Industrial Development in Nigeria

Topics: Industry, Manufacturing, International trade Pages: 28 (7642 words) Published: July 18, 2012


B.W. Adeoye
Research Fellow
Economic Development Department
Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research ( NISER ) Ibadan.

A paper submitted for presentation at the 45th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society(NES), Holding in Abuja between 24th and 26th August, 2004.

February, 2005.

The fundamental issue addressed in this paper is the extent to which Nigeria has restructured her industrial and trade systems for effective industrialisation within the on-going trade globalisation process.Basically, the study employs historical analysis of trade and industrial systems in Nigeria. Findings from the study reveal that the Nigerian economy has not changed its export and import structure over the 1970 - 2002 period. The only changes that have taken place to its export was just a mere shift in exported product indicating a sign of export substitution from primary agro industry-based exports to primary mining industry-based exports(i.e crude oil).The results also suggest that the structure of imports has not changed significantly over the period 1970 - 2002 despite series of strategies and policies put in place by the government. While the reforms favoured domestic resource-based industries, it produced an inverse impact on import intensive, low value-added units. In fact, over 70 per cent of the total imports were still manufactured goods, most of which consisted of industrial raw materials, spare parts, machinery and equipments and capital goods. Generally, enough incentives for efficient resource allocation in order to promote manufactured exports within the on-going process of globalisation coupled with economic liberalisation and deregulation paradigms have not been created. It was proposed that a mixture of the invisible hand of the market with the visible hand of the state should guide the process of industrialisation, economic diversification, trade and development similar to the case of the East Asian Tigers.

I. Introduction/Research Issues
Industrialisation has been seen as a veritable channel of attaining the lofty and desirable conception and goals of improved quality of life for the populace. This is because, industrial development involves extensive technology-based development of the productive (manufacturing) system of the economy. In other words, it could be seen as a deliberate and sustained application and combination of suitable technology, management techniques and other resources to move the economy from the traditional low level of production to a more automated and efficient system of mass production of goods and services (Ayodele and Falokun, 2003).

Against this background, however, industrialisation seems to be central to economic growth and development. This therefore explains the reason why successive governments in developing countries such as Nigeria emphasise industrialisation as a way of transforming the economy.

In the last three decades, since independence, Nigeria has pursued industrialisation with the hope to transform the economy from a monolithic, inefficient and import-dependent economy to a more dynamic and export-oriented economy, especially exports of industrial goods. These aspirations as contained in the successive development plans(especially, first and second development plans) of the Federal Government were further reinforced by the windfall gains from crude oil boom of the 1972/73 and 1979/80 periods. However, despite series of deregulation policies introduced since 1986 by successive governments to facilitate industrialisation process in an economically conducive manufacturing environment, the performance of the industrial sector remains undesirable. In the last two decades, Nigeria recorded an unremarkable economic...
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