Idealogy and Economic Development in Nigeria
AbstractIdeology is the body of ideas, views, theories and aims that constitute apolitical, social or economic programme of a state. Ideology ultimatelyreflects the prevailing economic relations in a state. This article is ananalysis of the claim by the Nigerian ruling class that Nigeria has noideology. The paper examines the introduction of capitalism into Nigeriaduring the colonial period and identified its main features namely, private ownerships of the means of production, distribution and exchange; monetization, commodity production and the introduction of wage labour. Political independence has not altered the capitalist base of the Nigerian economy. The paper concludes that because of its class interest, the postcolonial Nigerian ruling class have not only retained the free enterprise economy in Nigeria but they have also enshrined it in the 1999 constitution. Ideology or no ideology, we have said that as a military regime we consider ourselves a passing phase; we think we are essentially corrective (and) do not think it is right to enforce ideology as such� We want the people to have, to select, to elect exactly what type of government they want� Our policy is �Nigeria first in everything�. So if you are insisting that we must have an ideology � call it �Nigerianism� (Herskovits, 1977-1978:185)
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