This topic “The Impact of the Federal Governments Economic Policy Measures on Nigeria’s Balance of Payments: Position (1999 – 2002)” was aimed at studying the economy of Nigeria.
The work covered the balance of payments summary statements from 1999 – 2002 and various economic policy measures for the same period. Analysis was made and observations recorded. Contrary to my speculations, the economy faired well in 2002 and 2001 when the balance of payments recorded favourable balances arising from oil fortunes.
However there were unfavourable balances in 1999 and 2002. Worthy of note was the significant contribution of agriculture in the 2001 balance of payment figure.
In the study, the opinion poll was that the economic problems in Nigeria were not in policy formulations but in implementation.
In the end, some doses of economic Panacea were put forward for the improvement of our economy. They include investment in non-oil sectors like agriculture and industry, security of the nation’s borders to cub the excesses of smugglers, foreign exchange budgeting and management to match with the available foreign exchange, manpower development, extensive and intensive re-orientation of Nigeria, etc all aimed at adding life to the economy.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The attainment of a healthy and sustainable balance of payments position has become one of the major pre-occupations of policy makers worldwide.
This is understandable in view of the tremendous impact of development in the balance of payments on the national economy.
Generally, the outcome of the balance of the payments provides a useful guide of appraising the appropriateness of current economic policy measures designed to bring about a well under economic structures.
The economic policy measures on any nation could impact the balance of payments of that nation either positively or negatively depending on the conceptual design and implementation.
The Nigerian economy can largely be described as one with a strong petroleum industry superimposed over an under developed industrial base.
Despite a battery of measures in the form of industrial policies consisting of several incentives to promote an industrial base for self-sustaining growth, the Nigeria economy still exhibits very prominent features of under-development.
There exists a weak technological know-how poor managerial skill and above all, a reliance on a single export commodity oil, which in recent years has failed to provide the much needed capital sufficient enough for the conscious implementation of strategies for development.
In the past, Nigeria relied on the export of cash crops such as cocoa, groundnuts, palm oil, timber and some minerals such as tin, columbite and zinc for her foreign exchange earnings. For instance, between 1965 and 1968, agriculture contributed on the average 55.18% of total gross domestic product (GDP) and mining including production of crude oil contributed 4.16% but as from 1971 to date, the situation has changed significantly – mining, including crude oil has occupied the commanding heights, while the manufacturing and craft sectors remain abysmally negligible
According to Okafor (2004:16) “At the dawn of the current fourth Republic democracy, Nigeria’s economy had been described by the local and international economic experts and watchers of the economy as in abysmal shambles. Virtually all the critical sectors of the economy like the energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and the financial sectors where in total paralysis.”