INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND CRISIS OF DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA, 2000-2014
The incessant development crisis that enveloped the post-colonial Nigerian state amidst externally and internally oriented policy prescriptions coupled with the abundant material and human resources within her territory, has continued to elicit contentions among scholars and policy-makers. With the transition of Nigeria from the military to democratically elected government in 1999, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo through the instrumentality of the IMF sponsored National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS) adopted and implemented among other things, the deregulation and trade liberalization reforms, which was touted as a panacea for reconciling the development deficit in the country. It is in this connection that our study was saddled with the responsibility of interrogating the nexus between the adoption and subsequent implementation of the IMF induced reforms and the persistent development crises in Nigeria in the context of the following questions: 1. Has the adoption of IMF imposed deregulation policy reduced the Human Development Index in Nigeria between 2000 and 2014? 2. Has the implementation of IMF policy of liberalization of trade increased the unemployment rate in Nigeria between 2000 and 2014? The study relied heavily on the documentary method of data collection. However, with the aid of the blended Economic Structuralism and Economic Nationalism analytic approaches combined with the qualitative descriptive method of data analysis, the study argued that the adoption of deregulation and trade liberalization reforms were implicated in the development crisis in Nigeria which manifested in terms of decline in HDI and increase in unemployment rate. As a corollary of the above, the study recommended for the implementation of two-phased development plan and resort to regional integration development strategy as practical solutions to the persistent development challenges of Nigeria.
Keywords: HDI, NEEDS, Deregulation, Trade Liberalization, Economic Nationalism, Economic Structuralism, Development Crisis.