Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Globalization and the Retrenchment of an African Economy: Revisiting Post-$18 Billion Debt Cancellation in Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Globalization and the Retrenchment of an African Economy: Revisiting Post-$18 Billion Debt Cancellation in Nigeria

Article excerpt

This paper argues that the embedded neo-colonialist exploits of globalization retrenches the Nigerian economy rather than strengthening it--thereby creating new threats to human security and development. Specifically, pre and post--$18 billion (USD) debt cancellation Nigeria reels in economic strangulation engendered by global capital. Globalization, viewed as a force of inequality and marginalization constitutes a dividing factor between the developed and developing countries. We seek to concretize the view that despite the excitement generated by globalization as invitation to a world that is increasingly interconnected and borderless, Nigeria (like other African countries) comes out at a disadvantage. Whereas Nigeria has made and is making enormous contributions to the global economy, yet, it remains at the receiving end of the side effects rather than through the gains of globalization with mounting debt profile, capital flight, local industry collapse, galloping inflation, weak currency, over-dependence on imported goods and services, mono-product economy, etc. Hence, the Western allies encourage Nigeria to open the economy for rape, although she has insignificant access to other economies because she lacks the competitive advantage; due in part to bad leadership engendered wittingly or unwittingly by developed world partners.

Introduction

Several questions have been asked: (1) How can we understand globalization vis-a-vis Nigerian socio-political and economic practice? In other words, can globalization bring Nigeria significant socio-political and economic benefit? How do we relate globalization to the issues of debt relief, cancellation or forgiveness? Has globalization transformed the lives and livelihood of the Nigerian people? Is Nigeria well prepared to reap the perceived gains of globalization? Whose interest is the concept protecting in the Nigerian-Western countries nexus? These questions evoking many answers, all vigorously contested and forcefully held. (2) Glogalization has become one concept that is riddled with contradictions and ambiguities. Amidst this uncertainty, it is clearly established (3) that globalization is creating new threats to human security and development in rich and poor countries; and also poses a number of challenges African Political Science must address. (4)

This paper is predicated on the assumption that globalization carries a form of inequality and marginalization, and although, an outstanding development in human history, its nature and character, purpose and finality do not favour Nigeria as a developing country. Rather than strengthening the Nigerian economy, globalization seeks to retrench it, thus Nigeria enters the global market at a competitive disadvantage as a largely mono-product economy with a weak currency, shrinking indigenous industrial space, mounting debt profile, corruption-infested political and economic climate. This unacceptable posturing imposes a systematic dispossession and exploitation of initiatives and resources, and squeezes her into a position of a highly indebted country begging for debt cancellation which only comes with conditions that further aggravates its economic fragility and opens it up for further debt accumulation. In its present condition, Nigeria seems to have no choice than to accept the dumping of several finished products in its market thereby leading to a massive collapse of local industries and the surreptitious elevation of its economy to the position of a service economy.

Breif Historical Underpinnings

The word globalization, though relatively new is part of a historical continuum, began about six centuries ago, and every discovery and advancement in the technological and scientific world has impacted on its evolution. The examples of the railway, marine transport technology, air technology, telegraph, e-mail and now the Internet ensures faster and more efficient movement of goods and services. …

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