The Effects of Adjustment Measures on Nigerian Labor
Since its introduction some years ago, Nigeria's structural adjustment program (SAP) has remained a subject of intense opposition and controversy in the Nigerian polity. The opposition, notably from labor and intellectuals, has in recent times focused more on the appropriateness of SAP as an effective means of achieving rapid economic recovery and although Nigerian military rulers appear resolutely committed to the adjustment measures, they have been unsuccessful in demonstrating its effectiveness in leading the country to faster economic recovery. This chapter assesses the effects of the SAP on the Nigerian labor. After a brief overview of the nature of the economic crisis in the next section, the major elements of the adjustment measures are reviewed. The following section examines the effects of these measures on labor, and the final section discusses the broader issues of government-labor relation during the era of adjustment measures.
The oil boom of 1970-1980 helped to conceal the fundamental weakness of Nigeria's dependence on petroleum as the main source of development as well as instigating the evolution of a series of economic policies which embedded distortions and were in the long run inimical to self-reliance growth. Among these policies were import substitution industrialization, which created import- dependent industrial sector, ill-conceived and badly managed projects, exchange controls, tariffs, and so forth. 1 The danger of this development path was overshadowed by the abrupt inflow of foreign exchange earnings from petroleum