Nigeria’s Development Tragedy: The Role of the State, Federalism and Politics of Budget Process

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue XII, December 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Nigeria’s Development Tragedy: The Role of the State, Federalism and Politics of Budget Process

Ukachikara, Ucheoma O.1, Asoka, Godknows2

1,2Department of Political & Administrative Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Abstract:-The literature is replete with studies on the development conundrum of Nigeria. In the same way, cacophonies of the poverty level in the country have continued to reverberate with much resonance. Majority of Nigeria’s population still flounders in strangling poverty despite being Africa’s most populous nation; Africa’s biggest producer of crude oil; OPEC’s 5th and world’s 13th largest producer of crude oil; world’s 7th and Africa’s biggest gas reserve, all indicative of great development potentials. Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product has continued to grow almost at the same rate as its poverty and underdevelopment. In the latest United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranking, Nigeria was placed 152nd among 188 countries studied, making her one of the few countries within the very low human development category. Another recent survey was also corroborated by the British Prime Minister that Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world. These findings came at such times the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) claimed that Nigeria’s economic growth and inflation reduction have been consistent thereby ruling out the position that Nigeria’s development problems may be as a result of poor economic performance. This paper therefore attempted an interrogation of the nature of the state, form of federalism, and politics of budget process in Nigeria with a view to ascertaining their roles in the underdevelopment of Nigeria. The Marxian Political Economy theory was adopted for the inquiry. Data was secondarily sourced from available documents which included journals, articles and textbooks. The data elicited were analysed by the Content Analysis method. It was found that the character of the post-colonial state, the form of federalism and politics of the budget process in Nigeria are three interconnected and interdependent factors responsible for the development of underdevelopment in Nigeria, since independence, evidenced by the types of formal and informal budget practices in Nigeria which can only thrive in a “unitary” federal system that resulted from the deformed capitalist Nigerian state. It was therefore recommended that the government at the centre be constitutionally made unattractive in order for debates on the implementation of true federalism in Nigeria to be heard on their merits.

Keywords: Politics, Development, Niger Delta, Federation, Budget, Constitution.

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