Nwankwo, Oliver Uchenna
Department of Political Science
Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
The study sets out to evaluate the global political economy and the logic behind Nigerian Government policy on deregulation of the downstream oil sector and its implications to National Development. The theory of Dependency and Imperialism was linked in attempt to explain the implication of such a policy. The study also adopts historical research as its research design, content analysis as its analytical technique, and secondary source as its data collection base. The study notes that, it is glaringly clear that the policy of deregulation in the downstream sector of the oil industry has not so far received public acceptance, and that there has not been significant human development arising from the introduction of the policy amongst other discoveries. In arriving at the essence of this paper, the following recommendations are made: the government should review its deregulation policy on the downstream oil sector. Hence, an economic system that cannot improve the material conditions of majority of the citizens is not a good economic system. For the policy to attain a sustainable human and material development, Nigerian Government should also facilitate the building of new refineries in Nigeria; sell the existing refineries to private investors, or put competent management team in place to manage the refineries for her; facilitate the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, which is pending in the National Assembly; deal decisively with the syndicates involved in racketeering in fuel importation; review the existing Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulation Agency (PPPRA) law to tackle the inefficiency in managing the differences in the international market prices of crude oil and the landing costs of refined products and other sensitive responsibilities in Nigeria.
Key Words: Deregulation, Development, Industrialization, Human Capacity, and Capital.
The deregulation and since privatization policy in Nigeria has witnessed several prospects, challenges and innovations for twenty- seven years ago from succeeding administrations. The deregulation policy in Nigeria can be traced back to the 1988 introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) by the military regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida which was formally introduced by the privatization and commercialization Decree of 1988, The ingredients of structural Adjustment programmes (SAPs)were deregulation, privatization, commercialization, monetization, liberalization etc.
General Ibrahim Babangida came to power on 27 August 1985 period. A year later, he announced the adoption of a ‘home-grown’ Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP), approved by IMF and the World Bank who as well were Nigeria’s creditors. It was within the rubric of SAP that the deregulation policy was initiated. The sole aim was to roll back state participation in the various sectors of the economy (Ojo, 1999). The deregulation and privatization continued gaining ground in all sectors including the oil sectors. Government at this point sold off her equity participation in some of the downstream oil marketing companies.
Akinrede et al (1986) stated that Babangida used SAP to get back what he was denied under the IMF loan; he got credit line through the introduction of the IMF conditionality. The introduction of SAP (structural adjustment programmes) was aimed at and convincing the IMF and world Bank that Nigeria was serious with restructuring her economy and further to woo the Breton woods twin financial institutions into giving theirbacking in rescheduling of Nigeria’s external debts. Following the emergence of General Sani Abacha, the policy was reshaped and he preferred a guarded deregulation. He believed that deregulation is a long-term goal which should mature gradually, and that while free enterprises are the bedrock to a democratic political system; the free participation should also be guarded by state to avoid abuse and misuse. Ojewale (1993) observed that the regime was only forced by the international economic order dictated at the Geneva “Uruguay-round-talks” of the group of seven (G-7) nations to adopt trade liberalization as a far-reaching conscious measure to address global economic recession. Through guarded deregulation policy, the Abacha regime was able to reduce state participation, through encouraged bureaucracy in the private sector initiative, through contract leasing option to avoid giving out government’s assets at low price. The situation worsened under the successive military regime until the return to democratic rule in 1999. General Olusegun Obasanjo provided a new boost for the deregulation policy in the oil industry in Nigeria. From 1999, existing price subsidy in petroleum product were gradually being removed after about eight price increases, in what is really a process of closing the gap between domestic and global price of refined petroleum products. Between 1999 and 2003, about $250 million dollars was spent on the repair and maintenance of oil depots, pipelines and other oil infrastructure. The paradox of Nigeria being African’s largest oil producer, and exporter of crude oil, and a net importer of significant amount of refined petroleum products has strengthened the case for the privatization and deregulation of all her state-owned refineries. The Federal Government at this time divested its shares from the oil marketing companies such as National Oil and Chemical Marketing Pic (NOLCHEM) now (CONOIL), African Petroleum (AP) and Unipetrol PLC (now Oando) from 2000-2002, resulting in the privatization of these companies. There was also plan to privatize the NNPC’s marketing arm, i.e. the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), while investors were invited to bid for establishment of private refineries in the country. Notwithstanding all these efforts by Obasanjo’s administration, full deregulation of the downstream were never achieved, hence full deregulation entail total removal of subsidy and absence of government participation.
Though the short-lived administration of Yar’Adua/Goodluck attempted a reverse from N70.00 to N65.00 in the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS), president GoodluckJonathan, after the general election of 2011 that saw him into office, announced on 1s‘ January, 2012 a total deregulation policy on the downstream oil sector. This threw the country into confusion, resulting to eight days of strike action and street protest embarked upon by Nigerians to force the Government to reverse the pump price of petrol from N141.00 to N97.00 per litre. Though the prospects of deregulation policy has been enumerated by various stakeholders, to include free trade mechanism, transparency, competition and a good entry point for transformation of the economy, it also recorded very many antagonist’s. Among other protagonists, Okonjo-Iweala (2011) debunked the assertion that IMF and World Bank were the dictators of the economy problems. Accepting this assertion, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa in Alamutu (2009) stated that deregulation would always encourage competitions, which will ultimately bring down prices of products and allow free trade, where market forces play the ultimate role of determinants.
Nevertheless, the views of the protagonists in this case have been challenged by the emerging problems associated with the deregulation policy. Toyo (2001) observed that deregulation policy introduces a scenario where the private sector in Nigeria only squeeze consumers for profits, instead of bringing about the efficiency and improvement in the economy that lead to enhanced development. He concluded by stating that privatization and deregulation policy in Nigeria is a large scale robbery and nothing more. The Nigerian experiments on privatization and deregulation policy has been noted by Aloziuma and Golwa (2010) as being corrupt, and that absence of transparency was rife especially during the whole privatization and deregulation process of the Obasanjo administration. In a similar vien, Skinrele (2002) had earlier reported that the deregulation of the marketing companies of the oil sector by the federal government which saw the federal government divesting, its shares from the oil marketing companies of the oil sector by the Federal government which saw the federal government diverting PLC (NOLCHEM) now CONOIL, African petroleum (AP and Unipetrol PLC now Oando from 2000-2002, resulting to the privatization of these companies were fraudulent. Prominent among these were the purchase of Uni-Petrol Pic (now Oando) by Obasanjo and Atiku, and the purchase of CONOIL did not follow due process. Recently, after President Jonathan’s declaration of full deregulation, by 1st January, 2012, an unspeakable revelation of corruption in the oil sector was made open; a lot of dirty deals were done during the importation which has already been deregulated (Akinrele, 2002). Therefore, this study seeks to investigate the government policy on deregulation of the downstream of oil sector and crisis of national development in Nigeria, from 1999-2012. The study seeks to answer the following questions: Has the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry enhanced human capacity development in Nigeria? Has the removal of fuel subsidy engenders government increased provision of social amenities in Nigeria? Did the struggle for capital accumulation in the deregulation downstream sector of the petroleum industry inhibit the industrialization of the Nigerian economy between 1999 and 2012? Furthermore, this study has the objectives of examining if the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry is capable of enhancing human capacity development in Nigeria; determining whether the removal of fuel subsidy engenders government increased provision of social amenities in Nigeria and ascertaining whether the struggle for capital accumulation in the deregulated downstream sector of the petroleum industry inhibited the industrialization of the Nigeria economy between 1999 and 2012.
This study is rooted in the Dependency and Imperialism theory as lucidly presented in the works of Max (1978); Ake (1983); as discussed in Okereke and Ekpe (2002). The Dependency and Imperialism theory was first linked by the work of Lenin (1964). Hence, Imperialism (which results to Dependency) is conceptualized by Ake, (1983) as the control and exploitation of foreign hands arising from the necessity for counteracting the impediments engendered by the internal contradiction of the domestic capitalist economy.
The Major Tenets of the Theory
The major tenets of dependency characterize the international system as comprised of two sets of states, variously described as dominant/dependent, centre/periphery or metropolitan/satellite.
Application of the Theory
Nigeria as a developing country is believed to have subscribed to the economic development policies of International Financial Institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank amidst stringent conditionality. The Dependency and Imperialism theory will enable us to fully appreciate the fact that the deregulation policy of the downstream oil sector in Nigeria is an economic policy package that is foisted on third world countries like Nigeria (confronted with economic difficulties) by the two well know International Financial Institutions: International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (cf. Okereke and Ekpe 2002:124).
Dependency, as the instrument of imperialism was propelled principally by Dos Santos in his article entitled “The Structure of Dependency” as showcased in (Okereke and Ekpe 2002). Dos Santos identified and distinguished different types of relations of dependency as they evolved historically. First, he distinguished the colonial dependency which was based on trade and resulted in the exploitation of natural resources. Secondly, he indentified the industrial financial dependency which manifested itself at the end of the nineteenth century. Finally, he identified a new type of dependency which marked the industrial-technological relations. He maintained that this type of defence sprang up after the World War II, and he singled out the Multinational Corporations as its prime agents in favour of the independent imperialists. As one of the models of dependency, the theory of imperialism has moved into two dimensions. The first advances the view from the metropolis and contends “that imperialism is necessary for the advancement of capitalist economics”. The second emphasizes the view from the periphery, “and focuses on the detrimental consequences of capitalist trade and investment in the poorer economies of the world” (Okereke and Ekpe 2002:67).
However, many third world countries perceive SAP essentially as an instrument in the hands of World Bank and IMF to ensure that their economies are under the control of western imperialists. Many underdeveloped countries have protested the tendency by the IMF and World Bank to prescribe the same drugs for all sick economies. An evaluation of the performance of the SAP and other policies has shown that it had performed dismally (Okereke et al 2002:126).
The study adopted the following research methods: Historical research as its research design; Content analysis as its analytical technique; Secondary source as its data collection base. Hence, all data collected were qualitatively synthesized thoroughly to ensure coherence and objectivity.
Deregulation of the Downstream Sector of the Petroleum Industry
Many authors, stakeholders and the general public have in one way or the other a theoretical exposition that has contributed to the controversial policy of deregulation and privatization. There exist two strong intellectual divides: the protagonists and the antagonists to the introduction of deregulation policy. Many have attributed the emergence of the policy in many countries as an international political strategy in the hand of the World Bank and IMF. For instance, Akinyemi (2009:14) states as follows:
For almost forty years, it is the World Bank and IMF that have been preaching to us; lay-off downsize government, privatize, the market would solve the problems. Remove regulation and any African states that tried the opposite, they came down upon that African state like a thorn. And now that the world is faced precisely with the problems, we in African or the third world have been confronted with the United States, E.U. They are adopting the opposite to the IMF and World Bank problem.
The above statement was a clear testimony of the extent the global political economy is manipulated by the World Bank and IMF, supervised by the United States of America. Akinyemi further, urged Nigeria Government to use its abundant resources to launch into home-grown development, by going back to government providing employment and pumping subsidy into agriculture, industries and factories, maintaining that Nigeria leadership must get Nigerian back to serious work and avoid deregulation because an unregulated marker is a disaster to national development.
Deregulation and privatization in Nigeria was formally introduced by the privatization and commercialization decree of 1988 as part of the structural Adjustment programmes (SAP) of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida administration (1985-93). As McGrew argued SAP is a neo-liberal developmental strategy devised by international institution to incorporate notional economies into the global market. According to McGrew as cited by Igbuzor (2003:3):
The vision of a global market civilization has been reinforced by the policies of the major institution of global economic government namely up to the mid-1990s. Underlying them structural adjustment programmes has been a neo-liberal development strategy, referred to as the washing on consensus which prioritizes the opening up of national economic to global market forces and the requirement for limited government intervention in the management of the economy.
All these confirms that the economic transformation blue prints in Nigeria are usually
externally induced towards implementing economic principles that are not indigenous to
Nigeria’s local expertise and control, for instance, the economic liberalization,
deregulation, privatization and commercialization in the guise of what Umaru
Mutallb, (This day 2009:32) referred to as institution of “sound macroeconomic environment” in the immediate years of deregulation, the monitors and evaluators through the British High Commissioner to Nigeria. In agreement to the above, Ezeani (2004) and Ikejiani Clark (2006) in their individual contributions criticized the Nigerian experiment of structural Adjustment programmes (SAPs), observing that it was wrong to have a parallel black rate to the open market version, and stated that privatization and deregulation policies are largely a consequence of World Bank and IMF.
Igbokwe (2009) described deregulation of the oil industry as a quick reminder of Mahatma Gandhi’s, seven blunders of the world: “wealth without work; pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; commerce without morality; science without sacrifice; and politics without principles”. It becomes most germane to pontificate, therefore, that if home-groom economic development according to Akinyemi were any virtue to Nigerians, capitalism and its correlates-individual ownership and competition-are very alien, anachronistic and mundane practice to African traditional values. The sentiment of capitalism is because of its assumption that competition among unequal members of the societies is the best economic formula, without considering that a formidable segment of the society is vulnerable to predation period African virtue is no vice.
Aminu et al (2009) observed that countries all over the world operate one form of subsidy in vital sectors of their economies; Nigeria vital sector is the oil industry sector and subsidy is imperative to protect the citizens from the activities of the wolf in sheep’s clothing! The basis is to cushion the fundamental drawback of the free market, which is imperfection manipulated by the international financial institution with phony statistics.
The open campaign by the Federal Government for deregulation of the downstream sector especially product marking and distribution started in February 2001 during Obasanjo’s administration, leaving only the prices of petroleum regulated by government; virtually all aspects of the downstream sector which involved the refining of crude oil and distribution for domestic consumption were on the process of deregulation. This was then resisted by labour and coalition of civil society organizations. President Jonathan, in a twenty-six paragraph press release on 7th January, 2012 further enlisted the gains of the deregulation policy of the downstream oil sector to above all include: provision of a good entry point for transforming the economy, and for ensuring transparency and competitiveness in the oil industry; which is the mainstream of our economy. He added that committee to oversee the implementation of the subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programmes has been set-up and believed on the reinvestment of the petroleum subsidy funds, to ensure improvement in national infrastructure, power supply, transportation, irrigation and agricultural, education, healthcare, and other social services, is in the best interest of our people (FGN, in Daily Sun, 2012).
Though Dr. NgoziOkonjo-Iweala(2011) the Minister for Finance had on Tuesday, 20th December, 2011 debunked the assertion that IMF and World Bank were dictating the economic policy of deregulation in Nigeria, she noted that:
IMF has changed its operation modalities over the years and hadbecome more of a partner helping countries to develop something to their peculiar economic challenges. IMF of today is different from IMF of yesteryears. We are now partnering an institution that is to listen and help us. We set the policies, we set the pace, and they support us to do what it takes for Nigerian economy to grow.
In a swift reaction, Odunmakin, Spokesman to SNG (Save Nigeria Group) in a statement with “the Nation Newspaper on 23rd December, 2011 accused the minister for playing along the script of the World Bank to Nigeria economy (The Nation, 2011).
Commenting on the economics and politics of deregulation especially in Nigeria,
Toyo (2001) noted that if the Nigerian economy has remained very backward all along and has
stagnated since 1978, the character of the Nigerian private sector and the lack of
understanding in government and private circles of what modern development is all about are the causes. In other words, what Toyo meant is that the causes of the stagnation in Nigerian economy which led to retarded development since 1978 is caused by the activities of the private sector of the economy which depend more on expatriate labour than local or indigenous labour. Also the failures of government to understand what modern development is all about are the causes. In other words, what Toyo meant is that the causes of the stagnation in Nigerian economy which led to retarded development since 1978 is caused by the activities of the private sector of the economy which depend more on expatriate
labour that local or indigenous labour. Also the failure of government to understand what
modern development is all about. Toyo (2001) observed that the private sector in Nigeria is
merely squeezing consumers for profit instead of bringing about the efficiency and improvement in the economy that will lead or enhance development. According to him:
In spite of the privatization, deregulation of the economy, and the Rest SAPs, the economy is still in stagnation, inflation rages, Exports have refused to boom as was expected by the false Prophets of privatization and indebtedness grows worse. To make matter worse, the worse the situation becomes. The more the vultures (comprador bourgeoisies) of Nigeria sees privatization as panacea to Nigeria economy.
Toyo concluded by stating that; privatization and deregulation in Nigeria is a large scale robbery and nothing more.
Musa (2006) is of the view that government’s deregulation policy has resulted in the systematic devaluation of the Naira against convertible currencies. It has also engendered a high interest rate regime. The Treasury bill rate is 5%, while the minimum rediscount rate is 13%- a difference of 8%, whereas the prescribed rate in a normal economy is a maximum of 2%. Applying the WTO protocols to further liberalize trade has also left the Nigerian economy open and vulnerable to unfair trading practices from international competitors. Muas (2006) further noted that Nigeria has the appropriate credentials for greatness, but, mismanagement of the economy, lack of public accountability, insensitivity of the leadership to the yearnings and aspirations of the people, corruption and insecurity of lives and properties have been the critical issues in the nation’s life and public debate. Consequently, low capacity utilization in the industries; inefficient and inadequate power supply; decay in the education and health sectors; galloping inflation; deteriorating value of the Naira against convertible currencies; unemployment and mass poverty characterized the Nigerian society and economy since may 1999 when the Obasanjo administration took over the reins of power, and still persist with no end in sight.
A report by the African Economic outlook (2004) noted that the deregulation of the oil market ought to reduce graft and pave the way for sale of state refineries. However, the resulting freedom for marketers to determine prices at retail outlets means that deregulation has occurred without an appropriate institutional anchor. In addition to the lack of refinery capacity, the downstream sector of the Nigeria oil and gas industry has suffered from the crisis in the Niger Delta (Nigeria’s main oil producing zone), sabotage of oil facilities, environmental hazards, and poor management practices.
Afinotan and Ojakorotu (2009) in their study observed that the necessary infrastructure and social framework to support deregulation policy were not put in place. Consequently, the policy was unable to successfully achieve its objectives. For the deregulation policy to be effective therefore, the study recommended, among others, that the country needs to undertake nationalistic policies driven by the developmental needs of the overall Nigeria economy. While Nigerians desire focused and result oriented economic direction, the administration of General Obasanjo, by sheer paradox, holds the view that market liberalization through the policy of deregulation is the way out of the economic downturn. Afinotan and Ojakorotu (2009) equally noted that the downstream sector today is characterised by all manner of arbitrariness and favouritism. Cut-throat charges continue to be imposed on consumers by the NNPC even when pipeline supply of products to depots across the country has virtually ceased for years. Major marketers continue to be granted financing charge on the pricing template, even when products are supplied to them on credit and dealers lift products from them on the basis of advance payment. Favoured independent marketers continue to act as middlemen between the NNPC and other independent marketers, with the favoured ones earning a premium of as much as N3 per litrefunnelled through them. It is the final consumers that bear the burden of these ridiculous charges and mark-ups.
In the course of his study, Odukoya discovered that, privatization as a policy has
clearly glossed over fundamental issues, which underscore the development of underdevelopment in Nigeria. These issues which must necessarily be addressed if Nigeria is to develop are: the process of the insertion of Nigeria into the framework of the capitalist system, the unequal process that informs the system; the monoculture and dependent nature of the Nigerian economy, coupled with the renter character of the Nigerian state, the underdevelopment and corruption of the productive forces; and the asymmetrical relationship and exclusion inherent in the globalization regime of the new international capitalist political economy to which Nigeria is uncritically subjected to.
Also in a related development, Akinrele(2002) noted that privatization and deregulation became reality in Nigeria as a result of successive thrusts from the private sector which in turn has influenced government policy of privatization and deregulating major sectors of the economy over the years. He equally noted that the country gradually realized that privatization appears to be the most viable and economically realistic means of guaranteeing the government’s desire for rapid and irreversible progress towards surmounting the myriad problems that have beset our public utilities over the last two decades. This seemed to spur government evident commitment to the privatization programmes in its pursuit of the proper and unhindered completion, despite the stiff opposition it has faced.
Notwithstanding, Nigeria’s experiment on privatization has been noted in Alozieuiwaand Golwa (2010) period. Corruption and absence of transparency were rife during the whole privatization process of the Obasanjo’s administration. These were some of the reasons why the BPE could not successfully privatize NITEL. According to Alozieuwa and Golawa(2010); the privatization exercise where the government tried to sell off states equities in publicly owned enterprises and which it intended to use to showcase its move towards the private-sector-driven economy, tales of corruption and clear absence of transparency had been rife. Alozieuwa and Glowa (2010) went on to describe how Transcorp, a company that was formed hurriedly and of which president Obasanjo via Obasanjo Holding Ltd, among other top government functionaries were owners. The Nigerian Transnational Corporation (TRANSCORP) has controlling shares and bought over NITEL.
In a similar vein, Akinrele (2002) has reported the deregulation of marketing companies of oil sector by the federal government which saw the federal government divesting its shares from the oil marketing companies such as the national Oil Chemical marketing Pic (NOLCHEM) now CONOIL, Africa Petroleum (AP) and Unipetrol Pic (now Pando) from 2000-2002, resulting to the privatization of these companies, prominent amon-these were the purchase of Unipetrol PI (now Oando) by Obasanjo and Atiku.
Recently, after President Jonathan’s declaration of full deregulation by IstJanuary, 2012, (The Nation, 2012) revealed that corruption is rife in the oil sector, which has partly been deregulated. The marketing unit of the oil sector has partly been privatized, and supply of petroleum products following the privatization done during Obasanjo’s administration. Corruption was discovered to be rife in the importation and clearance of petroleum products among government officials and independent marketers (The Nation, 2012).
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy probe reports indicted very many top government officials including party chiefs and government agencies involved in corruption that had taken over the oil sector during and after subsidy regime (Vanguard, 2012). It is now germane to understand that such tales of rip offs had characterized the entire privatization exercise during and after Obasanjo’s regime. This is also experienced during the subsidy and post subsidy regime. This made Nigeria’s frontline human rights activist and lawyer, chief Gani Fawehimi, to declare that during NITEL privatization saga that “with the mind boggling revelations in the last two-weeks on how public funds have been diverted into private hands and with President violating the constitution by his part-ownership of TRANSCORP through his Obasanjo holding limited, the nation has been engulfed in a cloud of despondency, shock and fear for tomorrow” (Daily sun, 2006).
In the same vein, Odumakin (2012), spokesman for Save Nigeria’s Group (SNG) described the report of the Farouk Lawan led ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy as swearing. In his words:
It is an open book on the rape of a nation by mindless people. We expect that the Federal government will want to treat the report as a family affair, but we, save Nigeria Group, will ensure that this is the final nail on the coffin of corruption in Nigeria. If the report is not fully implemented within time frame, SNG will mobilize Nigerians to come out and speak up against corruption (Nation, 2012).
In a different dimension, Igwe (2010) argued in his book that the use of GDP (Gross Domestic Products) as one of the primary indicators for measuring economic development in a country is not reliable. The Gross Domestic Product is refers to the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time usually a year. It is determined either by adding up what everyone earned in a year (income approach), or by adding up what everyone spend (expenditure method) annually. He faulted it for its incapability of measuring the quality of life and manner of wealth distribution in a country; the level of education, health, human rights, and standard of living. In other words a mere five percent or less of a country’s population may be in control of majority of the wealth, while the GDP shows the whole country as prosperous, and developed which does not apply in real terms.
Human Capacity Development in Nigeria
Consequent upon the crisis in the introduction of deregulation policy, there exists a controversy in the conceptual meaning of development. The emergence of radical or Marxist oriented paradigm of the study of development and underdevelopment has precipitated a kind of intellectual revolution, which has made a mark in the landscape of political economy. This is so because the Marxist notion of economic categories is at variance with that of the bourgeois theoreticians or liberal conceptions (Okereke et al, 2002).
The concept of development as interchangeably used with terms such as “growth, change’ industrialization’ tend to complicate problems of arriving at a universally acceptable definition. Besides the disputations by radical scholars of the various liberal theorizing have complicated the problem more. Hence the two schools of thought have divergent views on the term. Development in a liberal perspective has been variously defined. The liberal scholars were criticized for inextricably roping the term to the economic domain. They see development as economic development, which could be gauged in terms of the growth of the Gross National products (Okereke et al., 2002:20). Nnoli (1981) in Onah (2005) sees development as:
A dialectical phenomenon in which the individual and society interest with their physical, biological, and inter-human environment transforming them for their own betterment and that of humanity at large and being transferred in the process. The lesson learned and passed on to future generations, enabling them to improve their capacities to make further valuable changes in their inter-human relations and their ability to transform nature.
The contention of Nnoli is that development is associated with changes in man and his creative energies and not in things. This means that development is human-oriented and humanly generated. Onah (2005) stated that it is a continuous improvement in the capacity of the individual and society to control and manipulated the forces of nature. A continuous improvement that probably has no end. Todaro(1977) in Onah (2005) sees development as: A multi-dimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes national institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty.
Applauding Todaro, Eke (2010) redefined the new global imperatives and models for development, drawing from the MDGs, and the Yar’Adua/Goodluck administration seven point agenda. He sees indices for development to include, energy production, transmission and distribution; agricultural development for large scale production; wealth creation; improved transportation system; land law reforms; improved security system; and poverty eradication through education.
Seers (1969) in Onah (2005) premised his perception and meaning of development on three basic interrogations. Thus, according to him, the questions to ask about National Development are:
What has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all these have declined, then beyond doubt, this has been a period of development for the nation concerned. If one or two of these central problems have been getting worse, especially if all three have, it would be strange to call that result development even if per capital income doubled. And no matter the existence of material artefacts in that society.
Development is a gradual process. Ofuebe (1998) argued that development is nothing to be bequeathed by one people to others. Rather, the process has been manifested in the existence of all people from the earliest oftime, as they generally made attempts. Relatively, Rodney (1971) identified three indicators for measuring development, the individual, social and economic enhancement. At individual level, development involves increased skills and capacity, greater freedom, creativity and self- reliance, responsibility and material well-being. Socially, development entails increased capacity to regulate both internal and external relations. The tools with which people work and the manner r in which they organize their labour are important indices of social development. The economic indicators entail increased capacity of members of the society to jointly deal with their environment. He further juxtaposed the three and prioritized individualism.
In reaction to the National Development and Poverty rate in Nigeria, Onah and Ugwu (2010) observed that a litany of development plans has been introduced by government of Nigeria for over four decades, some of which were sector specific and others non-sector specific, with poverty reduction as its centre piece. Additionally, several poverty reduction approaches have also according to Ogwumike(2005) in Onah et al (2010) been utilized in attempt to grapple with the beleaguered poverty situation in Nigeria. Notwithstanding above comments, it was observed that poverty in Nigeria keeps increasing. This is as a result of poor coordination, absence of comprehensive policy framework, excessive political interference, ineffective targeting of the poor and un-widely scope of programmes (Onah and Ugwu, 2010).
Anya (2008) also cited in Eneh(2007:317) asserts that there is poor development because Nigeria’s political leadership has failed to work for social and economic transformation of the society. There is too high level of hypocrisy, insincerity and lack of integrity in the practice of our politics. Failed development visions, abandoned development programmes and policy summersault being the problems that militate against development in Nigeria are all products of corruption and political leadership ineptitude that characterize the countries. Also all these attributes are fallouts of the desire of the leadership engage in primitive accumulation of capital to help build up their economic bases. One of the major consequences of these actions of the Nigerian leadership is the failure to monitor the activities of the MNCs especially those in the oil sector in the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities duties.
Most of these corrupt attitudes that were and are still being exhibited by the Nigerian elites is just a manifestation of their desire for the accumulation of capital to build up their material bases. This act of corruption done in connivance with the various MNCs in the country especially those within the oil sector has been one of the major reasons why the MNCs has failed in the implementation of their CSR policies to their host communities and the nation at large because the MNCs feel that having bribe their way through the community leadership, youth leadership and the national leadership including the politicians there was no need wasting more of their resources in providing CSR to their host communities. They (MNCs) feel that the bribe they have given is able to protect them from prosecution by the law of the land. Despite the national, international laws and conventions criminalizing bribery, kickbacks and other forms of trans-organised financial crimes, evidence indicates that these predatory enterprise cultures are still very much on the increase, particularly in Nigeria (Sikka, 2008 Africa peer Review Mechanism Report, 2008 Report of the African Union, 2008).
Industrialization of the Nigerian Economy
Kirk-Greene (1981) in his study opined that industrialization may refer to an increase in the share of manufacturing in the Gross Domestic product (GDP) and in the occupations of the economically active population. It could also be used to describe the development of economic activity in relatively large units of production, making much use of machinery and other capital assets, with the tasks of labour finely divided and the relationships of employment formalized. In agreement with the above assertion, Adejugbe (2004) noted that in either case, industrialization is concerned with the expansion of a country’s manufacturing activities, including the generation of electricity and the growth of its communications network. It is also a process of reducing the relatively importance of extractive industries and of increasing that of secondary and the tertiary sectors. There is evidence to suggest that industrialization and in particular manufacturing is the prime mover of economic development. This is given that it creates employment, enables wealth creation and facilitates poverty alleviation.
A study by UNIDO (2009) observed that there is an intrinsic relationship between industrialization and economic development. This is given that there is hardly any country that has developed without industrialization even as rapidly growing economies tend to have rapidly growing manufacturing sectors. Murphy (1989) cited in UNIDO (2009) stated that virtually every country that experienced rapid growth of productivity and living standards over the last two hundred years has done so by industrializing. England, which is widely acclaimed as the first development country, achieved this status using the industrial Revolution, which enabled it, thanks to series of cost-reducing innovations, to increase its industrial output fourfold beginning from the first half of the eighteenth century. Since then, the main criterion for development has been an increase in per capita income resulting mainly from industrialization. UNIDO (2009) further stated that the example of Southeast Asia, which we earlier alluded to, is self-evident. In these economies industrialization has proved to be the natural route to development. Their spectacular rise, contrast sharply with the continued industrial marginalization of sub-Saharan Africa as well as other least developed economies. Take the example of Quarto, which twenty years ago was only a small village in China. This same village today, produces almost two thirds of the world’s buttons, thanks to its rapid pace of industrialization. The study by UNIDO (2.009) also observed that the potential of industrialization for explosive growth is particularly distinctive to manufacturing. As manufacturing activity expands, instead of running up against shortages of land or resources that inevitably constrain the growth of agriculture or the extractive industries, it benefits from economies of scale in terms of unit costs of production.
Iwuagwu (2011) stated that within Africa, it is also true to say that the few economies that have shown some promise are the ones which considerable attention have been given, to industrial development. Some of these countries include South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, Egypt, Namibia and Senegal. Mauritius is in fact a suitable example. From a poor sugar-dependent nation, this country has been able to diversify its economy to the point that manufacturing has become its primary source of revenue, with the result that its increased per capita income of about $ 10,000 ismany times higher than sub-Saharan Africa’s average of $300. However, the key government strategies in Mauritius lie in the establishment of Export processing Zones (EPZ), duty free areas and the provision of tax incentives of businesses. Similarly, government increased spending on manpower and infrastructure development all supply of electric power which is the pillar on which any form of development within the industrial or other sectors lies.
Kniilvila (2008) observed that industrialization has been the key determinant to foster high growth indices in developing countries of the world including China, Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan. These nations have achieved high growth rates due to high industrial development, which further caused declining poverty trends and high growth statistics. It is defined as a process which brings changes in social as well as economic structure of a country and transforms the living standard of the people by means of increasing the efficacy of factors of production, and technology employed.
Saeed (2002) is of the view that development of industrial sector brings substantial changes in real sector of the economy and also leads to raise national income of the country manifold along with creation of employment opportunities. This sector has attained a special attention since long ago as it possesses a potential for improvements in balance of payments, production of exportable goods and import substation.
Udahj (2010) gave a historical account of the effort by the government towards industrialization. He observed that given the importance and relevance of industrialization (industrial sector) to economic growth and development, Nigeria since independence has put in place various policies, incentives and institutions to drive industrial development. These policies and strategies embarked upon in Nigeria since independence are summarized and presented in this section. Import substitution industrialization policy was the first industrial strategy embarked upon by the Nigeria government immediately after attaining independence. It objectives of this policy among others include to lessen overdependence on foreign trade and to save foreign exchange by producing those items that were Nigeria formerly imported. In 1972, the Nigeria indigenization policy was adopted following the obvious failure of the import substitution strategy. The major objective of this policy was to strengthen Nigerian economy period, others include the transfer of ownership and control to Nigerians in respect of those enterprises formally wholly or mainly owned and controlled by foreigners, fostering widespread ownership of enterprises among Nigeria citizens, the creation of opportunities for Nigeria indigenous businessmen, the encouragement of foreign businessmen and investors to move from the unsophisticated area of economy to the area where large investments are more needed. The 1972 Act that resulted in the indigenization policy was amended, repealed amended, replace by the Nigeria Enterprises promotion Act 1977. This Act gave birth to the indigenization policy of 1977. The 1972 Act contained II schedules, while the 1977 Act contained III schedules. Schedule I of 1977 contained 40 Enterprises, Schedule II contained 57 and Schedule II contained 39. In 1981 to be precise, the number of Enterprises in each schedule was revised. By this, schedule I had 36 Enterprises, Schedule II, 576 Enterprises and Schedule III, 456 Enterprises respectively.
Udah (2010) further noted that in pursuance of these objectives, the government has experimented with a number of incentives aimed at positively influencing the performance and productivity of the industrial sector. Some of these incentives include tax holidays, tariff protection, outright ban on certain commodities to encourage domestic production building of industrial estates (export processing zones) and industrial Raw Material Research and Development Council (IRMRDC) etc,
To support this incentive of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) issued 14 new licenses in 2007 to private operators for the establishment of independent power plants with varied capacities and expected total output of 6,0110MW. All the licensed power-generating plants were gas-based. This brought the total number of licensed issued by the commission to 234, with expected total output of 9J52.0MW. Two new distribution agencies were also granted licensed to commence operation (Ndebbio and Ekpo 1991; CBN Annual Report and Statement of Account 2007).
Removal of Fuel Subsidy and Provision of Social Amenities
A report published by the United Action for Democracy (UAD) argued that government’s position in relation to the fuel subsidy debate is essentially faulty. While the government acknowledges the existence of a corrupt cartel adept at manipulating the subsidy regime to their benefit, with the active connivance of NNPC, rather than tackle the cartel, it chooses the option of removing the subsidy altogether to the detriment of Nigerians who are not members of the cartel. It is the contention of this briefing that when functional refineries exist, and perform at full capacity; corruption in the sector is tackled and leakages and sources of wastage are plugged period. Then there will be no reason to neither import refined products nor will any so-called subsidy exist. Furthermore, the eventual pump price of petrol will substantially be reduced.
The report further noted that the government’s argument that fuel subsidy cost the nation N1.2 trillion is equally incorrect. Between the racketeering in NNPC and oil marketers, and the sorry state of the country’s refineries, whatever is calculated as subsidy is deceptive. Even the calculation of the quantity of fuel consumed locally on a daily basis is incorrect. The absurdity of this daily consumption rate was equally questioned by Governor of Edo State Comrade Adams Oshimhole who President of Nigeria Labour Congress staged protest actions against increase in the price of petrol. In the words of Oshimhole cited in the report:
The number is crazy, even if all Nigerians are drinking petrol the way we drink pure water. How many litresdo we Consume? Who is taking what? Let the Federal Government Publish the names of the companies benefiting from it and the names of their directorslet us invite international auditors because the local firms, I am afraid, might have been compromised, to audit the books of the NNPC and tell us who has been getting what. If this country must move fonvard, then we must have the courage to speak the truth UAD (n.d…6).
Abang, Elufisan and Okwubunne(2012) noted that subsidy removal may however sound nice polite and beneficial period. It is essential that there be a critical evaluation of theproposed mechanism for petroleum scarcity alleviation. Lessons from developed countries where this commodity has become readily available at all time reveals that subsidy removal is not significant measure responsible for such achievement. China, for instance, still gives subsidy to her citizen on petroleum product and the fact available today showed that it still among the first five economy of the world that could boat of adequate petroleum product and economic stability (Dansie, Lanteigne and overland, 210). The current living standard in Nigeria showed that about 60% of her citizens live below one dollar per day, the removal of subsidy at such a period like this would exacerbate this identified scenario. This paper therefore made use of straight line graph/equation to enlighten us on the following issues: (i) application of linear function on real situation (ii) impact of subsidy removal on local production (iii) impact of subsidy removal on standard of living. An analyzing tool (SPSS) was used to test for correlation between fuel pump price and transportation and we also check what the current purchase value of naira would be as a result of the subsidy removal (Abang et al, 2012).
The results of a recently released snap poll conducted by NOI polls (2012) revealed that since the removal fuel subsidy in January 2012, Nigerians have witnesses increases in mainly cost of transportation and food prices. The report concluded that for the policy of subsidy removal to be sustained and supported, the Nigeria government will require a transparent monitoring and evaluation mechanism with clear project and programme indicator to track the allocation of the fuel subsidy reinvestment scheme in terms of the provision of projects stated in the SUREP document and to ascertain value for the funds expended.
Many of the literature reviewed has made information available in areas like privatization, deregulation, liberalization, development, industrialization and leadership in Nigeria, but much has not been said on the impact of deregulation and privatization policy on human development and industrialization in Nigeria, especially within the period under review 1999-2012. This is to say that the individual person(s) were not put into consideration in their studies, whereas human beings are the centrepiece of every developmentas stated by Rodney. Those literatures were much interested in social and economic development as a yardstick for national development. No wonder Igwe (2012), criticized the use of GDP as a primary indicator for measuring development in a country. Therefore, this study will attempt to fill the gap in the literature and also serve as a good source of information.
The study arrived at the following findings:
- It is observed that, there has not been significant Human Development since the introduction of the privatization and Deregulation policy in the downstream of the oil sector in Nigeria.
- The policy of deregulation in the downstream oil sector in Nigeria has not so far received public acceptance.
- It is observed that, leadership failure, primitive economy, corruption and low technological expertise are challenges facing successful implementation of deregulation policy in Nigeria.
- The study found out that the distribution of economic benefits derived from petroleum production has proven elusive, as only the rich or elites whoare close to those in government are the ones reaping the benefits. Nigerian economic statistics reveal a puzzling contrast between rapid economic growth and quite minimal welfare improvements for much of the population. Annual growth rates that average over 7% in official data during the last decade placeNigeria among the faster growing economies in the world. Improvements in social welfare indicators have been much slower than expected. Poverty reduction and job creation have not kept pace with population growth, implying social distress for an increasing number of Nigerians. Progress toward the fulfillment of many of the Millennium Development Goals has been slow, and the country ranked 153 out of 186 countries in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index.
- It is pertinent to note, that the evaluation of the performance of the Deregulation policy for the time being has shown that it has performed dismally, hence, the Crisis of National Development in Nigeria. There is apparent lack of credibility and confidence in government; uneven distribution of costs; and persistent bottlenecks in supply and distribution of products and a host of others.
Deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry under normal situation or condition was supposed to bring about rapid development, as the revenue that accrue to the government and other multiplier effects on the economy will bring about the development of the human capacity potential and reduce the rate of primitive capital accumulation by the elite who use state power to enrich themselves at the detriment of the masses and the national economy. In the case of Nigeria, the personal interests of the oil marketers and their cronies in government were very much at play. They came all out to frustrate the effort of the government in removing the fuel subsidy which was part of the deregulation policy of government, because the oil marketers and their cronies in government have been living fat on the government subsidy all along. Evidence abounds in which most of the marketers would bring in their product, register it and then take it to another country.
The deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry did not enhance the human capacity development in Nigeria as the government had claimed. Rather, what we have is high level of unemployment and poverty among the masses. The gap between the rich and the poor keep expanding at an alarming speed. Unemployment/underemployment has resulted to so much brain-drain that there are so many Nigerians working in and contributing to the development of other countries. According to Salaudeen (2011:6), the national unemployment rate rose from 4.3 percent in 1970 to 6.4 percent in 1980; 40 percent in 1992 and 41.6 percent in 2011. The high rate of unemployment recorded over the years is attributed largely to depression in the economy.
The campaign for the removal of the petroleum products through deregulation of the downstream oil sector of the industry was finally been consummated. The Federal Government first gave a hint that it would not accept any further delay of the plan when, on December 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan presented the 2012 budget to the National Assembly. The usual huge subsidy provision was missing. It was clear to all that the government had no intention of carrying the burden in the New Year. On January 1, 2012, the agency responsible for taking the decision, the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), told a largely unprepared and bewildered polity that no fuel importer should expect to be paid for supplying the products henceforth. The increase provoked hyperinflation of prices in the consumer products market and thus compounded suffering and poverty, especially within that period.
Infrastructures in Nigeria have deteriorated to a point of crisis. The country generates less than 3 thousand megawatts of electricity daily to service about 160 million people through its national grid. Electricity generated by the public utility is not even enough to meet the energy needs of individual cities in Nigeria. With very irregular electricity from the national grid, homes (that can afford it), large and small business and other electricity users have to generate their own electricity. This is by owning petrol or diesel powered electric generating sets. If you live in Nigeria or do business in Nigeria, you will depend more on your own private electric power generator than on public supplied electricity. Homes and businesses also have to drill their own water due to the collapse of public water systems in urban areas while most rural areas lack access to clean water. The implication is that many small businesses may not be able to put-up with the cost of running their day-to-day activities on private electric power generating set, and as such, may fold up, and also discourage such other new businesses.
Based on the findings above, the following recommendations are made: The government in Nigeria should review its deregulation policy on the downstream oil sector. This is because an economic system that cannot improve the material conditions of majority of the citizens is not a good economic system. For the policy to be able to attain a sustainable human and material development, Nigerian Government should: (i) Facilitate the building of new refineries in Nigeria;
(ii) Sell the existing refineries to private investors, or put competent management team in place to manage the refineries for her;
(iii) Facilitate the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, which is pending in the National Assembly;
(iv) Deal decisively with the syndicates involved in racketeering in fuel importation;
(v) Review the existing Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulation Agency (PPPRA) law to tackle the inefficiency in managing the differences in the international market prices of crude oil and the landing costs of refined products and other sensitive responsibilities in Nigeria;
(vi) Introduce a Special Petroleum Trust Fund that will divest the dividends of oil towards sustainable human and material development;
(vii) The National Assembly should introduce a law to establish the National Human Development and Awareness Commission, if possible the Federal Government should create a Ministry for the Development of Human Resources, whose functions among others shall include, the formations of policies and programmeswithin the context of National Developmental plan and Economic policies aimed at enhancing Human Development, increased social, political and economic awareness of the people;
(viii) The government should be more nationalistic in character and approach, as this would enable them to curtail the primitive accumulation tendencies, and channel the revenue derived from the petroleum sector to the provision of infrastructure and industrialization of Nigeria which will help in the development of human capacity and then national development.
The deregulation policy on the downstream sector of the oil industry in Nigeria as discussed in this study has a capitalist undertone with the notion that, capitalism produces dependency and imperialism. Unfortunately, right from the time the Nigeria economy began to be deregulated as part of SAPs in 1986, the policy had only succeeded in pauperizing a larger population of the country. And even with the emphasis on the deregulation policy in the oil sector of the present civilian governments in the country, the human and material conditions of the citizens are yet to improve and the industrialization process in the country has become retarded as a result of the corrupt practices that was engendered through primitive accumulation in the petroleum sector.
There has not been significant human development since the introduction of privatization and deregulation policy in the downstream oil sector in Nigeria. Available records shows that, in spite of the country’s abundant natural resources and acclaimed deregulation policy especially in the downstream oil sector, poverty still reigns supreme as majority of Nigerians are poor, uneducated and live in rural areas. The primary problem of industrialization in Nigeria is a hostile operating environment that creates uncertainties and management unknowns for entrepreneurs, industrialists, innovators and serious business people; we as a people must get out of our own way. The Government bureaucratic, regulatory and fiscal policy is major impediment to Nigeria’s industrialization, which clearly shows lack of coherence or coordination from the various arms of government. Infrastructure in Nigeria has deteriorated to a point of crisis. The country generates less than 3 thousand megawatts of electricity daily to service about 150 million people through its national grid. Electricity generated by the public utility is not even enough to meet the energy needs of individual cities in Nigeria. In Nigeria, primitive accumulation comes in form of theft, looting, graft, expropriation, money laundering, enslavement and internal colonization. In this sense, even governments are not eager to probe the sources of personal wealth. The Nigerian governments was marred and bedeviled by elite corruption in form of personal enrichment and aggrandizement, patrimonial (personalized) rule, rent-seeking and prebendalism or what can be summarized as primitive accumulation. However, possible ways out of the crisis of implementation of the government policy of deregulation were suggested in the recommendations.
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