PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICS OF AID AND DEPENDENCE: AN ANALYSIS OF NIGERIA- U.S RELATIONS, 1999-2007
Nigeria U.S relations can be best desirable as a tale of two giants representing the periphery and the centre. Since the inception of democratic
governance in 1999, the U.S has not only invigorated its diplomatic relations with Nigeria but has also been willing to increase its financial assistance to
the country. The central aim of this study was to critically evaluate how the foreign aid from U.S fosters Nigeria’s dependence on the U.S undermine the
development aid and food security support from the U.S undermine the development of indigenous health care and food security programmes.
Likewise it tried to establish he link between U.S ODA and Nigeria’s external debt burden. The study was guided by three research questions and
three hypotheses to analyze the issues raised. The study was anchored on the dependency theory. The theory x-rayed the structural inequality in the
international system and how the centre states such as U.S uses strategies like economic assistance to ensure the continued dependence and
exploitation of periphery states such as Nigeria. Our research design was expost facto. We made used do both primary and secondary sources of data.
The primary sources included official documents from government agencies of both the U.S and Nigeria on flow of economic health care and food
security assistance from the U.S to Nigeria. Likewise the secondary sources included current textbooks, journals, seminar and conference papers on the
topic of study and other similar topics. The research questions were analyzed using qualitative descriptive analysis and statistical tables. After a detailed
review of existing literature and analysis of available data, the following findings were made: the U.S intervention aid impedes the development of
indigenous health care and food security programmes. The U.S official development Assistance (ODA) predisposes Nigeria to external borrowings
to finance western modeled projects thereby increasing external debt burden.
Nigeria is a neocolonial state, whose economy is greatly influenced by external factors. Basically Nigeria occupies a peripheral status in the global
economic order. Thus she is dependent on the external support of the western capitalist countries, for the promulgation and enforcement of
programmes aimed at the development of her economy. Many scholars such as Ake (1996); Offiong (1980, 2001) and Adegbite (2008) have considered
the negative impact of the dependence status of the Nigerian economy on its development objectives.
The dependence status of Nigeria has greatly influenced her quest to achieve economic growth. Nigeria relies on the advanced capitalist countries for basically, everything; starting from technology, economic reform packages and most importantly finance. This excessive reliance have greatly affected and deepened Nigeria’s ‘Dependence status’ in the global economic order. The dependence status of Nigeria has greatly influenced her quest to achieve economic growth.
Nigeria relies on the advanced capitalist countries for basically everything; starting from technology, economic reform packages and most importantly
finance. This excessive reliance has greatly affected Nigeria’s ‘Dependence status’ in the global economic order.
In fact, Nigerian leaders and policy maker’s believe that Nigeria can not do without external aid; so they keep borrowing funds for phantom and
white elephant projects. Nigeria faces intense pressure to accept multibillion dollar loans for railroads, power plants, roads and other infrastructure
(http://www.nigerianembassyusa.org). These borrowings in turn increases Nigeria’s debt burden. Moreover our leaders advocate foreign aid as a panacea for resuscitating our ailing economy. The point here is not only about the quest among Nigerian leaders for foreign aid but more importantly
on how such foreign aid engulfs Nigeria in a cobweb of conditionality.
This conditionality consequently ensure that Nigerian economy remains open for the continued exploitation by the advanced capitalist countries such as; the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Japan and Italy. Offiong (2001:195) corroborates the foregoing assertion by noting that “cheered on by the Western countries that dominate the World Bank, IMF and the Paris Club, the key aid donor, the two International Financial Institutions (IFIs) impose incessant conditionalities to make sure that these poor countries continue to pay their debts” The irony of the whole situation is that “a country rated as the 6th largest exporter of crude oil, is also among the least developed countries of the world” (Olurunfemi: 1998:3).
Thus the abundant wealth of the nation has not been transformed into tangible improvements in the lives of her citizenry. The Nigerian government is basically, withdrawing from her status as the dispenser of social amenities to the masses and gradually the development agencies of the advanced capitalist countries are taking over. The point been made here is that Nigerian economy have over the years suffered from economic stagnation and general underdevelopment. Which cannot be properly analyzed and understood outside the context of colonialism and neocolonialism. Put in another form, colonialism led to the integration of the Nigerian economy into the world capitalist economy.
Before the exit of the colonialists, they created a class that would accommodate and protect their economic interests in Nigeria. Thus the formal ending of colonial imperialism has ushered in neocolonialism.
PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICS OF AID AND DEPENDENCE: AN ANALYSIS OF NIGERIA- U.S RELATIONS, 1999-2007
Neocolonialism has continued to preserve the colonial relationship of western dominance and Nigerian’s dependence in the global capitalist
economy by means other than direct political control (Ake, 1996) Nigeria remains a peripheral state, who’s economic and foreign policies are greatly
shaped by the advanced capitalist nation. The Nigerian state has been crippled by abject poverty, spiraling inflation, unemployment, diseases and general underdevelopment.
As a panacea to this problem, Nigerian leaders have over the years sought various from of assistance form the advanced capitalist countries. Experts on economic growth have called for more foreign direct investment (FDI), loans and grants from these western capitalist countries. However, the disenchantment with how such foreign assistance is managed by local authorities led to the establishment of agencies, which are charged with the administration of such aid.
Such agencies like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development
(DFID) of Britain are now charged with the direct administration of Aid funds in benefiting countries. These agencies have a country Mission,
containing key areas that have posed a major problem to underdeveloped countries. In contradistinction, it is pertinent to note that the activities of
such agencies, greatly affect the ability of home governments to evolve indigenous development programmes. Thus they remain tied to the
conditionalities of these advanced capitalist countries. With this new pattern the underdeveloped world would remain in perpetual dependence and
reliance on the advanced capitalist countries.
The programmes of USAID in Nigeria covers the key areas of the government’s responsibilities. They assist the Nigerian government in
formulation and execution of health care and agricultural programmes.
They even reach the grassroots more than the government of Nigeria. With this development, it is evident that the
Nigerian state is just, an appendage of the U.S territory. Thus the aid from the U.S deepens Nigerian dependence. Meanwhile, our leaders prefer that
their duties are done by external donors, ignorant of its consequences on the development of the country.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problem of Nigeria’s underdevelopment cannot be properly analyzed without recourse to the roles of neocolonialism and dependence of
her economy on those of the advanced capitalist nations. The United States has over the years been involved in Nigeria’s quest to achieve sustainable
economic growth and development. The emphasis on Nigeria by the United States is based not only on the formers stated rejection of global terrorism
but also on the trade relations between the two countries (albeit a patronclient trade relationship).
The United States is the largest consumer of Nigeria’s petroleum product Moreover; most of her oil multinational corporations are operating in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. So the United States gains a lot of material benefit from Nigeria. This favourable disposition of Nigerian economy to American foreign policy and economic interests attracts a concern with the problems of development and poverty; that have constituted a cog in the wheel of development of the Nigeria economy.
However, it is pertinent to note that the concern shown by the United States government to Nigeria’s problems of underdevelopment and poverty stems from her continued enjoyment of the latter’s support of her foreign policy and economic interests within her territory and the African continent. Thus United States government Aid to Nigerian government can be viewed as a veritable tool for maintaining the patron-client relationship between the two countries. The United States uses its foreign assistance to Nigeria to perpetuate the dependence of Nigerian economy on the United States.
Despite the economic and political underpinnings of United States Aid to Nigeria; Nigerian leaders perceive U.S aid as a veritable means for achieving rapid economic growth and development. The foregoing is in congruence with the western model of foreign assistance. The western capitalist nations adumbrate the use of foreign aid to attract economic development to the third world countries. Goldstein and Pevehouse (2008: 419). Thus they conceptualize foreign aid as overseas development assistance; which is essential for the take off for third world countries economic development. However, the dimension of United States aid to third world countries have changed considerably, in the after math of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States (Goldstein & Pevehouse: 492). The United States subsequently raised its aid budget with the aim of fighting poverty, which breeds extremism.
The United States aid to third world countries such as Nigeria have not been left on the hands of the recipient government to administer. Rather
the United States Agency for international Development (USAID) is charged with the responsibility of administering aid in recipient coun