DEPENDENCY its dependence on the centre. These influences include;

DEPENDENCY
THEORY

Dependency
has been defined as an explanation of the economic development of a state in
terms of the external influences (political, economic, and cultural) on
national development policies (Sunkel, 1969). Dependency theory simply tries to
locate and expatiate the factors that separate developed countries from
developing countries and vice versa. (Jhingan,2010) observed that there are
unequal centre-periphery relationships in which developing countries (such as
Nigeria) are dependent on developed or advanced countries in trade, investment,
technology and so on. Such dependence is manifested in forms of foreign aids, loans
and grants given to the less developed countries by developed countries through
foreign government or international loan. Following the line of thought of
dependency theorists, dependence and reliance of such is counter-productive as
such aids rarely influence development.

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In
development studies, dependency implies a situation in which a particular
country or region relies on another for support, survival and growth. The
theoretical premises of dependency theory are that:

1.      Poor
countries provide natural resources, cheap labour, and a destination for
obsolete technology and market for the wealthy nations, without which the
latter could not have the standard of living they enjoy today.

2.      Wealthy
nations actively perpetuate a state of dependence by various means. The
development of the centre causes the underdevelopment of the periphery and its
dependence on the centre. These influences include; economics, media control,
politics, banking and finance, education, culture, sports, and all other
spheres of human development.

3.      Wealthy
nations vehemently counter the attempts and efforts by dependent countries to
resist their influences by means of economic sanctions and the use of military
force.

The
dependency theory presents an approachable outlook to this project. The
economically buoyant and politically stable countries are regarded as Developed
nations while those countries that are economically backward with signs of
political instability are referred to as Developing countries or better still,
Third World Countries. The former are in the centre whereas the latter are in
the periphery. From the stance of dependency theory, the developed countries
responded with exploitation and dependency through various economic
liberalization tendencies as an excuse for foreign aid assistance to developing
nations. This theory provides better understanding of the process of
negotiation between Nigeria and international aid agencies and its mentors on
one hand and a developing country like Nigeria on the other hand. Dependency theorists
view foreign aid as a form of exploitation and self-enrichment – only the
elites become beneficiaries of nationally designed projects.

 

Socioeconomic Impact of
foreign aid

This
theory has often times been used as a critique of foreign aid programmes
(Robertson, 2004). Dependency theorists are of the opinion that the cause of
poverty and underdevelopment of countries in the periphery does not lie on
whether or not they are integrated into the world economic system but rather,
it is how they are integrated into the system. Theorist such as Frank, Santos,
Amin and Furtardo noted that the present socio-economic and political
dominating the periphery are that of historical international process.  The trend of the global system is such that
the centre develops to the detriment of the periphery. Initially, a lot of
countries in the periphery have been incorporated into the world economic
system as early as the colonial period. Secondly, foreign aid often leads
economic control and domination in developing or underdeveloped countries such
as Nigeria. The Bretton Woods institutions – the World Bank and International
Monetary Fund which are instruments of dispensing multilateral aid make as a
condition for rendering foreign aid or assistance the demand for a country to
open up her economy to foreign markets. By so doing, the growth of these
economies are hindered (impeded) as they are exposed to exploitation and
foreign control. They become victims to the harshness of the global market,
diminishing and discouraging the growth of infant industries in the country
which eventually deters development.

Thomas
Callaghy asserts that foreign aid dependency is simply a continuation of
Africa’s economic marginalisation and dependence on the West dominated world
economy. In Africa, foreign aid dependence has been cited as an impediment to
real economic and political development because the current aid system wastes
much national energy and political capital in interacting with donors.

In
conclusion, this theory serves as the most suitable and justifiable theory in
expatiating on the impact of foreign aid on Nigeria’s socioeconomic
development. The central message that this theory tries to pass across through
this research is that developing countries such as Nigeria should ensure real
and actual development through home grown efforts rather than relying on
foreign assistance that seems to plunge them deeper into underdevelopment.   

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