R Dibie (2004)
12 pages (10 MB)
How is Nigeria's privatisation policy progressing? What are the challenges and prospects the nation has in order to attain sustainable development? This study by Western Kentucky University assesses the obstacles that may prevent even the most effective and selfless leaders from undertaking privatisation reform measures in Nigeria. The study argues that revitalising both the public, non-profit organisations and the private sectors of Nigeria is crucial for the nation to achieve sustainable development.
Nigeria's privatisation policy can be seen as a pragmatic response to the poor performance of the public sector. While the policy was designed to reduce government's excessive involvement in the economy, the failure of policy after several years can be blamed on the high level of economic mismanagement, waste, corruption, low returns on public investments, accelerated decline in per capita output and per capita income. Political patronage and severe spoilt system have also led to the failure of the privatisation policy.
Reform in privatisation policy can be feasible when the leaders of the nation attempt to secure the approval and support of both the public and private organisations in the nation. The executive, legislative, judicial branch of government as well as public administrators who are responsible for formulating and implementing public policy should be involved in the reform process. Public managers in Nigeria will need to be further trained on how the nation's privatisation policy might lead to service improvement and sustainable development. In the future, public administration in Nigeria should be broadened to suit the local and community-based values of collaboration, consensus and consultation. Political leaders and public and public administrators should also find a strategy to protect the public and interests and ensure measures of equity in the sharing of the nation's burden and cake. The government of Nigeria should commit itself to:
- Promoting sustainable development programmes.
- Reforming its regulatory guidelines and streamline the procedures for securing permits to establish and operate a business.
- Tackling the major problem of inadequate facilities that are the serious constraints faced by Nigerian businesses.
- Educational campaign is another strategy that could help ensure a successful privatisation. Seminars, lectures and debates should be organised. The advantage of contracting out should be the theme of such exercises.
- When the public is educated, they will become more rational and discriminating consumers. This change in consumer behaviour would encourage competition.
Making sure that public enterprises monitored and evaluated frequently and those managers of those public enterprises who are not performing well should be held responsible. The success of privatisation will ultimately depend on:
- The willingness of Nigerian political leaders to surrender the political and economic patronage powers associated with direct involvement in the production of goods and services to the private sector and non-profit organisations.
- This, in itself, will be a test of government to implement necessary economic reform, not minding the loss of clout that my result thereafter.
- The slow and half-hearted manner in which the privatisation policy was implemented galvanises the dilemma now facing Nigeria's development efforts.
- Thus, the managers of the Nigerian economy should face the reality of withdrawing government from direct productive enterprise if growth and sustainable development goals are ever going to be achieved in Nigeria.
Source: Dibie, R.,2004, ‘Privatization Policy, Challenges and Prospect(s) for Sustainable Development in Nigeria’, Chapter 9 in ed. Kalu, K., ‘Agenda Setting and Public Policy in Africa’, Ashgate Publishers
Available through the BLDS Document Delivery Service
Related resources: This document forms part of the GRC Exchange topic guide page on "Non State Provision" - part of the wider GRC Exchange topic guide on "Service Delivery".