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Strategic adaptation to foreign aid culture and "tamed" industrial development in Africa: the Nigerian experience.


A revolution of rising expectations is occurring in African countries. It is well known that the inhabitants of the developed countries, through the application of technological and scientific methods, have generally passed beyond the stage of hunger, want and ignorance and are progressively, but aggressively, amassing the goods which make for a fuller and more comfortable way of life (Klein and Linnemann, 1984, pp. 66-76). The inhabitants of Africa, who constitute a large part of the world's population and who are living in poverty and fighting for a bare existence from the land through the process of industrial development, are well aware of this other life in which disease, hunger and back-breaking drudgery are absent and are determined to develop, and grow quickly towards that goal (Fisher, 1954). The attainment of political, without economic independence usually provides an additional impetus to that determination. This must have influenced Hirshleifer et al. (1980) to describe the present time as the "decade of development for all". The observed failure rate, therefore, partially accounts for the disappointment and anger of Africans at their comparatively low level of industrial development.

Anyone familiar with the history of Nigeria would agree that for many years, especially after the Civil War, Nigeria was looked on as one of the African countries that required a high degree of foreign aid to foster its industrial developmental base, notwithstanding its oil production and export position in the world market. Our pilot survey preceding this study revealed that many presidents, foreign ministers, foreign secretaries and diplomats have visited Nigeria to study its industrialization problems and identify areas requiring assistance. These countries (particularly the UK, USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and a host of others) have since then been giving foreign aid in the areas of education, agricultural development, mining, water resources, health, industrial growth, peace corps assistance, export-import bank assistance, the Food for Peace programme, development grants and technical assistance, technicians, military assistance, support assistance, the contingency fund assistance, contributions to multilateral organizations, and aid to private enterprise. However, the flow of this aid has not yet had any meaningful impact on the level of industrial development.

In the empirical study mentioned, we investigated common problem areas in foreign aid culture when contributing to industrial development in African countries. This was to enable us to suggest some managerial strategies which could be adopted in reviving African industrial development which seems to have been "tamed" because of internal and external environmental dilemmas. Our major focus in this study therefore is:

(1) the examination of the consistency with which foreign aid is given and used;

(2) the extent to which African countries are willing to receive foreign aid from the developed countries;

(3) the extent to which the donor-receiver situation influences levels of industrial development in African countries.

Theoretical foundation

Aid used in the context of the flow of resources from industrialized countries to African countries has many different interpretations. At one extreme, McWilliam (1968, p. 20) notes that aid can be narrowly interpreted to mean grants and long-term loans for the industrial and socio-economic development of poorer nations. Those who accept this definition tend to get exasperated when, say, loans at high rates of interest are described as "aid", since they regard such loans as no more than ordinary commercial transactions (Chatto and Windus, 1968, p. 317). But, at the other extreme, aid is defined as including virtually all aspects of economic relations between developed and developing countries, not only grants and loans but also private investment and trade (Kenyatta, 1968, p. 157; Rostow, 1960, p. 74).

However, it is our belief that those who hold to the narrow definition of aid are surely correct if the word is given the meaning of "subsidy". But what they tend to forget is that the economic and industrial prospects in some African countries are such that official loans at even commercial rates can constitute aid, since private commercial sources often would not risk money in such countries. For our working definition, aid is defined as assistance given by one country to another which will enable the receiving country to develop industrially, economically and politically.

Hence, foreign aid culture can be expressed as the scope, process and form by which industrially developed countries can give assistance to the developing countries (Pearce and Randolph, 1980, pp. 7-12). It is therefore suggested that the constituent elements of foreign aid culture should include:

(1) the degree of consistency with which foreign aid is given;

(2) the willingness of the receiving country to accept aid with its conditions;

(3) the period of foreign aid, i.e. from the time assistance is needed to the time it is given;

(4) the extent of parity between receiver-donor co-operation;

(5) the extent to which aid received is put into actual use;

(6) differences in value of foreign aid in the receiver-donor situation;

(7) the restrictions faced by the receiving country in administering aid.

What is "tamed" industrial development in the African context?, a sceptic may ask. Is it the second-rate industrial development practices imported from France, UK, or Spain - the imperial powers that dominated the political and socio-economic life of the African? Whatever may be the sceptic's view, "tamed" industrial development is an industrial process that is unduly controlled by forces outside those who are deemed to benefit directly from it. To a greater degree, industrial historians know only too well that even when a system is transferred in its purest form from one cultural environment to another there is bound to be a change owing to certain cultural, social and economic imperatives (Ahiauzu, 1985a, 1985b, 1985c, Ch. 16, pp. 200-11). In any case, no study on the management of the industrialization process in Africa is complete or meaningful without adequate knowledge of the traditional or indigenous industrialization process prevalent in Africa before the introduction of the Western-oriented industrialization process.

Some authors have noted that every society, whether simple or complex, has its unique system of industrialization which provides products for the good of the members of that society (Hambrick et al., 1982, pp. 510-31; Hofer, 1976, pp. 261-86). This kind of pursuit has persistently preoccupied African managers throughout history. As Jones (1971) posited, the pattern and target of industrialization may differ from one society to the other. The Greek idea of industrialization was one which not only provided goods and services, but also developed men to be mentally and physically balanced so as to face the realities of science and technological innovations. The Romans, on the other hand, apart from the sustenance of well-balanced products in their society, viewed industrialization as extending to an emphasis on oratorical development and hand-made goods. In a traditional African society, the combined activities of warriors, fishermen, hunters, farmers, weavers, carvers, knitters, blacksmiths and noblemen of good character with specific skills may be adjudged to be a well-integrated industrial process (Ozanne, 1971). In traditional African society, therefore, the purpose of industrialization is clear; it has functionalism as its main guiding principle. In this direction, traditional African society views the industrialization process as a means to an end, not as an end in itself.

Balogun (1982) also argued that, in traditional African society, industrialization is generally concerned with the immediate introduction into society of products that can make life meaningful to the members of that society. Some analysts have also emphasized that African industrialization extends to the process of providing for social responsibility, economic and political emancipation, and spiritual and moral values. Thinking along the same line as Mounmouni (1968, p. 15), we can argue that the characteristics of the traditional system of industrialization in Africa are:

* the great importance attached to it, and its collective and social nature;

* its intimate tie with social life, in both the material and the spiritual sense;

* its multivalent character, in terms of both its goals and the means employed;

* its gradual and progressive achievements, in conformity with the successive stages of physical, emotional and mental development of Africans.

However, we are aware that, because the indigenous industrialization system failed to conform to the ways of the Western system, some less well-informed writers, as they are referred to in other indigenous African system studies, have considered it primitive, even savage and barbaric (Dalton, 1962, pp. 7-11; Osoba, 1980, pp. 208-33). But it is our belief that such contentions should be seen as the products of ignorance and a total misunderstanding of the inherent value of an informal industrialization system. After all, industrialization is the aggregate of all the processes by which a society develops abilities, attitudes and other forms of work behaviour which are scientifically and technologically positive in contributing to the provision of valued products that give some form of benefit to society at large. It is, therefore, a process of transmitting culture in terms of continuity and growth and for disseminating scientific and technological knowledge either to ensure socio-economic control or to guarantee the national direction of society or both. These arguments notwithstanding, it is our belief that all industrialization systems, whether traditional or Western-oriented, seek to achieve these goals irrespective of design, methods and organization (Connah, 1975; Polanyi, 1962).

Finally, as Bacon (1959) and Kamarck (1966) contended, it seems that a researcher evaluating any industrialization system must determine the extent to which such a system meets the needs of a particular society at any given time. One writer succinctly moulded the idea in these words: "the traditional African industrialization system must ... be judged not by any extraneous consideration or some foreign yardstick, but by its performance within a given social context" (Kitchen, 1962, p. 498). Thinking along the same lines as Kitchen another writer observed that:

...the general impression gained from a visit to Bulgaria under the Technical Aid Programme for African Countries was that the industrial institutions there were equal in standing and equipment with those existing in most African Countries ... Using the term in its pure industrialization sense, the skills acquired are mere growing points of Bulgarian civilisation in Africa. No more, No less (emphasis added) (Phillipson, 1975, pp. 321-42).

It has been shown that African countries are threading through similar, and sometimes the same, industrialization systems. As some researchers noted, while accounting for the inherited diversity of Nigeria, the story of Western industrialization in Nigeria is often synchronized with the chequered political history of the country. With over 100 years of colonial administration by Britain under several governor-generals, with their considerable differences in colonial policies, administrative tactics, social behaviour and industrial philosophies, they have left behind a system of industrialization so extremely rich in diversity that harmonization into a single system is not an easy task.

The foregoing implies that Nigeria combines a diverse indigenous industrial culture with a diverse heritage. The major highlights of this rich diversity exerting a varying influence on the industrialization system in Nigeria at present are: the dual "business" languages: English and the Nigerian vernacular which are the media of communication in business; the multiplicity of vernacular languages and dialects with one emerging at present as a lingua franca; the heterogeneity of Nigerian religious communities living and doing business side by side; the diverse ethnological groupings with their varying degrees of faith in work which has given rise to imbalance in regional development. As has been contended:

All these factors render the Nigerian system of industrialization inherently complex from the synchronic as well as diachronic perspective; and such diversity within one and the same system makes the Nigerian system a unique situation for comprehensive studies (Jones, 1971, p. 28).

A host of other African socio-economic studies such as Markaki's (1974) Ethiopian study and Jetha's (1967) Kenyan study have revealed similar features.

At present in Nigeria, there are three basic elements in the system of industrialization which tend to prevent or at least discourage the integration of the system. These elements are:

(1) It is, basically, an elitist form of industrialization designed to meet the interests and needs of a very small proportion of those who enter the capitalist system.

(2) It prevents the people actually involved in the musical industrialization process from reaping the full benefit of their efforts.

(3) It encourages technocrats in the idea that all industrialization knowledge which is worthwhile can only be acquired from books or from "educated people".

The implication of the foregoing situation is that attitudes of inequality, intellectual arrogance and intense individualism are encouraged among Nigerians. Irrespective of the philosophical position of each African country, there is a very clear indication that each country has enjoyed phenomenal growth in industrial development compared with their respective colonial eras. This must have influenced Longrand to posit that:

Whatever the speed and scale of achievement of traditional industrialization structures might be, responsible agencies cannot meet the strain. The contemporary system of industrialization will have to be pursued well beyond the interest of a few capitalists to ensure the spread of industrial knowledge and the type of training that individuals and societies will increasingly require. Such action can indeed only be envisaged through large-scale recourse, beyond the traditional functions of industrialization, to all the vast modern media for spreading knowledge and providing training (Longrand, 1975, p. 27).

As Hoeffding (1979, pp. 117-21) argued, whether real or imagined it seems foreign aid from the developed countries to developing countries is the result of history and colonial interest. A host of researchers, such as Griffin (1981, p. 157) and Hughes and Lugard (1989) have shared this view. It might not be surprising to find that the main objectives in soliciting foreign aid by African countries are yet to be realized. As Menda succinctly put it:

Part of the explanation why aid has not led to faster industrial and socio-economic development of the African countries is that it is not designed for this purpose. That is, the major purpose of aid is to further the interests of the donors rather than those of the recipients. Aid from the industrialized countries to African countries is therefore open to the conclusion that the donors are able to pre-empt domestic resources and alter their entire investment programme, thereby substituting their preferences for those of the recipient government (Menda, 1973, p. 1).

There is no doubt that the danger of distortion being introduced by foreign aid has particular relevance to the level of industrial development in African countries. Griffin and Enos (1970, p. 54) and Baner (1971, p. 41) have made similar observations in their studies of the socio-economic development of the developing countries. It is also well known that the supply of personnel can be a powerful instrument for introducing the attitudes and techniques of the donor country into the different industrial and socio-economic circumstances of the recipient country, for which they are inappropriate. This must have influenced Holtham and Hazlewood to ask rhetorically:

Will it ever be possible to evaluate the cost of the wastage and of the ill-conceived decisions due to technical assistance based on the application of inappropriate techniques prompted ... by the unimaginative transplantation of western surrounding of African Countries or in other Third World Countries (emphasis added) (Holtham and Hazlewood, 1976, p. 217)?

A host of authors, notably Leach (1964, p. 358), have shown that education and training are a major part of the foreign aid given by the developed countries to assist in the industrial and socio-economic development of African countries. But, as observed by Lal (1975, pp. 98-9), an important sphere of the education and industrial training given by the industrialized countries has come under particular criticism for introducing inappropriate ideas. Again there are some rhetorical questions. As Heller questioned:

Do teachers from the Industrialized Countries dispense the kind of education that most African Countries really need? Does teaching little Africans the history and geography of their former colonisers contribute to their industrial and socio-economic development? Yet, another question for aid for industrialization and socio-economic development is, to what extent does teaching of metropolitan curricula contribute to progress, or rather has helped to maintain or even broaden the cleavage between the intellectually expatriate ruling groups and the majorities of the African Countries (Heller, 1984, 17)?

It is a familiar fact that the influence of foreign aid from the industrialized countries, even when it is completely project-tied, cannot be assessed by observing individually aided projects and by cumulating their effects. As Eikan (1959, pp. 11-14) has argued, this is because of the fungibility of resources. Little et al. (1970) lent support to Eikan's (1959) argument when they noted that foreign aid, although it may be provided for specific uses, is an addition to total resources whose effect could be to free existing resources from the use to which aid is then put. This implies that the freed resources will be available for other uses. Hence, where foreign aid is not provided, it is perfectly possible that the projects, if ostensibly financed, will be undertaken anyway, with expenditure in other areas not provided.

Of course, industrial and socio-economic development projects are not born fully formed. It may be that they would have been carried out in some form, even without the aid that ostensibly financed them. Yet, because this aid was offered, a donor may have come to exercise influence over the specification of the project. It is, therefore, possible to divide the effects of foreign aid into two:

(1) The micro-level effect which consists of the donor's influence over the details of particular expenditures, whether these expenditures depend on them or not;

(2) The macro-level effect which consists of the influence of this aid on the allocation of resources in a more general sense.

Chambers has made a statement which is very useful here. As the author posited, when the colonial masters were about to leave some African states after their individual independence, the settlement process they designed was:

more to aid those Europeans who wanted to leave than the Africans who received independence on their own land. Hence some nationalists noted that our land problems should not be settled on terms decided in the United Kingdom... It is unlikely that Nigeria, for example, in accepting the debt burden of obtaining an aid, has obtained industrial development benefit of debt incurred (emphasis added) (Chambers, 1974, pp. 117-19).

It is our belief, therefore, that technical assistance is unlikely to be productive in area planning at the local level in African countries, unless local circumstances are adequately taken into consideration. In the first place, in areas as undeveloped as southern Africa, we suspect that extensive resource studies leading to a master plan for industrial and socio-economic development for the time being is likely to be a waste of time. Thinking in line with some authors such as Mbithi (1972), Faber and Seers (1972), and Heller (1985), Radetzki suggested that:

The resource use strategy approach ... much espoused and advocated by perfectionist planners, has a powerful appeal to industrial development planning. While the forms it may take vary, it may be designed to include resource inventory and appraisal, determination of objectives and criteria for choice between alternatives, a search for and formulation of alternatives, and then choice between them and strategy design, with various forms of iteration between these. Ideally of course, it should lead through to the working up of projects, budgets and action programmes and then to implementation. In practice, the bitter and repeated experience has been that the process is slow, ponderous, given to premature elephantiasis, and exceedingly difficult to push through to implementation. The most common outcome is a large mimeographed document which presents many data about an area and sometimes suggestions of development strategy, with no detailed realistic of costed action proposals (Radetzki, 1988, 113-15).

In order to provide a scientifically acceptable solution to the phenomenon under investigation, the questions to be asked are:

(1) To what extent does the consistency with which foreign aid is given assist in the industrial development of Nigeria?

(2) To what extent does the problem of receiver-donor co-operation influence the contribution of foreign aid towards industrial development in Nigeria?

(3) To what extent does the willingness to receive foreign aid influence the rate of industrial development in Nigeria?

(4) To what extent do the differences in the perceived value of aid in the receiver-donor situation influence the contribution of foreign aid towards industrial development in Nigeria?

(5) To what extent can restrictions in the administering of foreign aid for the specific needs of society hinder industrial development in Nigeria?

(6) To what extent does the timing of foreign aid influence industrial development in Nigeria?

Empirical study, methods and results

A total of 560 executive and administrative officers were selected randomly from four federal and state ministries: Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP) and Ministry of Education (MOE) based on the list of executive and administrative officers maintained by the Federal Ministry of Establishment and Government House. These ministries are located in Port Harcourt, Umuahia, Owerri, Enugu, Calabar, Kaduna, Jos, Bauchi, Makurdi and Kano. Out of 560 officers, 494 responded to our questionnaire. The data collection methods used were self-administered questionnaires for executive and administrative officers in the relevant federal and state government ministries, and semi-structured interviews and direct observations on the state of Nigeria's level of industrial development. In addition to these, copies of budget speeches were obtained and examined. The data obtained during the fieldwork which lasted for 12 weeks are presented in Tables I to VI.

As shown in Table I, on average, the degree of consistency with which foreign aid (FADC) is given regularly in percentage terms was 29.96 per cent (that is, 148 responses). Further statistical analysis revealed that there is a significant relationship between the consistency with which foreign aid is given and the level of industrial development in Nigeria. Further, the examination of the data presented in Table I revealed that, as many as 346 (that is 164 for neither regular nor irregular and 182 for irregular) believed that the degree of consistency with which FADC is given is not regular.

This sort of result suggests that any developing country which relies solely on FADC for its industrial development programme is likely to suffer from slow industrial development. This implies that such a country will remain industrially underdeveloped. This may not be unconnected with the reason why most African countries have remained industrially underdeveloped.

The data for the extent to which Nigeria is willing to receive FADC from the developed countries are shown in Table II. Out of 494 respondents, only 191 maintained that the extent of receipt of FADC is high. However, this is not to suggest willingness to receive FADC has a negative effect on the level of industrial development. The results of further statistical computations of the data in Table II indicate that there is a positive level of association between willingness to receive foreign aid and level of industrial development in Nigeria.

The Table also shows that as many as 303 (that is, 170 for neither high nor low, and 133 for low) respondents did not believe that Nigeria is ever willing to receive foreign aid.

A reflection on the foregoing result reminds one of the conclusions drawn from the national debate on whether or not Nigeria should receive an IMF loan in 1986. Though the popular opinion was that the loan should not be received, it was reliably speculated that the Federal Government of Nigeria ignored this and went on to obtain the loan. Such action tends to militate against national [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE I OMITTED] [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE II OMITTED] [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE III OMITTED] patriotism, indigenization, and political and economic self-reliance propagated by the same government. The question then is: how serious is the Federal Government of Nigeria about developing its indigenous industrial base?

As shown in Table III, 190 (that is, 38.46 per cent) respondents believed that the time lag between when FADC is given and when the industrial problem it is supposed to solve emerged is long. The large number (that is, 168 for neither long nor short, and 136 for short) of respondents, 304, who see that period as not long, opined during an interview that the negotiation of FADC is not an automatic process. Hence, the time lag should not be considered significant. However, statistical analysis of these responses gave an indication that there is a significant relationship between the timing of foreign aid and the level of industrial development.




Similarly, popular opinion has it, as can be revealed by examination of the data in Table IV, that the FADC obtained is frequently not used in the project area for which assistance is sought and obtained. This is revealed by 378 (that is, 76.52 per cent) respondents who disagreed that the FADC is used in the appropriate project areas for which aid is granted. Here again, our statistical analysis points to the fact that there is no significant difference between the extent to which foreign aid received is used for the project for which it is given and the level of industrial development in Nigeria.

Table V shows that only 159 (that is, 32.19 per cent) respondents believe that the degree to which the problem of receiver-donor co-operation influences the contribution of foreign aid towards industrialization is low, while 335 (that is, 181 for high, and 154 for neither high nor low) respondents did not consider the influence as low. Results of further statistical analysis suggests that there is a strong relationship between the degree of receiver-donor co-operation and the level of industrial development in Nigeria. There is also evidence that differences in the perceived value of FADC in the receiver-donor situation influences the contribution of foreign aid towards the perceived level of industrial development. However, the results in Table VI indicate that 131 (that is, 26.52 per cent) respondents believed this to be low, while 363 (that is, 187 for high and 176 for neither high nor low) respondents did not. This indicates the extent to which these phenomena shape the level of industrial development in Nigeria. It was found that there is a positive relationship between differences in perceived value of foreign aid in the receiver-donor situation, and the level of industrial development in Nigeria.

Based on the analysis of the data, the following conclusions are drawn:

* effective management of the irregularity and poor timing of foreign aid will accelerate the process of industrial development in Nigeria;

* receiver-donor co-operation is one of the constituent elements of foreign aid culture which has stifled the level of industrialization in Nigeria;

* differences in perceived value, on the part of receiver-donor of foreign aid, influence the observed level of industrial development in Nigeria.

Discussion of findings

Management of irregularity and poor timing within foreign aid culture

It has been established that the consistency with which foreign aid is given has a positive relationship to the level of industrial development attained in Nigeria. It is also clear from our results that the rate at which foreign aid for industrial development flows from the industrially developed countries to Nigeria has been irregular. Where the circumstances are as we have explained, it is conceded, and we think rightly too, that the level of industrialization in most African countries has been low. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, as we found during the fieldwork, it seems clear that the time lag between the giving of foreign aid for industrial development, and the existence of the socio-economic and political problems which the aid is supposed to solve are often at variance. We find, from the evidence, that irregularity and poor-timing of foreign aid have accounted for the low level of industrial development in Nigeria, owing to ineffective management within the foreign aid culture.

We have not the slightest hesitation in accepting this proposition. In fact, this situation is not framed in deceit or in negligence. It is framed on the basis of argument for the bureaucratic bottlenecks in the administration of foreign aid and industrial development projects in donor-receiver situations. Regarding this assertion, it would be better to consider the influence of these factors from the premiss of an idiomatic expression in the Ibani Kingdom of Nigeria - bakaye bakaye eteli emim (meaning one who habitually leaves his house by the front door to keep his appointment, but if the front door is stuck he would hardly be excused for not leaving by the back). The question, therefore, is what is a reasonable method of giving aid - at a time when aid for industrialization is not needed, or at the time when it is needed? To such a question, "the usual and customary route" is (ex hypothesi) inapplicable.

Similarly, since foreign aid and industrialization systems are not automatic processes, the problem should not be seen merely in terms of irregularity and poor-timing in sending the aid by the donor countries. The shift in our opening should be more on the management of the irregularity and poor timing of foreign aid by the receiving African countries. On the question of materiality, the main issue for consideration here is whether donor countries have ever stopped sending aid after the period of aid expectancy has passed. Though no evidence was found during the fieldwork, there are sufficient facts to show that donor countries have not done so. It must be observed, as some authors have noted, that rarely has a mutually-reached foreign aid agreement been terminated by lack of mutual consent between receiver-donor (Baner, 1971; Hoeffding, 1979, pp. 117-21; Rostow, 1960).

From the analysis, it is observed that Nigeria has been receiving much aid from the developed countries. But the problem has been the inefficient and ineffective management of the irregularity and poor timing of aid. For instance, as shown in Table VII, between 1979 and 1982, Nigeria received 560.1 million French francs in financial assistance. With this aid, one would naturally have expected the rate of industrial development to have accelerated and the level attained to be higher if the irregularity and poor timing of the aid had been properly managed. But, because of what can be described as a "sit-down-look" attitude of some responsible government agencies, and because of the misuse of the aid, the reverse has been the case.

It is, however, well known that, apart from the irregularity and poor timing management factor, the core of what is now admitted to be a crisis in the Nigerian economy, and by which Nigeria's level of industrialization was adversely affected, has been identified as:

The heavy dependence of the country (Nigeria) on oil and imported inputs which rendered the economy highly vulnerable to external shocks. Consequently, with the collapse of the world oil market which started in mid-1981 an economic crisis emerged...Also the country's official foreign exchange reserves, which stood at about $8.50 billion at the end of May 1961, declined sharply to only about $2.85 billion by the end of December 1981 (Okongwu, 1982).

We are aware that the policy agenda in Nigeria's external economic relations is:

(1) the development of new exports;

(2) export promotion involving the search for new markets and strengthening the position of existing ones;

(3) the indexing of raw materials in relation to the prices of industrial goods;

(4) the payment of higher export commodity prices as well as their stabilization at levels fair and reasonable to both producer and consumer;

(5) the reduction of dependence on imported goods, particularly consumer goods and the encouragement of industrialization at home;

(6) the establishment and maintenance of a healthy domestic climate conducive to foreign capital investment.

But the agenda has not been followed owing to inappropriate managerial placements.

Similarly, in the context of the demand for reform and restructuring of an inequitable economic order which became vociferous in 1984 (in line with the programme of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)) the Federal Government of Nigeria formulated the following programmes of action:


* the liberalization of international trade through the progressive elimination of all barriers and restrictions impeding exports, including those of other developing countries;

* increased access for the developing countries to the manufactured and semi-manufactured goods markets of developed countries;

* the reform of international financial institutions so that the developing countries can have greater access to their resources;

* greater emphasis on multilateral aid to the developing countries through international financial institutions on the grounds that such aid is devoid of political undertone(s) and enables those countries to purchase in the cheapest market.

These policy outlines notwithstanding, so long as Nigeria, and indeed other African countries, mismanage foreign aid with regard to irregularity and poor timing the question of high level industrialization through foreign aid will remain a dream.

Rejection of foreign aid and receiver-donor co-operation

The movement of progressive societies has not at present been "a movement on a smooth tile". This must have influenced some researchers, particularly Lal, to contend that:

The point which before all others has to be apprehended in the constitution of primitive societies is that the individual countries create for themselves few or no rights, and few or no duties to other countries. The rules which they obey are derived first from the situation into which they are born, and next from the imperative commands addressed to them by their relationship with the international communities of which they form part. Such a system leaves the very smallest room for contract, between the donor and receiving countries (Lal, 1975, p. 259).

Yet other researchers (Ake, 1981; Easton, 1976) noted that at first nothing is known about the interpretation of foreign aid agreements which compel performance of a promise on the part of a donor country. What is known, is that the donor country has to highlight some conditions which they expect the receiving country to meet (Katouzian, 1980; Lenin, 1976). Sometimes, these conditions are so stringent that most receiving countries may not dare to ask for or receive aid. As shown in Table II, 61.33 per cent of our respondents did not see as high the willingness on the part of Nigeria to receive foreign aid. But our statistical analysis shows that there is a positive level of association between the willingness to receive foreign aid and the level of industrial development in Nigeria.

The main reason for the opinion of our respondents is likely to be connected with what can be described as harsh conditions attached to foreign aid for African countries (Daniel, 1970). Some authors view the conditions as effective "trapping" techniques used by the donors against the receivers (Kamarck, 1966; Osoba, 1980). President Mobutu buttressed this fact by arguing that normally any government which is in need of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan feels reluctant to apply because of its negative political and economic implications. As the President put it: "the reluctance of African governments to implement IMF programmes is due in large part to fear of the negative political and economic consequences of austerity". It is our belief that, if the circumstances we described are true, most African countries which are seeking or soliciting loans and think that foreign aid is "mother's breast milk meant for her child" will be disappointed. As with the case of Zaire, however, the process of seeking accommodation with the IMF loan inevitably involved adopting policies that were certain to be unpopular with the public.

Relating to what happened to the Government of President Stevens of Sierra Leone, Hazlewood (1976) noted that:

... the New Order Administration needed more radical economic policies to inspire growth and development in the economy. Sierra Leone has not had any consistent development strategy since 1976 when the second development plan ran out; sectoral development has been on an ad hoc basis and Stevens' Government had relied basically on external sources of financing. This has resulted in a decline in real terms in Gross Domestic Product of the order of 1 per cent per annum. Gross Investment has also declined from 12 per cent in 1982/83 and 1983/84 respectively.

Explicitly, it is natural that, where there is economic instability, automatically there will be political instability and "tamed" industrial development. Similarly, one of the ad hoc consequences of the external sources of government finance is economic retardation and instability which will definitely lead to political instability as the gross domestic product is likely to continue to fall. Democracy itself cannot survive in poverty and in an environment of "tamed" industrial development. This is one of the reasons for the lack of proper ideals of democracy in Nigerian politics. However, it has been shown by Amucheazi (1980) and others that poorer countries are gradually becoming more aware that their underdevelopment is simply a by-product of the development of other countries. Consequently their own development can be achieved only by throwing off the domination of the industrialized countries.

Comments from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, that seem to have failed in the management of the foreign aid they have received, indicate that they have resorted to viewing foreign aid as an industrialization malady. As they also observed, countries like Nigeria and Brazil seem to have been neocolonialized by the imperialist countries judging by their level of industrial development. We do not share this view completely, but it is well known that the economy of Nigeria has deteriorated partly through debt servicing which is an aftermath of loans, technical assistance, grants and so many other ways through which foreign aid is received. This suggests that receiving foreign aid is to give the developed countries concerned an opportunity to encroach on the domestic affairs of developing countries. By interfering with the domestic affairs of developing countries, the industrialized countries virtually dictate to the government of the concerned African countries how to govern; making these countries impotent industrially, and sometimes politically. For instance:

Zaire's recent decision to limit debts payments to no more than 10 per cent of export earning illustrates the dilemma facing the Africans... A young country cannot go on indefinitely sacrificing everything merely for the sake of servicing external debts (West African Magazine, 1987, p. 5).

We are therefore left with the simple test that a situation must arise which renders performance a thing radically different from that which was originally intended. This plea means that a donor-receiver co-operation situation is inevitable. It is our belief that one would not come to the conclusion that both parties in foreign aid culture have equal strength. But there is a strong relationship between the degree of receiver-donor co-operation and the level of industrial development in Nigeria.

It is a well-known fact, even in Africa, that no one can become rich by accumulating wealth and using it to assist others to develop without a tangible or intangible benefit to him/herself. This situation is not unique to the individual. It also relates to countries whether developed or underdeveloped. Hence, most foreign aid given to Nigeria has dual objectives: a benefit to the donors and to the receivers. But more to the donors. For the donors, it has been argued that it is a means to maintain perpetual control of the relationship between the donor-receiver countries (Ackoff, 1970; Dalton and Lawrence, 1971).

In any event, many fears which may prove groundless have been aroused by the giving of foreign aid to Nigeria. Reacting to such fears, President Jomo Kenyatta noted that:

The government of an independent Kenya will not be a gangster government Those who have been panicky ... can now rest assured that the future African governments ... will not deprive them of their property or rights of ownership. We will encourage investors... to come to Africa ... to bring industrial prosperity to this continent (emphasis added) (Kenyatta, 1968, p. 157).

We are aware that most African countries, though politically independent, are still economically dependent on their former colonial masters. In the circumstances, the big question is: should Nigeria reject or bow out of any aid plan from the industrialized world? Definitely, the answer is no. But what is required is that parties to aid must be aware from the start that foreign aid is a product that can be bought and sold at a benefit. In that sense, there may be a variety of opinions according to the interest, talent and disposition of each person, with regard to who decides whether such aid is against industrialization in Nigeria or not. To allow this to be a management decision, therefore, would lead to the greatest uncertainty and confusion. However, it is within the province of those concerned with the management of foreign aid in Nigeria to determine what is best for the public good and to provide a proper framework for its formulation and implementation, while it is within the ambit of African management scientists to create a framework for Nigeria's industrialization process.

The question before African management scientists is: what inference Man be drawn from the observed level of unwillingness in recent times of Nigeria to obtain foreign aid? While construing no exemption, it is our belief that foreign aid which attaches stringent conditions is not aid, but an offer with solemn "ceremonial garment" made to Nigeria. This sort of reasoning had been emphatically accepted by Heller (1985), who under an indenture observed that foreign aid agreements cannot be reached on the basis of partiality either by the receiver or by the donor country; rather, they are made according to a mutual agreement. This implies that, in general, the test of intention is objective.

It seems that a barren, but controversial, question may arise about whether a descriptive statement about foreign aid is a vague and unsatisfactory term. Or is it calculated to lead to uncertainty and error, when applied to the process of industrialization in Nigeria? Or is it capable of being understood in different senses? On the one hand, it may, and does, in its ordinary sense, mean "political expediency" on the part of the industrially advanced countries (IAC). On the other hand, it may mean that which is passed from the developed countries to developing countries and is seen as best for the common good of the communities of the developing countries.

Difference in value analysis of foreign aid and level of industrialization

A single strand which runs through the receiver-donor countries when we discuss foreign aid and industrialization systems in African countries is the belief in the value of foreign aid. It was found during the fieldwork that there is a positive relationship between differences in the value of foreign aid in receiver-donor situations and the level of industrial development in Nigeria. It remains to raise the question, given that foreign aid for industrialization is discretionary, of what significance is the phenomenon to the receiver-donor countries. Many illustrations may be given of the extraordinary results which would follow such a substantive question. But this article does not discuss them. Suffice to say that in various instances in which claims for reasonable discretion are applied, such applications go along the line of the value attached to such aid (Carr, 1955). Barzen (1984) notes that the issue of what it means to value a specific FADC is central to the examination of the logical status of a foreign policy that arises from the implementation of a project tied to aid. However, a number of problems associated with value come into our discussion of foreign aid and the level of industrial development in African countries. For instance, although the process of industrialization, and therefore the skill and knowledge attendant, is held by many to be valuable (Abalkin et al., 1983; Peters, 1966), some would rather say that what is of value is the end result of the industrialization process and not the knowledge or skill provided by the process. This is especially true for those who believe that, before the adoption of the Western-oriented industrial process, life following the outcome of the process had been more meaningful (Aina, 1985; Getzels and Guba, 1957).

But how does this circumstance reasonably show that the progress of industrialization can be slowed by an unreasonable delay by the donor countries in the delivery of foreign aid to Nigeria? In our view, any extra cost incurred by the delay is an influence naturally resulting from the ordinary course of events among a people using discretion to make ex gratia gifts in relation to matters of this nature. Therefore, it may, we think, be taken as clearly established that the foreign aid claim is founded on an implied promise to use the aid for the purpose it was given.

Some Africans find value in ignorance or the absence of a well-defined industrialization system. This is because no society is created ignorant of the process of industrialization, or the absence of it. Suffice to mention that the value of ignorance as used in our context means innocence. This is more prevalent in situations where innocence itself is associated with a country's stage of socio-economic development, where knowledge is seen as something that necessarily disrupts the purifying process. In all such situations, ignorance, rather than the level of industrialization, is seen as the valuable alternative. As Barzen said:

If some countries can see value in the level of industrialization reached through foreign aid, and some others can see it rather in ignorance, relate to industrialization. This is more because in this situation such countries see value or rather what is valuable as something worth pursuing (Barzen, 1984, p. 17).

Countries which perceive industrial ignorance to be of value are merely suggesting that industrialization is good and worth pursuing. This seems to be a problem of the interplay between values and such related concepts as preferences, interests, and moral judgements, which suggests the need for the concept of value to be clarified if it is to be meaningfully applied in the management of public enterprises. By far the most common remedy open to management scientists interested in African studies is to examine the necessary conditions for evaluating the value of foreign aid towards industrialization by adopting, first, the goal condition. Here, the value of FADC towards industrialization necessarily points to a specific project or goal, which may be an end-state, a process or the style of behaviour of responsible government agents. This is the sense in which values are related to projects, and it applies, whether we are talking of instrumental or non-instrumental values (Barzen, 1984) to foreign aid culture.

There has never been a better expression of the general idea underlying this sort of implied term than the one offered by Dewey (1944, p. 231). As the author declared, discussion of values has usually centred on the consideration of the various ends subserved by specific subjects of foreign aid from the industrially advanced countries to the developing countries. The implication of the condition is that value is necessarily an object of desire. That is, it is a matter of the goals of the respective African countries.

Second, what is valued in the realm of foreign aid and industrialization is necessarily professed. One thing that is obvious here is that African management scientists should not rely merely on the value displayed by the donor countries. They should also focus on utterances, actions and other related elements that would indicate the value of FADC. A country's verbal statements, actions, etc. are necessary indicators that an end-state of foreign aid towards industrialization in African countries is valued, or not valued. Third, valuing the foreign aid given towards industrialization is an act of comparison. As has been noted, "to value is to pass judgement upon the nature and amount of the value of something as compared with something else". Though such a comparison may be intrinsic or extrinsic, we do not share the idea of valuing foreign aid and the level of industrial development intrinsically. This lends support to Dewey's observation chart:

When we start comparing what to get from specific "foreign aid" towards industrialization in African Countries on both sides - receivers and donors, the particular good is no longer an end in itself... But, if it were intrinsically done, it would be incompatibly imperative (emphasis added) (Dewey, 1944, p. 239).

Finally, values are concerned with the identification and application of appropriate standards of excellence. We are aware that, in reacting to such a measure of assessment, Mabogunje and Gleave (1984, pp. 9-10) observed that:

... may be, if the first fruits of scientific and technological progress have not arrived in Africa, and the new advances which have superseded the old axe even further from Africa's reach, we have remained in ignorance of the western industrialization system (emphasis added).

This implies that whether there is a positive thing to do or not is itself administrative. Industrialization and foreign aid, being a deliberate, purposeful planned activity directed towards socio-economic development, necessarily involve a consideration of value. But the questions now are:

(1) Where are these values to be found?

(2) What is to be their content?

(3) How are they to be justified?

The simple answer here is that they can be, and often are, values that reflect the interest of both the donors and the receivers. But Dalton (1962) has answered the question this way. According to the author:

... the final ground has, ever since the African primitive times, been repeatedly located in man's conception of the diverse form of foreign aid and industrialization that has been achieved, and there has thus arisen the demand for a foreign aid and industrialization pattern whose definition and justification are based on the nature and significance of knowledge itself, and not on the predilections of the demands of the few capitalists in society, or the whims of greedy politicians (Dalton, 1962, p. 9) (emphasis added).

Conclusion and implications

The major objective of this study, as stated earlier, was the systematic investigation of the common problem areas in foreign aid culture and how these have shaped the pattern and level of industrial development in Nigeria. The general conclusion drawn from our study is that the aspects of foreign aid culture which significantly influence the level of industrial development are:

* the degree of consistency in the flow of foreign aid from the donor to receiver countries;

* the balance between the time when aid is required by the prospective receiver and the time it is given by the donor;

* the degree of parity between receiver-donor co-operation in deciding the form and conditions attached to the foreign aid;

* the degree of parity between the perception of the value of foreign aid to donors and receivers;

* the extent of freedom given by the donor to the receiving country to administer the aid within a project area;

* the willingness on the part of receivers to accept foreign aid from donors.

This can be expressed mathematically as follows:

LID = f(c, w, t, u, p, v)


LID - level of industrial development

c = consistency with which foreign aid is given;

w = willingness on the part of receiving countries to accept the aid;

t - time lag between the time of need and time aid is given;

u - actual use to which specific aid is put;

p = parity in receiver-donor situation;

v = value and cost of foreign aid in receiver-donor situation.

It has been shown in the findings that the factors which are likely to be responsible for the observed low level of industrial development are, first, the inefficient and ineffective management of the irregularity and poor timing of foreign aid on the part of receiver countries. This is because we found that, though the regularity with which foreign aid is given is not consistent, together with delays in providing the aid, donor countries have not reneged on their promise to give foreign aid for industrial development. But its administration, which ought to commence when the need for aid is identified to when it is given for implementation, seems to have been poorly managed.

Another factor which accounts for the low level of industrial development in Nigeria is the rejection or, at least, the minimization of foreign aid as a result of stringent conditions attached. However, the political and economic implications of foreign aid to Nigeria by the developed nations cannot be over-emphasized. It is more apparent than real, more natural than unusual that the political and economic motives of the developed nations to the developing nations in giving foreign assistance is never the "feeding of a baby by the mother". It is unfortunate that most African countries viewed foreign aid as an inescapable "gospel gift", but such imagination and belief are grossly misleading and can cripple the rate of industrial development. This are because we are aware that, in the majority of cases, aid is being given with conditions which are sometimes detrimental to the African countries which are receiving it.

It is well known, as experience has also proved, that countries which accept aid are being gulled into depending on the donors both economically and politically. To amplify this point, one notes that it is a truism that "the dog cannot bite the hand that feeds it"; therefore the country that is being helped must be willing to accommodate, both politically and economically, the country that is assisting it. But African countries, as developing nations, need foreign aid for industrial development, which is relevant to their development effort, particularly in creating values relevant to humane, disciplined, fraternal and nationally-conscious society.

Finally, the differences in perception of the value of foreign aid between donor and receiver countries seem to have adversely affected the implementation of industrial development projects tied to specific foreign aid. This is made worse by the conditions for evaluating foreign aid - the goal condition, the realm of foreign aid, the act of comparison, and the application of appropriate standards of excellence.

The implications of the findings of this study demand the serious attention of management scientists interested in African studies. To be able to adapt to the influences from foreign aid culture requires that we curb excesses arising from the formulation and implementation of foreign aid for industrial development in the receiver-donor situation. Dictatorial administrators in African countries should recognize the fact that the idea of foreign aid may not be as "rosy" as they would think. We see foreign aid as a commodity that can be bought and sold for investment in industrial development programmes. We are therefore making the following recommendations:

* Before foreign aid for an industrial development programme is obtained from the industrialized countries, African countries wishing to receive the aid should critically assess the short-run and long-run effect of the conditions of such aid. It is necessary to organize a national economic development conference where the amount of aid is so large as to warrant close examination of the issue. Decisions arrived at during the conference should be accepted. Rash decisions that would lead to a situation of development suicide should not be taken.

* When aid is eventually received, it should be "project-tied", so as to ensure that the aid is actually used in executing the project for which it was sought.

* Since the industrially-developed countries are not Father Christmas, the willingness to accept foreign assistance should be curtailed so that African countries could learn to be self-reliant.

* The machinery for the administration of foreign aid should be conscientiously monitored by both the executive and the legislative arms of government. This will bring about checks and balances between those who make the laws and those who execute them.

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Author:Jaja, Seth Accra
Publication:International Journal of Social Economics
Date:Apr 1, 1995
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