RETHINKING THE ASYMMETRIC GLOBAL NORTH AND GLOBAL SOUTH ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP: NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY

RETHINKING THE ASYMMETRIC GLOBAL NORTH AND GLOBAL SOUTH ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP: NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0                                                          INTRODUCTION

1.1            BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Over the past two decades, world output has been expanding and many countries are benefiting from increased cross-border trade and investments. Many others suffer because economic regimes are inefficiently managed, and this weakness reduces their capacity to successfully compete globally (Schneider & Enste, 2002).

According to Abubakar (2001) economics is essentially the study of a process we find in all human societies - the economic problem. “It is simply the process of providing for the material and well being of society.” (Anya 2001) Thus, economic history focuses on the central problem of survival and how mankind has solved that problem. Man, generally, is an economic animal who is constantly engaged in activities that would improve his economic situation Mittleman (2000). The countries of the globe have faced the challenges of improving the economic realities in their domains over time. These challenges have been seen in the development realm.

Development can be understood from the point of continued advancement of man towards good living standards.

Modern concept of development has its roots from the emergence of industrialization in Western Europe in the mid 18th century. By 1945, after World War II, scholarly interest in development economics heightened. This made it possible to explore the economic conditions / development levels among nations on the globe. Thus, scholars were able to establish that economic development is not even world over. Other countries or societies are more developed than others. At first, scholars looked at macro-economic issues in determining the development of societies;

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however, as time went on, in the 1980s, scholars approached in assessing the development level of a society shifted to micro-economic issues. Thus, the human development index, which basically is concerned with individual‟s poverty levels, became a major concern of development scholars, wishing to determine the level of development of individual societies on the globe (Ninsin, 2000)

Through this approach, it became apparent that there exist two major economic worlds on the globe: the wealthy and the poor worlds, respectively.

In this essay, it is my desire to draw a distinction between these two economic worlds using few variables to include levels of productivity, population growth and dependency burden, agricultural production, exports, and international relations.

The focus of this research is the rethinking of the global north/global south economic relationship and to examine the way forward for Nigeria to minimize the effects, while harnessing whatever its benefits for national development. Following the introduction, the paper examines the phenomenon of globalization and the multidimensionality of its conceptual usages. It then provides an overview of the two major contrasting paradigms that underpin discussions on the global north/global south economic relationship. This is followed by the analysis of the powerful forces that propel globalization in contemporary world environment. It also discusses the challenges that the current globalization poses for Nigeria.

1.2    STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The Global economic challenge between the developing nations living in the Southern Hemisphere and the industrial countries of the North has posed as a serious problem for the third world countries especially in Africa.

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The countries of the world are coming seriously to terms with the growing material inequalities between the affluent nations in North America, Western Europe and Japan (which account for less than 18 percent of the world population but more than 60 percent of world income), and the scores of poor countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America which constitute the bulk of humanity but enjoy very little of the earth's bounty.

For more than a generation, the North-South asymmetric divide was central to the explanation of world inequality and poverty (Willy Brandt (1969). Being categorized as part of the “North” implies development as opposed to belonging to the “South” which implies a lack thereof. According to N. Oluwafemi Mimiko, The South lacks the right technology, it is politically unstable, their economies are divided, and their foreign exchange earnings depend on primary product exports which come from the North, along with the fluctuation of prices. The little control of imports and exports condemned the South to obey the imperialist system. The lack of the South and the development of the North further the inequality and end up putting the South as a source of raw material for the developed countries. (Mimiko Oluwafemi (2012).

From the 1960s until the late 1980s, the image of a world split between the wealthy developed countries of the North and the poor developing countries of the South which fuelled the activity of policy makers and scholars of international political economy. In the diplomatic community, the global south countries that benefit less from this asymmetric divide are faced with a lot of problems as a result of this unequal relationship between them. Some of these problems are: Underdevelopment, low levels of productivity, population growth and dependency burdens, poverty, debts crisis, brain drain, inflation, and so on.

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The events in the last decade in the global economy suggest a challenge; the utilization of the opportunity engineered by the global north/global south economic relationship while at the same time managing the problem and tension it poses, for developing countries particularly Nigeria. While some individuals such as Scholte (2000) Tandon (2000) and Salimono (1999) opine that the global north/global south economic relationship opens opportunities, others such as Awake (2002) and Garry (1998) express fear about it.

It is in this context that the Nigerian Economy has remained dependent and vulnerable to the Global North Countries. The Global North being stronger than the Global South especially due to the emergence of Globalization, the unequal strength between the two is manifested not only in the dominant power of the Global North to control the pattern of international trade and agreement regulating it but also in their ability often to dictate the terms whereby technology, foreign aid, and private capital are transferred to Global South. This has acted as a factor in contributing to the persistence of low levels of living, rising unemployment, and growing income inequality in the Global South compared to the Global North.

Thus, the urgency of establishing a new framework for them becomes the basis of this project. In line with the above statement this article therefore attempts to understand these problems and proffer possible solutions for the Nigerian Economy in dealing with these problems.

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1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The broad objective of this study is to examine the global north/south economic relationship and to examine the way forward for Nigeria economic development. Other basic objectives include to:

i.        Examine the challenges Nigeria faces in terms of economic, political, social and technological development within the global arena.

ii.&nbs





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