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.
The external debt of Nigeria stood at U.S. $34.5 billion in 1991.
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.
See for example, an article on the assets of Nigerian political aspirants in the
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.
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).
See Federal Republic of Nigeria Gazette, S tructural Adjustment for Nigeria,
July 1986-June 1988 ( Nigeria: Federal Government Printer, 1988).
T. A. Oyejide ,
A. Soyode, and
M. O. Kayode , Nigeria and the IMF
( Nigeria: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., 1985).
There are now up to eighty commercial and merchant banks and more are
expected to enter the market.
See World Bank; World Tables 1992.
World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth, A Long
Term Perspective Study ( Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 1989);
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).