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THE STORY OF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PROGRAMME IN NIGERIA FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE ORGANIZED LABOUR

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Author(s): NWAGBARA, EUCHARIA NWABUGO

Journal: Australian Journal of Business and Management Research
ISSN 1839-0846

Volume: 1;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 30;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: structural adjustment programme | organized labour/interest groups | protests | conditionality

ABSTRACT
The process of achieving the set objectives of structural adjustment programme (SAP) produced adverse social effects that put to question the sincerity of purpose of the SAP policy designers and implementers. To be able to generate conclusions concerning how the politics of enhancing the “well-being” of the people via SAP played out in the Nigerian society, in terms of how well the programme served the intended purpose, questions have to be asked, and responses elicited. Earlier attempts at appraising the SAP were geared toward examining the successes or failures of the adjusting countries in implementing the policies. Such appraisal gave rise to concern on the issue of good governance as a necessary and inevitable prerequisite of effective economic reform. At the same time, not much effort was made at ascertaining the social fallouts of the entire reform process. Even when the outburst of public outcry within the adjusting countries necessitated the recognition of the importance of the social dimension of SAP, little effort was made at understanding the problem from the perspective of the aggrieved populace. What we see is a proliferation of World Bank sponsored studies on the issue that hardly take cognizance of the people‟s feelings. Thus the findings of such studies cannot be said to be representative of the views of all the stakeholders. This paper attempts to fill this gap by examining organized labour‟s/interest groups‟ response to SAP from the lens of the public sector workers and why they reacted the way they did toward the entire process. A sample of 357 respondents was randomly selected from university teachers, students and other public servants within Calabar metropolis. The findings, which were described in simple percentages, show significant relationship between economic hardship, repressive attitude of government, political uncertainty and interest groups‟ protests against SAP. The author recommends the provision of adequate safety nets whenever stringent policies are to be introduced so as to cushion the adverse effect on the people; utilization of the collective bargaining tool by the parties in industrial relations as well as the implementation of SAP with „a human face‟, among others.
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