Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Title

The Economics of Controls and Deregulation: the Nigerian case study


The abandonment of economic controls and the adoption of deregulatory measures in the mid-1 980s were expected to usher in economic recovery and sustained growth in Nigeria. In the wake of the apparent failure of the adopted policy regime to attain that primary goal, there Is a need to investigate the efficacy of the policy instruments adopted and the fundamental causes of persistent economic downturn. The paper reviews Nigeria’s experiences in the use of economic control tools and measures of liberalisation, as well as the international evidence. A major finding of the study is that the programme of deregulation was not implemented as a package which led to substantial deviations from programme targets and underlying philosophy. Specifically, the apparent failure of the reform programme could be ascribed to the persisting distortionary impact of government fiscal operations, poor sequencing of implementation, the weak export promotion drive and political Instability. Thus, the fault was not so much that of the policy regime but that of ineffective implementation, particularly as similar policy instruments have been successfully applied in other countries. A clear lesson to be drawn from the Nigerian experience is the need for macro-economic stability, effective policy implementation, sustained mobilization and support of the populace and good governance as the minimum conditions for success. The immediate issues to be resolved by the authorities to chart a fresh and viable path (or economic management in the country are the need for articulation of an approach to emerging global economic developments, the choice of a driving force - the private sector or government — in the economy and the cultivation of an appropriate environment for co-operation with the rest of the world.

First Page


Last Page


Publication Date