Economic Liberalization: The Path To Nigeria’s Economic Development – Oladiran Dolapo

Economic Liberalization according to Packenham (1994) encompasses privatization of state enterprises, liberal trade and investment policies, budget deficits, reduction in state subsidies and bureaucratic decentralization.

Several researchers have tried to show the benefits associated with economic liberalization particularly in some third world countries. It is reported that the implementation of trade liberalization in Argentina (Packenham, 1994), India (McKinsey, 2001), China (Hu and Khan, 1997) to mention a few cumulated in economic development by assessing performance indicators such as economic growth in terms of % Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increase in exports, unemployment rates, salaries, purchasing power of the nation’s currency, proportion of debt to national income and trade deficits and surpluses with specific countries or the rest of the world.

The same model can also be applied in the Nigerian context to bolster economic growth and prosperity. Dabo (2012) reported that Nigerian banks witnessed improvement following government liberalization policies. Also, the deregulation of the telecommunications sector led to the creation of more opportunities for investment. The Nigerian Communications Commission reported an increase in telecommunications contribution to GDP from 0.62 % in 2001 to 8.53 % in 2013 and a surge in employment opportunities as a result of telecommunications sector liberalization.

Liberalization and deregulation policies should also be applied to the electricity generation, railway, education and downstream oil sector among others as this will be a permanent fix to corruption which has continuously plagued government owned enterprises. It will also lead to generation of employment opportunities through private sector driven initiatives, increase operational efficiency and effectiveness through corporate governance and introduction of international best practices.

The Government should focus on creating enabling environment for new businesses to thrive by providing macroeconomic and political stability that is sustainable over time and also put in place regulations and controls that will prevent foreign investments from overshadowing and eventually forcing domestic investors out of business. With all these, Nigeria will be on the path to economic development.




Dabo, Z. (2012). The impact of financial liberalization on the performance of banks in Nigeria. Social and Behavourial Sciences, 62(2012): 548-554

Hu, Z. and Khan, M.S. (1997). Why is China growing so fast? International monetary fund.

Nigerian Communication Commission, (2014). Percentage Contribution of Telecoms to GDP 2001- March 2013 available at

The McKinsey quarterly (2001). India- From emerging to surging.

 This is one of the winning essays of the AfricanLiberty SYPALA 2015 Essay Competition