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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Class interest and public policy in Nigeria: an analysis of governments' policies on agriculture and housing
Author:Ibeanu, O.O.ISNI
Periodical:The African Review: A Journal of African Politics, Development and International Affairs (ISSN 0856-0056)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Nigeria
West Africa
Subjects:interest groups
government policy
housing policy
agricultural policy
Management, Public Administration
Agriculture and state
Abstract:This paper first argues that in Nigeria the idea of public interest, conceived as a harmonious set of interests shared by the generality of the public, is a myth. What obtains in reality is that specific group interests are usually projected as the public interest. The true nature of these interests is shown and it is argued that they are dominant class interests. Public policies and programmes are determined by these interests, the form of government notwithstanding. In other words, government programmes are never geared towards the interest of 'the generality' of the public. Next, the paper discusses the nature of dominant interests in Nigeria and their relationship to public policy. To underscore this, two past government programmes are analysed, namely the 1976-1980 programme of large-scale agriculture (with a close examination of the Bakolori project in Sokoto State), and the 1980-1983 low-cost housing programme. These two are particularly interesting because not only were they publicized as being of benefit to all Nigerians, but they were executed under two different regimes: one military, the other civilian. However both programmes, in spite of their populist expressions, basically served the interests of a minority of Nigerians whose interests dominate society and who control the Nigerian State. Note, ref.