Good Governance and Economic Bliss

It is true: We were Colonized, how Long Ago?
There are those that blame our national predicament on our colonial experience.  They claim that because of that experience we can never make progress.  Well, they are right, and very wrong.  True, the Nigerian state is still one in formation.  The State is still non-hegemonic and remains unsteady, unstable, ineffective, inefficient and a tool for primitive accumulation in the hands of the powerful.  It is quite easy to worry about the rather unfortunate state of the nation today.  But a proper historical understanding of the Nigerian reality can enable any analyst to place our conditions and predicaments in proper context.  Our experience with informal empire, colonialism and neo-colonialism has been responsible for the contemporary recycling of inherited distortions and disarticulations.  Yet, we must admit that while the global divisions of labour, power and opportunities have been hostile to Nigeria, we have failed to initiate structures, institutions and processes to contain or respond adequately to our extant challenges.  We have also failed, like most African states, to take advantage of openings in the global economy to restructure, reform, recompose and redirect the character of state, class and production in Nigeria.  Even well-intended policies and programmes, have been easily undermined by prevailing contradictions, limitations, and conflicts in the system.
Is it not amazing that virtually all the problems and challenges discussed in the 1960s, ranging from agriculture, infrastructure and economy, through unemployment, corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency, to rural backwardness and industrialisation, are still being discussed today.  In many instances, the problems have more than quadrupled in complexity even if we have made some progress in such as area as telecommunications.  This is rather unfortunate in spite of socio-economic and political experimentations.  From indigenization through commercialization to privatization; parliamentary through military to presidential forms of governments; and state and local government creation; various joint venture and public-private-partnership agreements; Nigeria is yet to find an answer to any of its numerous challenges.  I recognise the debilitating constraints of the colonial experience but I doubt that we can use this excuse for ever.

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