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Globalization has become the dominant paradigm of the 20th and 21st centuries. It is an umbrella term for a complex series of economic, social, technological and political changes seen as increasingly interdependence and interaction between people and companies across national frontiers. The definitions of the term “globalization are highly subjective depending on the understanding and experiences of the definer.

Hence it has acquired considerable emotive force. Some view it as a process that is beneficial; a key to future world economic development and so inevitable and irreversible. Other regard it with hostility and fear; believing that it increases inequality within and between nations, threatens employment and living standards and thwarts social progress (https://:www.imf.org./ext./2000) cited in Onuoha (2004:378).

A wide and diverse range of social theorists argue that contemporary world is organized by increasing globalization, which is strengthening the dominance of world capitalist economic system, supplementing the primacy of nation-states by transnational corporations and organizations, eroding local culture and traditions through global culture. (https://:www.gesis.ucla.edulcourse). Globalization is not just a recent phenomenon.

Some analyst have argued that the world economy was just as globalized 100 years ago as it is today; however the contemporary commerce and financial services are far more developed and deeply integrated than they were at that time. The most striking aspect of this has been the integration of financial markets made possible by modern electronic communication. However, Nwokike (2004:98) observed, “It was from 1980s that the term “globalization” gained currency in academic discourse.

Thus it became a standard vocabulary not just in the academic environment but also among, journalist, politicians, bankers, economists; it is therefore, not uncommon to speak of global village, global threat, global communication and global market. Reiser and Davies (1994) maintained that the ideas of “globosity” was already there before 1980, English speakers began to use the adjective “global” to refer to the whole world at the end of 19th century. But the term, ‘globalized’ and ‘globalism’ were

introduced in 1944 during the Second World War; while the noun “globalization” entered the lexicon of international Affairs in 1961. Though the concept ‘globalization’ connotes different things to different people and could be used in different contexts, its earliest perspective titled in favour of economic institutionalization, which relates to greater economic integration and interdependence between and among nation-states.

Some liberal scholars see the contemporary globalization as being multi-dimensional. According to them, while the economic dimension constitutes the heart of the process, it is far from being merely ‘economistic’. It applies to politics – the globalization of democracy and governance, culture and the civil society. The UNDP in its (2001) report on Human Development Project agrees that the economic dimension constitute the motor that drives the globalization process.

According to the report, the economic dimension looms so large that people generally equate globalization with the micro-economy such as trade flows, ‘marketization’, capital flows, technological transfer and the dominance of transnational corporations. The new information and communication technologies (ICT) constitute the oil that fuels the process. It is upon the above dimension “Economic globalization” that the issue of national development becomes very pertinent and imperative.

Economic globalization is a historical process; the result of human innovation and technological progress. It refers to the increasing integration of economics around the world particularly through financial flows; it also sometimes refers to the movement of people (labour) and knowledge (technology) across international borders. Essentially, the essence of this economic globalization is to offer markets, which promote efficiency through competition and division of labour; the

specialization that allows people and economics to focus on what they do best. The global market therefore, offers greater opportunity for nations to tap the benefits of more and larger market around the world. By implication, nations can have access to more quality and quantity of goods and services, capital flows, technology transfer, cheap import and larger export. All these invariably will lead to national development.

 National development in this context relates to the quantity and quality of usable goods and services available to man in the society; the (Utilitarian or Consummatory dimension), the nature of relationship among men in society and among societies. (Behavioral or Rational dimension) and the institutional and structural dimension, which defines the institutions and legal framework.

According to Abah (2000:2-3) Development at individual level implies increased skill and capacity to earn income, greater freedom of action, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and general material and psychological well-being. He went further to maintain that at national level, development means: Increased capacity to regulate internal and external relations; increase in ability to guard national independence, self sufficiency in food production; high level of employment, self-reliance, independent control of the economy, greater share of international trade and equalization of economic opportunities.

Consequently upon the foregoing discourse, it is pertinent therefore to ascertain the place of economic globalization in the national development of the Nigerian state. It has been observed that globalization offers extensive opportunities for worldwide development but it is not progressing evenly. While some countries are at the mainstream of the whole process benefiting; other are occupying the periphery of the integrating global economy.

Thus this research is geared towards ascertaining the experience of Nigeria as a state in the whole process with particular interest in determining its impact on our national development and suggesting ways by which Nigeria can be more integrated by repositioning her economy in the globalized world in order to counter the side effect of globalization.



The quest for National Development through economic emancipation has made so many developing countries like Nigeria to dabble into virtually all processes, idea and theories that are assumed to have economic undertone. Hence globalization was one of such attractive process and idea. Of course, the Nigerian governments both past and present thought that the only key to our national development was the globalization of our economy through the some economic policies; but some how, there seem

to be an increase apprehension among economists, political scientists, core administrators on what we stand to gain from the whole process. Thus, Onuoha (2004) asks “Is there any fundamental relationship between globalization and the worsening unemployment situation in Nigeria? Moreso, what strategies should individuals and government adopt to counter the incidence of underdevelopment in the country”?

The above questions are pertinent considering the worsening nature of Nigeria economy despite her tremendous wealth in human in natural resources; Nigeria’s economy has continued to suffer from severe and persistent regression since in 1980s. Her GDP, which was US $93.13 million in 1980, is currently about one quarter of that amount. According to UNDP report of (2001) 70% of Nigeria population is currently living under poverty.

Sadly still, Nigeria current contribution to global GDP is rather infinitesimal –0.22%, it share of world export of goods and services is currently 0.20% whereas in 1960s it was 0.55%; In 1990s its export of cocoa declined from 82% to 59%, coffee from 26% to 13% palm oil 60% to 17% and groundnut from 61% to 33% Onuoha (2004). In addition to the above pathetic situation, recent study reveals that graduate unemployment is on the increase; reaching about 25% and their prospect for employment is not even yet there. (Dabalen, et al 2000).

This follows the closing-down and folding-up of our local industries in various sub-sectors of economy, as they were out-competed by the giants firms of foreign origins. The most unfortunate aspect of the whole situation is that all these are happening in spite of the promises of globalization which include-trade flows, marketization, and capital flows, technological transfer and job creation. Hence the basic issues to be addressed in this research are: What is globalization? More importantly, what have been the impacts of economic globalization on Nigeria economy? And can economic globalization really enhance national development? Why are we not reaping the supposed benefits of the whole process so far?


The broad objective of the study is to examine the relationship between economic globalization and National development. However, the specific objectives include the following:

  1. To examine the background to the present economic globalization
  2. To determine the extent to which Nigeria is economically globalized.
  3. To determine the nature and level of national development in Nigeria in this era of globalization.
  4. To ascertain the nature of Nigeria economy and asses its stand in the world economic relation.
  5. To explore the extent to which Nigerians had been affected positively or otherwise by globalization.
  6. Finally, to recommend ways through which Nigeria can be more integrated in the global economy and achieve her desired national development and other supposed benefits of globalization.

This research work has five hypotheses, which will be deductively and analytically tested in the course this study.

  1. Economic globalization is a threat to the Nigerian economy.
  2. There is a strong link between economic globalization and national development
  3. The benefit any nation stands to derive from economic globalization is directly proportional to the level of her economic development.
  4. Economic globalization is a conscious attempt by the industrialized capitalist states to perpetually subjugate the developing countries economically.

This research work is justifiably imperative because it will serve as a theoretical and practical reference point for understanding the concept of globalization vis-à-vis national development. Moreso, its findings and recommendation will serve as a variable instrument in the hands of the state machineries, economic advisers, professional bodies, the organized private sector, policy-makers and economic/political analyst in re-directing, re-focusing and re-positioning of Nigeria economy toward a positive direction so that we can be more economically integrated and thereby reap the benefit of globalization which is national development. Finally, this work will also serve as a tool for intellectual utility and a guide for Nigerian students and researchers in particular and developing nations at large who may wish to conduct further studies/research on this subject.


The scope of this works covers from 1990s till dates, though reference was made to other years beyond this time frame. Moreso, the research examined the influence and impacts of other global economic actors like International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Bank (WB) World Trade Organization (WTO) on the economic development of Nigeria. It is important also to point out that Nigeria territory is the geographical coverage of this study.

On the other hand, the researcher encountered some constraints like lack of finance, access to relevant materials, time to really travel out for browsing in the internet, etc; These limitations notwithstanding, the validity, quality and usefulness of this work is not in doubt as its findings were highly objective and completion was within the time frame.


A few key concepts in this study are hereby explicated as follows:

  • Globalization: This is an umbrella term for a complex series of economic, social, technological and political changes seen as increasing interdependence and interaction between people and companies across national frontiers.
  • Economic Globalization: This refers to the process by which markets and production in different countries are becoming increasing interdependent due to the dynamics of trade in goods and services and flows of capital and technology across national borders. In this research emphasis is on its implication in relation to Nigeria national development.
  • National Development: This means capacity to regulate internal and external relation; ability to guard national independence, self-sufficiency in food production, high level of employment, self-reliance and greater share of international trade and economic opportunities.
  • Nigeria Experience: This refers to the general impact of globalization, particularly the economic dimension on of the Nigerian state.

The theoretical foundation of this work was hinged on David Ricardo’s theory of Comparative Advantage. According to Gbosi (1995), the theory of comparative advantage states that a country will gain from international trade if she specializes in the production of commodities in which she uses a lower opportunity cost than her trading partner. That is a country should specialize in the export of goods and services, which she makes most efficient use of her scarce resources.

The hallmark of Ricardo’s theory is “economic liberalization” which contemporary equates the term “economic globalization”. This means the acceptance of the neoclassical economic model, which was based on unimpeded flow of goods and service between economic jurisdictions through the elimination of protective tariffs and trade barriers. This as matter of fact leads to specialization of nations in the sectors where they have comparative advantages, as that prejudice to national security and sovereignty.

The supposed resultant effect of this specialization is economic prosperity, which will lead to national development of the trading partners in the homogenous world and global market; with the aids of computer and other technologies production and distribution of goods and services, investment and capital flows are carried out across national borders. However, the argument in this research work was that a developing nation like Nigeria has no comparative advantage in any economic sector; though in oil sector one may argue that we do, but do we have skilled manpower, technical know-how and the technology for its exploration? Thus our handicap in the contemporary economic globalization and international division of labour vis-à-vis national development.


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