Towards Accelerated Growth and Transformation of the Nigeria Economy

Type Journal Article - AIAE Research Paper 7
Title Towards Accelerated Growth and Transformation of the Nigeria Economy
The story of the post-independence economy of Nigeria, as of most ex-colonial countries in
Sub-Saharan Africa, is a mixed tale of good intentions, reforms, reversals and an increased
sense of likely prolonged and lingering crisis of poverty and inequality. This is evidenced by
the long-term growth performance of the Nigeria economy which, until the recent past, has
been widely erratic; and so were the only marginally satisfactory outcomes of most of the
development plans and supporting policy initiatives undertaken during the period under
review. Long-term real GDP growth averaged at about 4 percent per annum during 1960-
2010, barely large enough to cover the growth of population. Public sector intervention
through increased investment has failed to act as the stimulus for growth and transformation
and for most part stunted private sector initiatives.
This paper reviews the structural transformation process in Nigeria with particular focus on
the role played by the agricultural and industrial sectors. It seeks to explore the issue of
whether Nigeria's economic transformation process is capable of leading to the
achievement of the developmental goals enunciated in the government's vision statements.
In view of the broad dimensions of the concept of economic transformation and
modernization, the study briefly reviews the various theoretical postulates underlying the
concepts, analyzes the nature of transformation in Nigeria since the 1960s and concludes
by highlighting critical characteristics of the evolving Nigeria economy that might need to be
explored if the long-term vision of the authorities is to be realized. The latter are the central
messages of the review which include putting the economy on an accelerated growth path
through enhanced reform of agriculture and industry, seeking to facilitate the sharing of the
fruits of growth with all Nigerians, resolving the infrastructure limitations, and deepening the
decentralization process to support democratization and good governance.

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