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1.1 Concept of Globalization


The everyday things that we take for granted often connect us to faraway people and places.
Consider, for example, the morning routine of a lecturer working in the federal University in
Ibadan. After waking and taking a hot shower in a cold harmattan morning, she puts on a
designer sweater and a pair of khaki pants. She prepares and drinks a cup of coffee and serves
her five years old son a bowl of cornflakes before heading off to work. Each of these products
followed a complex path from a different part of the world to take its place in this womans
morning routine.
Let's start with the sweater. Its story begins with sheep grazing on the plains of Australia. There,
farm workers sheared the sheep's wool. At an Australian factory, workers spun the wool into
yarn and dyed it. The yarn travelled to another factory in Portugal, where workers knitted and
sewed the sweater according to a pattern produced by an Italian fashion designer. From
Portugal, the sweater travelled to a warehouse in Lagos, then to the mall in Ibadan where this
woman bought it.
The khaki pants began as cotton in a field in Pakistan. The cotton was harvested and ginned in
a nearby town and then transported to Karachi, where workers at a factory spun, wove, and
finished the khaki cloth. In an Indonesian factory operating under contract with a Nigerian
retailer, a woman sewed this cloth into pants, which then travelled first to the retailers Lagos
warehouse and then to another store at the mall, where they caught this womans eye.
The coffee beans grew on a plant in the mountains of Kenya. Kenyan farm workers harvested
the coffee cherries and then dried and hulled them to produce raw coffee beans for shipment
to the warehouse of an importer in Virginia. From there they travelled to a plant in California,
where workers roasted the beans and packed them for delivery to the Nestle Company in
Nigeria, who in turn processed and packaged them into coffee powders and sachets, sold them
to local retailers, from which this woman bought them.
The corn used in making the cornflakes was planted in a cornfield in America. American farm
workers harvested the corn and sent it to a Kelloggs company to be processed into flakes.
From there, it was packaged and shipped to Lagos, from where it was delivered to a local store
in Ibadan where she bought it.
Before she has even left her house, this woman has used products that tie her to hundreds of
workers on six different continents. Although she may not be aware of it, the car that she drives
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and her activities at work during the day will link her to hundreds of other people working in
different parts of the worldpeople she may never meet but whose lives are tied to her own in
the complex web that is our global economy.
Globalization refers to the growing interdependence of countries resulting from the increasing
integration of trade, finance, people, and ideas in one global marketplace. Globalization
constitutes a multiplicity of linkages and interconnections that transcend the nation states (and
by implication the societies) which make up the modern world system. It defines a process
through which events, decisions and activities in one part of the world can come to have a
significant consequence for individuals and communities in quite distant parts of the globe
(McGrew, 1990).
In his paper "The Consequences of Modernity", Anthony Giddens defined globalization as the
intensification of social relations throughout the world, linking distant localities in such a way
that local happenings are formed as a result of events that occur many miles away and vice
versa (Giddens, 1991).
Globalization can also refer to those spatial-temporal processes of change, which constitutes
the fundament of the transformation of human concerns in an organization, linking together
and expanding human activity across regions and continents (Held et al, 1999).
In ancient times, traders carried the most exotic and valuable goods over long distances.
Caravans brought Chinese silk to the Roman Empire, and during the Middle Ages Arabs sold
ivory from East Africa and spices from Indonesia to the merchants of Venice. Until about 1500,
however, long-distance trade played only a minor economic role in just a few parts of the world,
and nearly all of the world's people relied on foods and fibres grown within a short distance of
their homes (The World of People, 2006).
A truly global economy first began to develop in the 15th century with the Age of Exploration,
when political and military support from emerging nation states and advances in seafaring
technology enabled European merchants to establish trading networks that spanned the globe.
Europeans established colonies, slave plantations, and trading outposts in tropical regions to
grow or obtain goods unavailable in Europe, such as sugar, tobacco, coffee, and spices.
Europeans also seized parts of North America and Siberia for their furs and abundant timber.
During the 19th century, industrialization in Europe and North America dramatically increased
the volume and economic importance of international trade. The industrialized countries
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imported raw materials and foods from around the world and exported manufactured goods.
Because business owners in the industrialized world retained the wealth generated from trade
and manufacturing, people in other parts of the world could not afford the technology necessary
to compete with the industries of Europe and North America. Without the new technologies,
these people had to continue selling raw materials to obtain manufactured goods. The main
exception to this pattern was Japan, whose strong government protected local producers from
foreign competition and channelled the countrys wealth into industrial facilities. By the 20th
century the world was divided into two unequal parts: the industrialized countries and the rest
of the world, which the industrialized countries dominated economically and militarily (The
World of People, 2006).
Majid Tehranian defines globalization as a process that began more than 5000 years ago but
was significantly accelerated after the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1991. The elements of
globalization include capital, labour, management, news, images, and all transporter
information. The main drivers of globalization are multinational corporations, transnational
media organizations, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and
alternative governmental organization. From humanistic perspective, globalization implies
both negative and positive consequences: narrows and widens the gap between nations,
increases and decreases the political domination, soothes and multiplies the cultural identities
(Sandu, 2012).
During the 20th century several new developments quickened the pace of globalization and
strengthened the economic links among countries. One of the most important changes was the
drop in transportation costs, made possible by the availability of inexpensive oil. Another key
development was the emergence of more and more multinationals, or corporations with
operations in more than one country. A third factor that promoted globalization was the creation
of international economic institutionssuch as the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (the World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade
Organization (WTO)to help regulate the flow of trade and money among nations. Finally,
advances in telecommunications and computer technology made it much easier for managers
to coordinate economic activity among corporate divisions, clients, and vendors in different
parts of the world (The World of People, 2006).
Globalization is usually used as a handy form to describe the spread of communication
production and connection technologies throughout the world. Most often, the term

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globalization is used in a confusing manner with respect to the efforts of IMF, World Bank and
the institutions to create a free global market for goods and services. This political project
otherwise significant (and potentially harmful for many poorer nations) is in fact designed to
develop and exploit more complex processes. Therefore, globalization involves spreading of
ideas, practices and technologies, and it is little more than internationalization and
universalization. It is not simply the modernization or westernization. Certainly it is much more
than market liberalization (Sandu, 2012).
By the end of the 20th century a firms research, development, marketing, and financial
management no longer needed to occur in the same place, or even in the same country, as its
manufacturing operations. Increasingly, service activities dominated the economies of wealthy
countries, while manufacturing declined in relative importance. To cut costs, companies
relocated some kinds of manufacturing to developing countries, where wages are lower. Such
activities included garment production and the assembly of simple parts.
Other activities remained in the economically developed countries because they required a
highly skilled workforce or proximity to wealthy consumers. Examples are advanced health
care, financial services, retail, engineering, and software development, all considered service
activities.
Many of the economically developed countries banded together in large trading blocs, or
economic unions, to promote mutual prosperity. Examples include the European Union (EU)
and the free-trade zone established by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
These trading blocs expanded the market areas within which companies could operate without
facing customs duties or other kinds of barriers (Tabb, 2008).
1.1.1 My Perspective on Globalisation
In my own opinion, I see globalisation as another stage of development in human history. Karl
Marx, writing in the 19th century, highlighted several stages of development in human history.
The first major stage following after simple bands of hunters was Communalism, where
property was collectively owned, work was done in common, and goods were shared equally.
The second was Slavery, caused by the extension of domineering elements within the family
and by some groups being physically overwhelmed by others. Slaves did a variety of tasks, but
their main job was to produce food. The next stage was Feudalism, where agriculture remained
the principal means of making a livelihood, but the land which was necessary for that purpose
was in the hands of the few, and they took the lion's share of the wealth. The workers on the
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land (now called serfs) were no longer the personal property of the masters, but were tied to
the land of a particular manor or estate. When the manor changed hands, the serfs had to remain
there and provide goods for the landlord - just keeping enough to feed themselves. Just as the
child of a slave was a slave, so the children of serfs were also serfs.
Then came Capitalism, under which the greatest wealth in the society was produced not in
agriculture but by machines - in factories and in mines. Like the preceding phase of feudalism,
capitalism was characterized by the concentration in a few hands of ownership of the means of
producing wealth and by unequal distribution of the products of human labour. The few who
dominated were the bourgeoisie who had originated in the merchants and craftsmen of the
feudal epoch, and who rose to be industrialists and financiers. Meanwhile, the serfs were
declared legally free to leave the land and go in search of employment in capitalist enterprises.
Their labour thereby became a commodity - something to be bought and sold.
Globalisation, now an advanced form and perhaps, the extra gasoline in the fuel tank of
capitalism, has brought about what I term as Globalised Capitalism. In this age of
globalisation, even greater wealth is produced in the society. Only this time, the society is no
longer merely the area of space around our immediate existence, but now the entire world
integrated into a unified (in strict globalised sense) large, but also ironically small society. And
just like capitalism, this globalised world is now divided into two unequal parts: the
industrialised countries (bourgeoisie countries) and the rest of the world (the proletariat
countries), which the industrialised countries dominate economically, socially, culturally,
politically, and even militarily. In earlier capitalism, each country developed a national
economy that was linked to others through trade and finances in an integrated international
market. The new transnational stage of world capitalism involves the globalization of the
production process itself, which breaks down and functionally integrates what were previously
national circuits into new global circuits of production and accumulation.
In this stage of development, the issue of class struggle (though still very much in existence)
has gone beyond the level of the society (in the capitalist sense). It has now manifested to the
level of international relations, international politics and policies, ideological wars, free-trade
zones, global terrorism, etc., in which states employ different techniques such as diplomacy,
war, economic sanctions, political instability, etc. in their struggle for power and dominance.
Globalization creates new forms of transnational class relations across borders and new forms
of class divisions globally and within countries, regions, cities and local communities, in ways

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quite distinct from the old national class structures and international class conflicts and
alliances. If I am permitted to paraphrase Karl Marxs words, I would say the history of the
hitherto existing globalised world is the history of the advancement of capitalism.
1.2 Effects of Globalization on Nigerias Socio-economic and Political System
The world is linked as never before due to advances in communication and transportation and
due also to trade agreements that have lowered or eliminated barriers in the exchange of goods.
But this growing interdependence has not come without wavering effects. As a member of the
international community, Nigeria is not shielded from globalization. However, the country is
exposed to both the positive and negative effects of globalization. This section of the discourse
on globalization will examine how it has affected Nigerias socio-economic and political
system.
Globalization is a very uneven process with unequal distribution of its benefits and losses. This
imbalance leads to polarization between the developed countries that gain, and the developing
countries that lose out (Obadan, 2001). Nigeria is economically weak due to inadequate
domestic economic capacity and social infrastructure needed to boost the countrys
productivity, growth and competitiveness. Secondly, the economy is made weaker by
monocultural dependency and unfavourable terms of trade in its export trade as well as
excruciating debt and debt service burdens. And thirdly, before 1986, economic regimes were
regulated and the country pursued expansionary fiscal and monetary policies in its development
efforts (Obadan, 1998). These problems were exacerbated by political instability and
corruption. As a result, investment choices were distorted, which eroded the confidence
especially of foreign investors.
Following the globalization trend, Nigeria has been liberalizing its economy. But the real
sectors have had to function under conditions of unstable macroeconomic management,
inadequate technology and credit facilities. These have proved to be an obstacle to
strengthening the productive base, especially of agriculture and industry, in order to make them
export-oriented. Thus, in spite of the openness of the economy, external trade performance has
not been encouraging.
Oil exports dominate Nigerias foreign trade, accounting for more than 80 percent of exports
since 1985 (Onwuka and Eguavoen, 2007). Food, agricultural raw materials and manufactures
accounted for only 1 per cent of total export in 1990, but this fell to 0 per cent in 2000. In
between that period, the country never exported ores and metals (World Bank, 2002).
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Instability in the world oil market sometimes negatively affects oil exports, leading in such
circumstances to declines in foreign exchange earnings. This partly explains the countrys
recourse to external funding in order to meet its development challenges. While government
expenditure continues to follow a negative path amid declining oil prices, eroding oil revenue
have left the Naira under immense pressure with currency vulnerability lashing at most sectors
in the nation. This awful combination of a weakening Naira, depressed oil prices and mounting
fears over a potential deceleration in economic momentum has left the Central Bank of Nigeria
under immense pressure to act swiftly. What aggravated the situation further is the swelling
budget deficit of $11 billion in 2016 which has prompted Nigeria to borrow as a means of
plugging the record shortfall while also promoting economic stability (Otunuga, 2016).
In discussing globalization vis--vis Nigerias development, two issues deserve consideration.
The first relates to the Washington consensus and the second concerns the wisdom of opening
the economy to international monopoly capitalism. In addressing these issues, we observe that
the IMF/World Bank and their Western collaborators are satisfied with the peripheral role of
Nigeria as an exporter of raw materials, especially crude petroleum, to and importer of
manufactured goods from the West. In this connection, Stewart (2002) maintains that the
capitalists need to sustain the import capacity of peripheral economies in order to facilitate
continued production and maximize profits at the centre explains why in the periphery
countries raw material exports are encouraged. In that event, foreign exchange receipts are low,
which makes external loan contraction inevitable for social and economic development.
Nigeria is no exception to this rule. But then, contracted debts due for repayment, which the
country cannot actually pay, are only being reprogrammed, not written off, because their
continued servicing helps to maintain financial stability at the centre (Onwuka and Eguavoen,
2007).
Also, Information and communication technology (ICT) is playing a key role in globalization
and integration. It is emerging as an important catalyst for transformation of business, society
and government in the globalizing world. Today ICT forms the backbone of several industries
such as airlines, banking and research. It is also an important value-adding component of
consumer products such as vehicles, camera, television, mobile telephone etc. It has improved
the transfer of information from the sender to the receiver at a minimal cost and time. That is a
person in Nigeria can communicate with his friend in United Kingdom with less than one
hundred Naira and within two minutes (Didigwu, 2015).

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The Internet has become a key element in the globalization of society, providing technology
without boundaries. The Internet has two basic characteristics. The first is that it has the richest,
biggest and wide ranging recourse of information in the entire world; the second is that it enable
people to obtain an interactive mechanism to instantly communicate with each other. It
provides a transparent window through which global experiences and best practices are shared.
It enables knowledge-networking, learning and saves cost. ICT facilitates data information
transmission, knowledge acquisition, dissemination and creation of value chain (Jaja, 2010).
With the above merits of ICT, it is an open, free and unregulated device, which brought
negative challenges that affects the youths. It influences and changes peoples moral
perspective and ethical values. One of the major negative challenges is the exposure of the
youth to Western Culture (Didigwu, 2015).
Globalization provides the opportunities to create wealth through the export-led growth, to
expand international trade in goods and services and to gain access to new ideas, technologies
and institutions. Globalization has reduced the barrier existing in international trade. The
reduction in those barriers has opened the door for export led growth. Since globalization
entails trade liberalization, it means that there is free and unrestricted movement of trade,
finance and investment across the international border. Globalization allows Nigeria to export
and import goods, capital and investment without restriction. It promotes the rapid output
growth that will increase national income and as a consequence enhance higher standard of
living of developing country like Nigeria (Didigwu, 2015).
Globalization has enriched the world economically, scientifically and culturally. This is
because; globalization opens the economies to a wide variety of consumption of goods, new
technology and knowledge. Through the ICT, globalization allows the access to ideas on new
things and best practices in all area of human endeavour. New designs, production technology,
new managerial practices, etc. are made available to people, thereby helping them to change
their old practices. These may lead to acquisition or imitation of foreign products, technologies
and cultural practices (Didigwu, 2015).
The major negative effects of globalization through ICT are the exposure of the youth to
negative Western culture. Most dangerous amongst them are: Pornography, money laundering,
cultism, international terrorism, drugs abuse, child abuse and Yahoo.com boys (419). In many
Nigerian Universities, polytechnics, Colleges of Education and urban centres, nudity has
become a rich and elegant dressing style. Mode of dressing expressed through the exposure of
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various parts of the body is now a common occurrence among the youth. The boys wear what
is referred to as sagging, whereby trousers is no longer worn around the waist but would be
hanging on the buttocks thereby exposing their underwear. Ladies wear clothes that expose
their breasts in order to conform to their newfound culture (Didigwu, 2015).
The current world order exemplified by globalization is skewed in favour of the advanced
capitalist societies. African leaders including Nigerians lack the political skills and zeal to
assiduously embark on the goal of development in the emergent globalization process. In the
words of George Obuoforibo;
The World Order that the North is fashioning through the process of
Globalization would certainly not be in the interest of Africa. This is
predicated on the fact through the mechanism of their policies and the multinational corporations they have already succeeded in pocketing the leaders
of Africa. This has given rise to African leaders pursuing anti people policies
mostly designed by WTO, IBRD and IMF (Obuoforibo, 2010).
Little wonder that African leaders policies more often than not are reactionary rather than
being proactive. For a country like Nigeria to fully participate in the complex and nebulous
global political economy, there is need for good governance, modern technology and good
infrastructure among others and of course all these are lacking (Oni, 2015).
1.3 Conclusion
In this paper, I have amply demonstrated the many and varied components of globalization and
how the force of globalization have impacted on Nigerias socio-economic and political
system. Undoubtedly, Nigeria, as an actor, has been responding to the many challenges thrown
up by the forces of globalization such as economic liberalization, Structural Adjustment
Programmes (SAP) etc. However, infrastructural decay, condition of poverty, ethno-religious
crises and bad governance are some of the surplus of factors pre-empting Nigerias integration
into the global system and by extension the achievement of national development. There is the
dire need for government at all levels to show and indeed demonstrate the political will and
zeal to cope and meet with the current global realities in its totality.

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