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1.1         Introduction

Economically developed countries have been able to reduce their poverty level, strengthen their social and political institutions, improve their quality of life, preserve natural environments and achieve political stability [Barro (1996); Easterly (1999); Dollar and Kraay (2002a); Fajnzylber,. (2002)]. After the World War II, most of the countries adopted aggressive economic policies to improve the growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP). The neoclassical growth models imply that during the evolution between steady states; technology, exogenous rate of savings, population growth and technical progress generate higher growth level (Solow 1956).

Endogenous growth model developed by Romer (1986) and Lucas (1988) argue that permanent increase in growth rate depends on the assumption of constant and increasing return to capita1.

Similarly, Barro and Lee (1992) investigate the empirical association between human capital and economic growth. They seem to support endogenous growth model by Romer (1990) that high light the role of foreign direct investment in the growth process. Fischer (1993) argue that long-term growth is negatively linked with inflation and positively correlated with better fiscal performance and factual foreign exchange markets. In the context of developing countries, investment both in foreign direct investment, money supply, and ability to adapt technological changes, open trade policies and low inflation are necessary for economic growth.

1.2 Background of the Study

Nigeria is a West African economy with a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. The country shares international borders with Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Nigeria 1

ranks 32 in the world in term of total area. The terrain of the country consists of southern lowlands and plateaus in the central region have a mountainous surface, while the North’s consist of plain. According to the 2009 estimates, the country has a total population in excess of 154 million, of which almost 70% live below the international poverty line; Nigerians economy is overtly depended on the petroleum sector.

The Nigerian economy is one of the most developed economies in Africa. According to the UN classification, Nigeria is a middle-income nation with developed financial, communication and transport sectors. It has the second largest stock exchange in the continent.

The petroleum industry is central to the Nigerian economic profile. It is the 12th largest producer of petroleum product in the world. The industry accounts for almost 80% of the G.D.P share and above 90% of the total exports. Outside the petroleum sector, the Nigerian economy is highly amorphous and lacks basic infrastructure. Several failed efforts have been made after 1990 to develop other industrial sector. Owing to the surge in international oil prices during 2007-08, Nigerian managed an annual G.D.P of US$352.3 billion. The nation rank 33 in the world in term of G.D.P per capital of US$2,400.The economic conditions of Nigerian have advanced over the last few years as a result of the rapid phase of industrialization. The economy of Nigeria also improved tremendously with foreign investment aided by high quality research and development. Nigeria was under the British colonial rule for a considerable period of time. During this phase, major raw materials and mineral were exported to foreign countries along with food grain which is due course of time spear headed the rise of slavery and exploitation of labor class by the Europeans.


After the achievement of independence in Nigeria efforts were made to revive the economic growth of the country through a set of economic reforms. It’s important to note that before the discovery of oil in Nigeria the country survived mainly on its agricultural production. The present G.D.P growth rate has been 7% in the past few years.

1.3         Statement of the Problems

Although various factors have been adduced to Nigerian economic growth performance, the major problems has been adduce to the economy’s continued excessive reliance on the fortunes of the oil market and the failed attempts to achieve any meaningful economic diversification (Osuntogun. 1997), reflecting the effect of the so called “Dutch disease” the need to correct the existing structural distortion and put the economy on the path of sustainable growth is therefore compelling, this raise the questions of what else need to be done in order to diversify the economy and develop the various factors in order to realize the potential of the factors that determine economic growth. This calls for new thoughts and initiatives, which is the essence of this research.

1.4         Research Questions

According to the objectives stated bellow, the research questions that would be examined in the course of the study are as follows

i.                    What has been the structure of the economic growth in Nigeria?

ii.                  What are the factors that are responsible for determine the economic growth in Nigeria?

iii.                What has been the performance of each factor on economic growth in Nigeria? 3

1.5         Aims and Objectives of the Study

. The specific objectives of the study are as follows

i.                    To determine the factors those are responsible for the performance of Nigerian economic growth.

ii.                  To analyze and measure the contributions of each factor on economic growth in Nigeria.

iii.                Evaluate the effort of each factor on economic growth in Nigeria.

1.6         Research Hypothesis

Base on the models stated above, the hypothesis to be tested in this research is stated bellow.

Hi: The factor has contributed significantly to the economic growth of Nigeria.

Ho: The factor has not contributed significantly to the economic growth of Nigeria.

1.7         Significance of the Study

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