chapter  13
12 Pages

Towards Economic Freedom?

WithDavid Williams

In the 1979 election the average Nigerian voter, as Dr Ladun Anise of the University of Ife puts it, may have behaved “irrationally” with respect to measuring “his potential or actual political pay-offs” - or his standard of living. The voter concentrated instead on parochial political attachments. In the middle of President Shehu Shagari’s 1979–1983 term of office, it appears that in the next general election the voters may again attach more importance to matters such as the creation of states or the ethnic or family origins of the candidates than to economic affairs. If the voters do take economic performance into account when they go to the polls again, it may be the record of the state governments rather than of the Federal Government which will matter. Over 80 per cent of state funds come through the Federal Government.