The Chinese Economic Reform: a Blueprint for Nigeria's Economic Plans

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The Chinese Economic Reform: a Blueprint for Nigeria’s Economic Plans By: Salim Salihu Muhammed
Over the years, government had embarked on several economic reforms aimed at bettering the lives of its citizenry; promising fulfilment of human needs for peace and security, clean air and water, food, shelter, education, arts, culture, and useful and satisfying employment; maintenance of ecological integrity through careful stewardship, rehabilitation, reduction in wastes and protection of diverse and important natural species and systems; provision for self-determination through public involvement in the definition and development of local solutions to environmental and development problems; and, achievement of equity with the fairest possible sharing of limited resources among contemporaries and between our generation and that of our descendants. Almost all of these reforms or policies failed to live up to its projections; the remains are abandoned strategic projects that could eliminate the unemployment quagmire the nation is experiencing today. However, Nigeria’s failure to turn around the economy is not in the policies, but rather in its inability to find one right way out of the million wrong ways it has consistently followed in achieving a plausible quest for an economic reform that could stand out as a reference to other nations.

Perhaps, one good solution to Nigeria’s economic problems could be a rendezvous of an effective research and feasibility studies on countries with a functional and effective economic reform; a consideration of China whose export rate is growing at an annual rate of 40% may serve a worthy step towards making the country one of the top 20 economies by 2020. One may want to ask why China is growing so fast: The reality is that China’s experiment with market reform has propelled her into the top 10 trading nations in the world. Over the past two decades, China has achieved the fastest economic growth of any national economy. If that growth continues, China could become the world’s largest economy during the first half of the 21st century. The World Bank estimates that by 2020 China could be the world second largest exporter and importer and its consumers may have a purchasing power larger than all of Europe’s. She is becoming the biggest economy in the planet with a population whose main objective in life is to become prosperous.

China is passing through massive transformation; from a command to a market economy, from an economy based on agriculture to one based on manufacturing and services, from one with high fertility and low longevity to one faced with Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) style low fertility and high longevity, and from an economy that was almost totally closed to one that, today, even before her accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), is much more open than most countries at the same level of income. This vast movement of transformation started on a very simple principle frequently stated by Deng Xiaoping: “Poverty is not socialism”. Prosperity was the new face of the socialism according to Deng Xiaoping’s famous dictum: to get rich is glorious. In the past socialism used to mean government planning, for the new China, it means common prosperity.

China offers Nigeria a unique opportunity to explore the causal relationships among economic, institutional, political, and social forces in an important transforming economy. In China’s economic transition, important structural changes are occurring at the state and firm levels, and these changes have radical implications for the structure of economic and social life in China. Gradualism and stability were the foundations of the Chinese reform and continue to be so for the present leadership of the country. For the Chinese leaders, economic reform has priority over political reform. They acknowledge that it would be impossible to accomplish anything in an environment of political unrest....
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