, 1989, 1-67. This article indicated that some of these aspirants have wealth at home and abroad running into hundreds of millions of Naira.
4
This ratio of urban population to population rose from 27.9 percent in 1981 to 36 percent in 1991 (see World Bank, World tables, 1993).
5
See Federal Republic of Nigeria Gazette, S tructural Adjustment for Nigeria, July 1986-June 1988 ( Nigeria: Federal Government Printer, 1988).
6
See T. A. Oyejide , A. Soyode, and M. O. Kayode , Nigeria and the IMF ( Nigeria: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1985).
7
There are now up to eighty commercial and merchant banks and more are expected to enter the market.
8
See World Bank; World Tables 1992.
9
World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth, A Long Term Perspective Study ( Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1989); United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, The African Alternative Framework Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes for Socio-Economic Recovery and Transformation E/ECA/CM/16/6 Rev. 3 ( New York: U.N. Publications, 1989).

-158-

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