In The Struggles of Post-Independence Nigeria, Ucheoma Nwagbara argues that despite Nigeria’s oil wealth and arable agricultural land, Nigerians are not any better today than they were before independence. Nwagbara examines Nigeria’s struggles with corruption, reckless government spending, poverty, inequality, crime, and violent insurgency to show how successive Nigerian leadership has failed to utilize the country’s enormous natural and human resources to improve citizens’ lives, eradicate poverty, and deliver broadly shared prosperity, especially to the middle class and the poor. Through his analysis, Nwagbara demonstrates that the nationalist ideals of dedicated and accountable leadership behind the struggle for independence in Nigeria have been betrayed as the emergent post-colonial leadership cared only for personal survival and gain. Despite these failures, Nwagbara reveals that Nigeria may still have a chance to improve and recover if Nigerians unite and demand real change through political and social activism.
Ucheoma Nwagbara is adjunct professor of public policy, health policy, urban sociology, and political economy at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Chapter One: The Economy: Shattered
Chapter Two: High Cost of Governance: “Nigerian Factor”
Chapter Three: Corruption
Chapter Four: Leadership: The Missing Link
Chapter Five: Summary and Conclusions
The Struggles of Post-Independence Nigeria should be a must-read for all and sundry, especially Nigerian political leaders and policymakers alike. Ucheoma Nwagbara’s very robust and in-depth analysis of post-colonial challenges facing oil-rich Nigeria is very timely.
The Struggles of Post-Independence Nigeria is an outstanding work of research on the problems facing a country so rich in natural and human resources. Ucheoma Nwagbara succeeds in demonstrating how corruption, the high cost of governance, and poor leadership have undermined economic development and entrenched poverty. Having worked in Nigeria twice, as a senior lecturer at the University of Maiduguri in 1977-78 and as a UNDP senior advisor on governance to the federal government of Nigeria from 2000 to 2002, I strongly recommend this book to readers with interests in Nigeria’s struggles for peace and prosperity.
The Struggles of Post-Independence Nigeria is an insightful study of the crisis of the Nigerian postcolonial state and society. The strength of this timely book lies in its engaging analysis of comprehensive scholarship on Nigerian political studies, deft articulation of the challenges of governance in Nigeria, and astute policy recommendations. An important book on Nigerian politics and society.