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DEPENDENCY AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA. THE NIGERIAN EXPERIENCE

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ABSTRACT

Dependency and underdevelopment in Africa is our main thrust which we try to relate the above to the Nigerian context. Dependency as we all know is a product of underdevelopment which is prevalent in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. It is certain that Nigeria is an independent nation, but it does not reflect in all the facts in the society since the super structures that form the society and state are dependent on foreign policy and factors. As we can see in this research work, we observe how the African state started its journey to underdevelopment which came in disguised of development and missionary activities which currently left it in shambles and dependent on foreign influence, since we were colonized and gives independence, literally we are independent but practically we are dependent on foreign influence since they form most of our policy and decisions as seen in some of our super structures like political which we adopted their style of government, economic which capitalism has contributed in crippling our economic culture which has been influenced by foreigners and degraded our cultural value, social which brought about the current inferiority complex suffered by Africans whenever they come in contact with the white. Also more emphasis is also laid on the post colonial and pre colonial African economy as we see how the post-colonial African economy led to the current debt crisis incurred by Africa in general and Nigeria in particular and we also see how Nigeria has been subjected to unealthying conditionalities in its quest for foreign aid which does not translate the reason for its request after it is been given rather public officers now use these foreign loan for their private use thereby putting Nigeria in a higher debt profile, and in order to mediate the debt problem an organization was set up called the international monetary fund (IMF) which is an agency of the United Nation which claims that its reason for existence is to aid the third world countries in advancing the structural adjustment programs (SAP) aimed at developing the African country to international standard, but in the real sense, it worsened the African economic problem by cursing Africa rather curning Africa from its economic slanbles. This research work is divided into five (5) chapters for proper understanding and clarification on the nature of Dependency and underdevelopment in Africa with particular reference to Nigeria. In chapter one (1) we look at the technicalities involved in writing a research work, and we look at the introduction of our main thrust of study or to pie which has to do with dependency and underdevelopment in Africa. Chapter two (2) we see how dependency and underdevelopment came about in Africa starting from the advent of the colonial masters, prior motive and missions and their later motive which reflects the current economic conditions in Africa and Nigeria. This chapter also talks about the processes and stages African passed through ranging from slavery, colonialism and the existence of economic saboteurs who amplified the African resources for their own selfish reasons. Chapter three (3) talks about foreign aid as a tool used by the foreign policy or international organs to underdeveloped Africa as they make use of attractive donations to procure political and economic favours in the recipients country. This chapter also portrays the nature of the African economy as a dependent economy suffering from colonial impact, the conditions attached with foreign aid and how it fosters slavery or imperialism and the level of mismanagement and misapplication of funds by public office holders in Africa. In chapter four (4) we devise a strategy or couple of strategies for curbing dependency and underdevelopment as we look at some of the strategies below; like the strategy of indigenization which states that indigenous enterprise should be promoted to foster independent economic development, the strategy of war against corruption, which is a tool for removing the stigma with highest infections in the Africa economy which is corruption and the strategy of neoliberalism and lastly but not the least in chapter (5) which some the whole research work up we see how we put all the stories in few sentences which is summary and we conclude based on the facts gotten and then we make recommendations on appropriate policies to be made.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

The concept of dependency and underdevelopment draws our attention to the stagnation, deplorable and peripheral condition of Africa, Asia, Latin America, in the international system. Africa, among other continents in the world, is seen as the poorest continent of the world. In the international system, the G8 (Group of eight) and other international organizations regard Africa states as “POOR” thereby seeing Africa as an incapable or handicapped continent. The reason becomes why they give out loans to most African states in order to attain the international standard of development, thereby making Africa indebted to the European countries. It is also for the same reason most international organization are established, towards the development of Africa states. Development of most African states here implies meeting up with the European standard. Taking a look at Africa, it is seen that the problem of underdevelopment in Africa, centers on their inability to transform their raw materials to finished products, as well as their inability to properly manage and harness their products management and good leadership. The African continent is presently facing a unique and unprecedented crisis or problems in its history as a human society. These problems also transcends previous calculations of socio-economic background, balance of payment deficit, poor health statistics, material poverty indebtedness, poor education, disorganizing ethnic welfare, rapid capital flight, alleged law capacity utilization of materials and other human resources and so on. The above listed problems are what makes Africa dependent and underdeveloped, as a result of its incapability to overcome these problems or tackle them successfully. This study attempts to explore the dimensions of dependency and underdevelopment and access the impact of Africa using Nigeria as a reference point.

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, and try to sort out possible solutions to go into that, it is paramount to point out factors necessitating the phenomenon of underdevelopment and dependency in Africa, 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 dependency and underdevelopment in Africa?

ii. Is foreign aid responsible for Africa’s 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 dependency and underdevelopment in Africa.

ii.  Ascertaining that foreign aid is responsible for underdevelopment in Africa.

iii.  Determining if accountability and transparent leadership are capable of engendering development in Nigeria.

1.4     Research Questions

i.  Is there a strong link between dependency and underdevelopment in Africa?

ii.  Is foreign aid responsible for underdevelopment in Africa?

iii.  Are accountability and transparent leadership capable of engendering development in Nigeria?

1.5    Hypotheses

Ho1: There is a strong link between dependency and underdevelopment in Africa.

Ho2: Foreign aid appears to be responsible for the underdevelopment of Africa.

Ho3: Accountability and transparent leadership are capable of a gendering development in Nigeria.

1.6    Significance of the Study

The significance of this study cannot be over emphasized because it is of great importance and adds to the existing knowledge towards the concept (Dependency and underdevelopment). As such the ongoing analysis becomes of great importance to these who particularly seek to understand why Africa or Nigeria is dependent on the western world. Also of high value of today’s government of Nigeria, which tries to eradicate the concept of dependency and underdevelopment from the Nigeria, socio-economic and political system. This study is finally important to Nigeria and Africa as a whole because it explores and attempts to bring possible solution on how Nigeria could attain a sustainable development, inspite of her dependent nature.

1.7     Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope of this study centers around the dependency status of Africa, particularly, how the dependency status endangers the economic development of most African states. 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.

Limitations

Too many factors stood as limitations to this research study, insufficient finance, was one major problem faced during this research work. This study also suffered the problem of data collection and management.

1.8       Definition of Terms

Oligarchy: Government by the few, the logically exclusive categories of government by one, the few or the many that have been widely deployed, but the terminology has varied for example, aristocracy, is a form of government by the few, Aristotle distinguished between rules who govern in their own interests (Oligarchy). Sociologists have made claims about a necessary connection between organization and oligarchy.

Hegemony: When social class, exits power over others beyond that accounted for by coercion or law, it may be described as meaning hegemonic, drawing on the Greek word “hegemony” meaning chieftaincies. Thus she bourgeois was regarded as hegemonic within capitalists society by gramsic, who believed their power depended on the permeation by bourgeois values of all organ of the society.

Elite: Privileged minority, a small group of people within a larger group who have more power, social standard, wealth or talent then the rest of the group restricting powers and privileges in a society to a member of one small favoured group, and the belief that this arrangement is justified by their support.

 

References

Emeh Ikechukwu Eke Jeffry (2013), ‘’Dependency theory and Africa’s Underdevelopment: a paradigm shift from pseudo-intellectualism: The Nigerian perspective’’, International Journal of African and Asian Studies-An Open Access International Journal, Vol 1

Frank A. G. 1966). ‘’The Development of Underdevelopment’’, Monthly Review, September.

Mary M. Shirley and Claude Menard (2005), “Institutions and Development: The Challenge of Development’’, Handbook of New Institutional Economics, 1 July, Published by: Springer Science and Business Media

Samir, Amin (1972). ‘’Underdevelopment and Dependence in Black Africa: Origins and Contemporary Forms’’, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol 10, No 4, December, Published by: Cambridge University Press

Terah E. Edun (2009), ‘’Review: African Development Articles’’, 12 May, The Visionary Journal.

Theotonio Dos Santos (1970). ‘’The Structure of Dependence’’, The American Economic Review, Vol 60, No 2, Published by: American Economic Association

Walter Rodney (1972). “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’’, Published by: Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications, London.

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