Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The president faces the daunting task of rebuilding a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, the NEW administration must defuse longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to build a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability. Despite some irregularities, the April 2003 elections marked the first civilian transfer of power in Nigeria's history. (Country Profile: Nigeria, Cia.gov)
Although some gains were made because of this return of revenue to the regions of derivation, the proportions were actually less than 20% of national revenue totals so in fact the regions experienced very little financial or budgetary momentum, setting up an easy move toward hyper-centralisation of the revenue-sharing system during the era of military rule from 1966-1979. (Suberu, 2002).
By the early 1980's Nigeria had become very dependent on oil, which accounted for 96% of export earnings, 81% of government earnings and 22% of GDP (Ogbe, 1992). Oil wealth increased dependence on imported goods while local industries were ignored. Consumption of imported goods became the order of the day.
The 1981 oil glut cau ...