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the impact of public opinion on public policy in nigeria: an appraisal of 2010-2012

the impact of public opinion on public policy in nigeria: an appraisal of 2010-2012


This research work that analysis on the impact of public opinion on public policy in Nigeria from 2010-2012 while narrowing it down to the economic policy of deregulation or fuel subsidy removal of 2012. Broadly divided into five chapters, the work breakdown how governmental decisions are being influenced by the opinions of the people in the democracy of Nigeria. History had it that before the discovery of oil, agriculture gave Nigeria about 70% of her income until now oil has earned Nigeria a higher foreign income. Hence, this work fills the gap and age answers to questions on whether public policies are products of public opinion, the impact of public opinion on public policies and if the deregulation is a solution to poverty and underdevelopment. The system theory became the theoretical framework which deals on policy input and policy out put. A historical analysis was made on the topic was made, while the effect of public opinion on public policies were also discovered. Policies for managing poverty and underdevelopment were brokendown in the work. At the end, the work gives an insight and explains the reasons behind policy making in Nigeria and also gave possible solutions to the issue.


Table of Content

Title Page—————————————————-i

Approval Page———————————————-ii


Acknowledgement ————————————–v-

Abstract —————————————————-vii

Table of Contents ————————————–viii-

x Chapter One:

General Introduction 1.1

Background of the Study —————————1-8

1.2 Statement of the Problem—————————-8-11

1.3 Objective of the Study———————————–12

1.4 Literature Review ————————————12-31

1.5 Significance of the Study——————————–32

1.6 Theoretical Framework——————————32-37

1.7 Hypotheses——————————————–37-38

1.8 Methods of Data collection and Analysis————-38

1.9 Scope and Limitations of the Study——————-38

1.10 Definition of Terms.——————————–39-41

Chapter Two:

The Influence of Public Opinion on Public Policy: A Historical Analysis

2.1 The Colonial Era.———————————–42-53

2.2 The Military Era————————————-53-69

2.3 The Civilian Era————————————-69-90

Chapter Three: The Impact of Public Opinion on Public Policy in Nigeria.

3.1 The Abrogation of the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact and the Rejection of the Non-Aligned Policy. ———————————————91-102

3.2 The Rejection of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Loan and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Membership.—————-102-114

3.3 Establishment of Anti-Corrupt Agencies and Palliative measures.—————————–114-127

Chapter four: Policies for Managing Poverty and Underdevelopment in Nigeria.

4.1 The Policy of Nationalization and x Indigenization——————————-128-138

4.2 The Policy of Poverty Alleviation.———–138-156

4.3 The Policy of Deregulation and the Opinion against Deregulation ———————————156-172

Chapter five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary—————————————–173-179

5.2 Conclusion————————————–179-182 5.3 Recommendations—————————–182-186

Bibliography ————————————187-189






Since independence in 1960 in Nigeria, different governments have embrace on one programme or another. The research work is to examine the activities of the public opinion on public policy from 2010-2012, hence, narrowing it down to an economic reform policy of the deregulation of the downstream oil sector in Nigeria, also known as the fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria. Nigeria is a democratic nation. One of the principles of democracy is the operation of fundamental human rights, which of allows for the freedom of speech, which is on the view of the majority, influencing governmental decisions. Public policy as applied to politics is seen as a statement xii of a principle with their supporting rules of action, that conditions and governs the achievement of their goals. Government usually engages in different programmes, as the government is the authoritative body because they are backed up by the law. Government also has both power and authority to execute their duties and also ensure compliance. These programes are directed towards solving a particular programmes or preempting them. Therefore, programmes are not just mode for fun of making them, they are made to solve the societal needs. They entail the expenditure of public funds. Before colonialization, the economies of the different kingdoms that now constitute the Nigeria political entity were based on agriculture. Since independence in 1960, the role of agriculture in the economy of Nigeria has been on the downward trend with regards to its contribution to GDP. Its share to GDP fell from 61.5% in 1963/1964 to 14.6% in 1983. This has been partly due to the xiii emergence of oil-Reynolds (1975) argued that agricultural development can promote economic development of the underdeveloped countries in four different ways: 1. By increasing the supply of food available for domestic consumption and realizing the needed labour for industrial employment. 2. By enlarging the size of the domestic market for the manufacturing sectors. 3. By increasing the supply of domestic savings 4. By providing the foreign exchange earned by agricultural exports. Since the discovery of oil, which earns us our foreign exchange, agriculture has been abandoned. Exploration for crude petroleum oil in Nigeria first began in 1980. But serious and sustained efforts did not happen until shell Darcy petroleum Company commenced operations in 1935. It took this company more twenty years to discover petroleum crude oil in xiv commercial quantities in Oloibiri in 1956. Nevertheless, oil price has never been satiable in the country as successive governments keep adjusting the price upwards beyond the affordability of the common citizens of the oil producing country. Like in the price of petroleum products is a global phenomena problem in the international market. Specifically, oil prices in Nigeria have been on a continuous increase since the beginning of 2004 and this has happened despite the organization of petroleum Exporting countries (OPEC) increase in its oil out put. Earlier in 2004, the run up in oil price was attributed to surging demand for petroleum products due to global economy. Then, it was the unrest in Nigeria. Concerning the security of oil, supplies have heightened more recently. Nigeria is the sixth oil producing nation in the world. xv The subsidy removal on fuel has increase the price of oil. In the past, the increase in price occurred mostly in the extent of disruption to oil supply. Now, the deregulation policy has heightened the price of oil disruption of oil supply. There is concern the current step rise in the price of oil as a result of the removal of subsidy on fuel could have an adverse impact on the Nigeria economy; that is currently on road to recovery and expansion. When oil is expensive, people try to use less of it. They may reduce the amount they derive on reduce the temperature to which they heat their houses, which their minor economies will have little or nothing on consumption Higher have less money to spend on other things. This reduces because most goods and services the consumer would have bought have required the use of oil for their production and delivery. If higher oil prices reduce consumer demand very much manufacturers and retails will find that their profits suffer and that they xvi have surplus capacity. They will therefore, deter their plans for expansion. This will result in very large energy savings because work is energy intensive. The concept of public policy can be seen as simply governmental actions or course to proposed actions that are directed to achieving goals (Ikelugbo 1999). Care Fredrick (1980) defined it as government or one of its divisions by government. The main idea of public policy is that it has to do with the government. It is an action or sets of actions taken by public authorities, it is the out put or production of governmental process and activtieyt. Public involves and affects the wide verity of areas and issues with which government have to do such as the economy, education, health, defence, social welfare, foreign affairs as well as other areas like culture. Sometimes, the government adopts the state coercive agencies like the police to enforce and ensure compliance of policies. Also these coercive agencies end up loosing xvii their lives in the course of ensuring compliance. A case study is in Ilorin, Kwara state a police officer and a youth were feared dead. Their death occurred during a violent demonstration by the youths that engaged the youths and police into a tow hours fight, throwing missiles which led to the use of live bullets by the police. The subsidy removal on fuel is an economic policy. Nigeria adopted several economic policies for development. The introduction of economic reform programmes started after her independence in 1960. During this period, Niger derived to embark on a programme for development, which they saw its importance for gaining economic independence especially. Still at that, the past colonial masters of Nigeria still control the affairs of the nation. While the past-independent leaders sort assistance from them for development. This was done through the iprotation of industrial technology amongst others, while the assisting xviii countries will give out their conditions. And any developing country like Nigeria that will not submit to the scheme of economic demands or conditions of those aiding them or will not accept their advice and control, usually, will have little choice of developing. The economic policy have been seen or have given the impression that it is a policy which has been influenced by the western countries or foreign investors based on their interest in the country‘s oil; another way the westerns want to dominate Nigeria again. This has elicited stiff resistance by the Nigeria public through labour unrest and mass protest. This study therefore, attempts to assess the impact of public opinion on public policy in Nigeria, using the deregulation of the downstream oil sector or oil subsidy removal as our analytical focus.



It is obvious that the present democratic rule in Nigeria has witnessed increase price increase of petroleum products more than during the past military administrations. Since independence, successive governments in Nigeria have embark on various policies geared towards developing their country. The first development plan was carried out during the ear of Abubakr Tafawa Belewa (1962-1968), the second was during the era of General Yakubu Gowon (1970-1974), the third was during the era of General Murtala Mohammed (1975-1980), Green Revolution by the government of General Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Shehu Shagari 91981-1985) carried out the operation Feed the Nation Policy (OFN), War Against Indiscipline (WAI) was carried out by the government of general Mohammed Buhari in 1989, General Ibrahim Babangida carried out the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) between 1990and 1992, General Sani xx Abacha carried out the policy on War Against indiscipline and Corruption in 1997. At the advert of democratic rule in 1999, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo embarked on economic reform pregramme, encapsulated in the privatization, liberalization and deregulation programmes. Not withstanding, these array of programmes, Nigeria is still looking for a better way for advancement and development as none of these economic reforms of the country. Deregulation of the downstream sector started during Obasanjo‘s regime as an economic told that will enhance or foster development. This was justified on the grand that the downstream sector or the oil sector is riddled with corruption as a result of mismanagement and ineffiency. Same Nigerians especially the political observes see it as a good step that will save Nigeria from her present economic problems. Other see it as a means where by few xxi people will benefit, which a large number pf the citizens will not, instead, it will be detriment to them. To some scholars also, it is a channel for development while other sees it as a new way or means of penetrating and exploiting Nigeria by the western world. None has however emphasized the role of public opinion in influencing the formulation or abrogation of public policies to assuage the yearning of the populace. This research work therefore attempts to fill this gap to the extent liter by seeking answers to the following questions:

  1. Are public policies in Nigeria a product of public opinion?
  2. To what extent has public opinion impacted on public policies in Nigeria?
  3. Is the deregulation of the down stream oil sector a panacea to poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria?



This work is channeled at the critical examination and analysis of the impact of public opinion on public policy. Specifically, the study intends to:-

  1. To ascertain if public policies in Nigeria are products public opinion.
  2. To ascertain the impact of public opinion in public policies in Nigeria.
  3. To determine if the deregulation of the downstream oil sector is a panacea to poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria.



It is the commitment of this chapter to discuss the meaning of public opinion, raise pertinent questions in respect of the political life-style of the average citizens. In xxiii the highlight of this, we look on the importance of public opinion and how it influences government policies. How the elite formulate policies and the relevance of public opinion towards policies. Nwankwo (1990:123) explains that public opinion is one of those terms, which eludes precise definition. In its common use, public opinion refers to the composite reactions of the general public on issues, which affect them. He defined it as not just what people think, more even what they say public, but rather, what in practice they want to bring into effect. Thomas Hobbes observes that this serves as a basic instrument in evaluating the role and functions of government and the level of its effectiveness and impact on the political system. In every government, public opinion is the measure of central tendency for democracy both in theory and practice.

Taiwo and Olanijan (1974), submit that public opinion refers to the sum total of citizens‘ view on matters of public policy at any given time; reflecting the way people think on subjects of national interest. Public opinion can also be described according to Lea (1978), as the opinion held by groups of individuals on a particular issue. Hence, it is not necessary unanimous majority opinion, since minority views can carry more influence if expressed effectively when the rest of the public are divided or apathetic on a particular matter. Public opinion is very crucial in any society. Every democracy is predicated upon the right of the citizen to freely express himself. Even from the time of the Greeks, public opinion has always been considered a guiding ethic of government. The foregoing is given more impetus, if we take into consideration, the fact that elected make policies for the people, based on the peoples‘ wishes and aspirations, and there is always the xxv need to listen to the voice of the world that ―the voice of the people, is the voice of God‖. This voice of the people may either be expressed opinion or feelings toward decision which government has already made (fuel subsidy removal) or contemplates making (adopting gay marriage and the introduction of five thousand Naira note). The public opinion may be for or against the government. Every government is always assessed at the court of public opinion and that is why it is advisable for government to enunciate programmes that will meat with the approval of the people. The annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election by General Ibrahim Babagida, which brought the views of Nigerians under one canopy, there have not been any other issue that made them to have one voice or gave them one voice; but the fuel subsidy removal.

The pervasive importance of petroleum to socioeconomic development and political stability of a country make its pricing very crucid and sensitive. Given Nigerians past experience with the price of petroleum, the management and productive of the sector. In the past three decades, oil has played a critical role in the Nigeria economy. On the average, it has accounted for 70 percent of the government revenue, 90 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and 12 per cent of the real gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, oil, as a energy resource, affects all modes of transportation (air, rail, road and sea) and thus, has implications for the movement of goods, services and people. Developments in the oil sector have also major implications for industrial production as oil and its derivatives are used in the production of goods and services. The unrealizable status of electricity in the country forces many industries firms to operate their own products. In the agricultural sector, xxvii farmers depend on oil products to move their inputs to the farms as well as evaluate their produce. Also, give the country‘s high dependence or road haulage, gasoline and diesel assumes a high significance in the transportation sub-sector. Clearly, the price of oil products would affect the costs and profitability of many Nigeria firms, as well as the welfare of a vast number of Nigerians. Hence, the price of petroleum products and their availability are of major interests to Nigeria governments, yet, the civil society and the masses. Yet the pricing of crude oil and refined petroleum products in Nigeria has not been generally well understood. The debate on petroleum pricing has centered on whether the pump price should reflect the full cost of production (including refining and distribution costs) and its opportunity cost c9against the background that oil is a tradable goods), or contain elements of subsidy. On the other hand, it is often argued that the greatest the xxviii amount of subsidy, the less resources available for it for the execution of development projects. (This view is predicated on the argument that if petroleum on the appropriately priced, it would ensure supply adequacy, efficiency distribution, viability of the firms and enhance government‘s capacity to generate and undertake core capital projects). There is a strong view that given critical role of oil in the Nigeria economy, pricing domestically consumed crude at export parityis insensitive to the plight of Nigerians, majority of whom live below the poverty line, and the wide wage differentid between industrial and developing countries. At this junction, the work highlights on the view of scholars concerning public policies or the deregulation of the clan stream oil sector (also known as the fuel subsidy removal), as well as the relationship. Babs Conley (1998:34), deregulation is the removal on simplification of government races and regulations that constrain the operation of market forces. Deregulation does not mean elimination of laws against fraud, but elimination or reducing control of low business done, thereby, moving towards a free market. Ajinde Olu Washeti (1998:61), had it that deregulation is the removal or withdrawal of side control of economic activities, for the active participation of private sector group and individual entrepreneurs in the economy. M. Katz and C. Malphaerson (2006:51) who were international Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank representatives support the deregulation programme. They had it that if the governments do not remove the oil subsidy, there would still be lack of transparency in the oil and gas sector, massive corruption, large scale inefficiency and waste. Babanjide Soyade (12008:14) contributed that the deregulation policy will be beneficial to the Nigerian economy, because it will create a market environment that will make it easy for the government to sell the countries refineries for better management and efficient, therefore, with out the policy of deregulation, it would be difficult for investors to place appropriate values on the refineries. President Olusegun Obasanjor (2006) admitted that Nigeria, over the past three decades had not effectively utilized the huge oil revenue. This is as a result of lack of open power governance. Many socio- political and economic challenges that the nation (Nigeria) face seems to coacese around that oil has not benefited the vast majority on population of Nigeria Adaumeokoli (2006:8) say that significant savings in foreign exchange will result when the privatized new refineries are in operation. The nation currency will most likely strengthen and there will be local and foreign private capital flows into the Nigeria economy and there will be adequate jobs. Based on this assumption above, it is believed that the policy will bring above effective competition and efficiency and this will kick off the price reduction of petroleum. It is in this highlight of this, that the view of scholars who see the policy of deregulation policy fail to see the consequences of the policy on the local market and industries. And the widing gap-between the rich and poor and developing country-Nigeria. To Mohammod Sumugi (2006:50), the Nigerian government like its counter parts in some developing countries has always communicated the potential benefits of deregulation in absolute terms. In the case of Nigeria, a gradual approach to withdraw subsidy which Hassan petrol price by more than 49% between 1999 and 2002 had failed to deliver promised infrastructure, failed to improve the social sector and economic development.

In essence, the  deregulation policy is therefore, not capable of developing the Nigeria economy but will only be for the satisfaction of the foreign investors. Raph Egha (2001:12) see the deregulation policy as a deceitful way of the developed countries, He contributed: I like the developed nations and their tricks they play on the rest of the world, Asia, Latin America and they compel the third world and trick them to adopt in their invest and to the interest of the developing nation-Nigeria. To ascertain that the deregulation policy is foreign influence, Alinde Oluwashontin (2006:51) say that Buhari refusal petropetrolum subsidy, privatize and liberalize trade as directed by the IMF and World Bank, had results like Nigeria economic interest globally, the refusal to honour Nigeria‘s letter of credit, reschedule debts, suspension of all discussions with Nigeria for the xxxiii loans. Aduma Ahamed (2006:30) added that the policy of deregulation is for the benefit of the Multi-national companies and in open market, will not give spare for local industries to take part in the policy. To review on the concept of policy, in everyday discourse, whether private or public sector, the concept of policy is often use. Davis and Filley (1977), ―a policy is a statement of a principle or group of principles, with their supporting rules of action, that conditions and governs the achievement of certain objectives to which a business is directed‖. Coventry and Baker (1985), see policy as the guidelines, laid down in generd or specific terms to reach the long-range or targets set by the objectives‖. In simple terms, Jones et al (1998:203), see a policy as ―a generd guide to action‖. While Katz and Kahn (1966:477), believe organizational policies are abstractions or generalizations about organizational behaviour, at a level that involves the structure of the organization. Obikeze and Obi (2004:87), see policy as the guiding principle towards the realization of organizational objectives. N.U Akpan (1982:32), who defined policy as ―a form of law made by the governing bodies of organizations to govern, direct, control, and regulate members of the organizations‖. He went further to point out that this ―may take legal form of laws passed by the legislature, decisions of a government cabinet, or boards of directions of public corporations or private companies, and even instruction issued by departmental authorities, and so on‖. While Akpan‘s Definition may be regarded as general and broad, Thomas Dye‘s definition is more specific. According to him, public policy is ―whatever the government chooses to do or not to do‖. It follows from this definition that it is not only in situations when government decides to take action about issue do we have public policy but that it is also a policy position, if government decides to do nothing about policy problem‘ another scholar Carl friedich, defines public policy as ―a proposed course of action of a person, group, or government providing obstacles and opportunities which the policy was proposed to utilize and overcome in an effort to reach a goal or realize an objective or purpose‖. Professor James Anderson insists that policy ―a purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors dealing with a problem or matter concern‖. In this definition, Anderson further classified that policy ―focuses attention on what is actually done as against what is proposed or intended. Another salient feature in Anderson‘s definition is that public policies are those policies developed by governmental bodies and official‘, an action which could be influenced by ―nongovernmental actors and factors‖.

With the views of the mentioned scholars, was can say that public policy refers to those define acts or actions of government, geared towards the fulfillment of the obligations of government on the citizens, that is, the maintenance of law and order, and the provision of necessary social and economic facilities needed for an enhanced standard of living of the people-public policy is usually organized around programmes and the strategies to be adopted for its implementation towards the achievement of the stated objectives outlined. Public policy according to Anderson can be better understood within certain conceptual categories outlined below:

  1. Policy Inputs
  2. Policy Decisions.
  3. Policy Statement
  4. Policy output
  5. Policy Outcome
  6. Policy Input:- They are decision refer to all the demands or supports on the system. It can come in a way of demands or supports on the system. Policy demands are those demands or claims made upon public officials by other actors private or officials.
  7. Policy Decisions:- They are decisions made by public officials that authorize or give and content public actions. In this sense, the decision by the Nigeria government to remove subsidy on fuel is a policy decision.
  8. Policy Statement:- Policy statements are authoritative pronouncements of government indication what government wants to do and how it wants to do it. The deregulation of the downstream oil sector is seen as a policy statement.
  9. Policy Output:- It refers to what the government does in response to a public opinion
  10. Policy Outcomes:- It is the effect or impact of policy on the target population or society as a whole. To gain deeper insight on the subject matter of public policy, it is worthy to note the two derisions of public policy.

The Reformist and nationalist Perspectives. The Reformist scholars are of the view that the public policy (on the fuel subsidy removal). Hence, the two contending scholars (reformist and nationalists) are either in support of the policy or against the policy. The reformist had it that there is the need for interaction between the less developed countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America and the developed countries of European and America. That this interaction will foster development among the third world countries or less developed countries. The reformist schools of thought is led by an American economist Bill Warren, who also obstacle that imperialist relationship is not of the third world and the developed xxxix world does not constitute an obstacle towards the development of the third world countries. Other disciples of the reformist school such as M. Katz and C. Malphaerson (2006:51) who were IMF and World Bank representatives support the deregulation programme. They had it that if the government do not remove subsidy, there would still be lack of transparency in the oil and gas, massive corruption, large scale inefficiency and waste. Babjide Soyade (2008:14) contributed that the deregulation policy will be beneficial to Nigeria economy because it will create a market environment that will make it easy for the government to sell the countries refineries for better management and efficiency, therefore, without the policy of deregulation, it would be difficult for investors to place appropriate values on the refineries. xl Adaumeokoli (2006:8) say that significant savings in foreign exchange will result when the privatized new refineries are in operation. The naira currency will hostel likely strengthen and there will be local and foreign private capital flows into the Nigerian economy and there will be the Nigerian economy. And there will be adequate jobs. The views of the reformist are criticized by the nationalist school. The nationalist, who are mostly influenced by Marxism, had it that the interaction of the third world with the developed countries is of negative effect. Based on their view that industrialization does not mean development but a means to end, which is development. They also had it that most of the industries that exist in the third world countries are merely assembly plant and extension of the industries, located outside the third world, such as the Anamco Motor xli industries and Peugeot car assembly (etc). This process is known as transfer of technology (Abeh, 2000:64). Ralph Egha (2001:12) sees the deregulation policy as a deceitful way of the developed countries. He contributed: ―I like the developed nations and their tricks world, Asia Latin America and they cannel the third world and trick them to adopt in their interest and to the interest of the developing nation-Nigeria. Aduma Ahamed (2006: 30) added that the policy of deregulation is for the benefit of the multi national companies and in open market, will not give spice for local industries to take part in the policy. This works however examines the relationship or how public opinion affects whether the deregulation policy is detriment to the Nigeria masses (who are the ruled, and are also in the majority) or is the policy for the advantage of the few ruling class, few individuals as well xlii as foreign investors, who hide under the umbrella of the multi national or no development in the country.


Recently in Nigeria, public policies have affected the lives of the Nigerian people. The work optimistically will be of great value to the contributors of literature on policy formulation in Nigeria. Therefore, it is to inspire and guide researchers who in the future want to enroll in more studies. This work will help policy makers and executors to consider their nation while attempting to make policies in Nigeria as well as other nations. With this, it is believed that the study will contribute to the economic, political, educational, social development of Nigeria, hence beneficial to the Nigeria public.


The system theory will be the theoretical framework of analysis. System theory was made popular by David Easton who sees political life as a system of behaviour with established set of interaction for the authoritative allocation of the values of society through an input and output matrix. In this sense, therefore, public policy may be seen as a response of the political system to the demands, expectations and as aspirations, of the citizens or in a more technical sense, to the demands arising from its environment. Input from environment into the system consist of demands and supports. On the one hand, demands are the claims or expectations of individuals and groups on the political system for action to satisfy interest or needs. On the other hands, support represents the willingness of the citizens to accept the decisions or value allocations, xliv which is made in response to demands on the system. It is this authoritative allocation (or outputs) that constitute public policy. Output is thus, the converted demands (input) upon the system. Furthermore, systems analysis involves the concepts of feed-back. Feedbacks are new demands from the policy outputs ―which lead to further outputs in a never-ending flow of public policy‖. The usefulness of the systems theory lies in its attempt to show how public policy can affect and be affected by the environment, as well as the demandconversion process. However, beyond this, the theory says very little concerning how decisions are made and policies developed within the ―black box‖ or the conversion process. Thus, according to Anderson, the usefulness of the systems theory is limited by its highly general nature. For instance, one of the most important limitations of the systems theory is the assumption that public policy is the synthesized outcome of system xlv demands including, of course, demands from such groups as the peasantry. This cannot be entirely true, for the peasants could not have chosen to remain poor and hungry or preferred to have the rural and agricultural sector underdeveloped. According to Dahl (1991), any collection of elements that can be considered a system, a galaxy, a football team, a legislature, a political party. David Easton in his work believed that, while the political system receives input from the environment informs of demands and supports, it also produces output. A political system is that system of interactions in any society, through which binding or authoritative allocations are made and implemented in form of policies and decisions. The output flows back into the environment through a feedback mechanism giving rise to fresh demands. A breakdown analysis is described below: xlvi Demand; it involves what the Nigerian masses need, such as basic amenities like good roads, hospitals, schools as well as job creation and security. This demand is defined in terms of Input. Support: it is defined interms of output. It involves the willingness of the citizens (Nigeria) to accept the decisions or value allocations, which is made in response to demands on the system. It is the authoritative allocation, that constitutes public policy. That is the removal of fuel subsidy, to generate employment and provide more basic amenities. Thereby, asking the Nigeria masses to accept the support of deregulation policy. Feedback: it is the reaction of the people from the output. Hence, the feedback on the Deregulation policy is expressed in terms of public opinion. As the feedback of the policy on deregulation was the unwillingness of Nigerians to accept the policy. To an extent, resulted to strikes among the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). xlvii To draw the curtain on systems theory, it is seen that in terms of utility, systems theory has bees found useful in the study of public policies. First it tends to show that public policies are not made from the vacuum, that they are products of the demands from the environmental. Thus, it tends to situate environmental factors as being vary important in the policy process. The theory is also very useful in comparative analysis, as it helps in different countries in terms of the response of the political system to the demands of its environment. We can then be in a batter position to understand the difference between developing and developed countries in terms of public policy process. Also, this systems theory enriches our study of not only public policy analysis but of political science in general.


Drawing from the forgoing, the study will be enriched in the following:- i. Public policies in Nigeria are produces of public opinion. ii. Public opinion seems to influence public policies in Nigeria. iii. Deregulation policy may aggravate poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria.


Data will be gathered from text books, articles, magazines, internet materials, Newspapers as well as published and unpublished writings, records and documentaries, (secondary source). While the qualitative method will be the method of data analysis.


The research work is on the fuel subsidy policy or the deregulation of the downstream oil sector that was adopted by the federal government of Nigeria, to take effect from January 1, 2012. Though the policy took effect on the given date, the work is the therefore to examine on the impact of the policy on the lives of Nigeria masses as well as the problem of the policy.

 1.9 Definition of Terms Deregulation:

The act or process of removing or reducing state regulations. Subsidy: A benefit given by the government, usually in form of a cash payment or reduction. Public policy: A system of laws, regulatory measures, course of action, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a government entity on its representatives. l Multi National Companies: A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country that its home country. Such companies have offices and/or factories in different countries and usually have a centralized head office where they co-ordinate global management. Very large multi nationals have budgets that exceed those of small countries. And most times, they come inform of foreign investors. Underdeveloped or Less developed Countries (LDCS): Consist of the countries of the third world of Africa, Asia and lain America that are referred to as agricultural because they rely on agriculture and have little or no industries, for manufacturing. Charactersied with:

  1. Economic. Financial, technological and cultural dependency.
  2. Lots of import substitution industries which depend on external resources. c. Poverty
  3. High level of child mortality
  4. Unemployment f. Political instability g. Malnutrition Developed Countries: They are also known as the advances countries of Europe and Western America. They are called industrialized countries because of their advanced technology. They are often characterized by the following:
  5. High level of employment
  6. Self-reliance
  7. Independent control of economy
  8. Self-sufficiency in food production.
  9. Incearse in the ability to guard national independence Economic Policy: It is a guideline, used in the economic development of a nation. Example, Structural lii Adjustment programme (SAP), deregulation of the downstream oil sector etc.

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