Nigeria – The Political Economy of Reform – Strengthening incentives for economic growth (updated), Pat Utomi, Alex Duncan, Gareth Williams (2007)
Growth and competitiveness in Nigeria have been held back by poor policy choices and weak government. This paper argues that these failures are fundamentally linked to problems of incentives rooted in institutions and the political economy. Most importantly these include the lack of public accountability arising from the use of oil revenues, weak state-society relations, patronage politics, a personalised rather than institutionalised policy process, the ever present threat of conflict, and value systems that have promoted short-term behaviour and opportunism. All of these conditions have created a disabling environment for private sector led growth. Against this background the purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of: (a) the impact of ineffective state institutions on Nigeria’s growth performance, (b) the political economy of growth and the factors that drive economic policy making in the country, and how robust the process is; and (c) how the country can move from patronage and individual-based policy making to robust institution-based reform to facilitate sustainability.