First of all, the word “Economics” is being used almost everywhere. You can hear words like “Try to economize your resources”, “Isaac is an economist”. Then, how do we define the core meaning of the economics? Before going into detail on the main post “History Of Economics In Nigeria”.

Economics is gotten from two Greek words, ‘ecos’ and ‘minal’ meaning household management. An economics refers to the effective management and control the production of goods, rendering of services and the supply of money and the factors of production such as land, labor, and capital. Economics is the science that studies human behavior as a relationship between ends an economy is an area in which different agents, professionals, and workers engage in production, commercial and consumption activities to see how money circulates and how scarce resources are allocated and distributed. It is the allocation of scarce resources through the process of exchange. Economics is a dismal science which teaches selfishness.

Brief History of Economics in Nigeria

Before the advent of colonialism, In the fifteenth century, then the foremost, major and most economic means of exchange were carried out using the system of trade by barter. This is a system of commerce which involves the exchange of goods for goods and services for services. The economic was an average economy because not everyone obtained utility. It was neither a capitalist, mixed nor socialist economy but was communal in nature (Communism– Communism is an economic system in which every single individual or citizen of a country or society contributes to the economic growth of that very community through their various institutions and enjoys rewards and privileges as a member of such community.

A communist state is usually classless and egalitarian society with a little or low significance of privatization. A common feature ownership of assets and the means of production. There is no conflict or clash or competition in the means of production because the economy is an economy of public ownership of the means of production, distribution an exchange.

History Of Economics In Nigeria

For instance, in a communist state, the land used for farming are owned by the community individuals do not possess the land because the land is owned by the society and if any harvest should be recorded on the effect of their agricultural activities, then collectively issued to the various participators. In this economic system, there is collective and public ownership of anything that concerns or has to do with the economy, industrial and trading activity in the community.

A communist state is usually classless and egalitarian society with little or low significance of privatization.it has never been practiced and was not sure of how effective it is. It is the highest form of socialism), that is the whole community worked for the common good of everyone and effective communication to meet various requirements. If Mr. A has yam but needs milk, he had to look for someone willing to give milk in exchange for yam. It benefited everyone but looking for a partner to trade goods and services was a strain because a lot of distance would have to be covered in order to see someone willing to trade.

    Then came the era of slave trade, which spanned form the late sixteenth century to the eighteenth century (1680-1803). This case the major economic activity was based on the acquisition and trade of slaves. Slave trade was a boom due to the presence of the Atlantic plantation system, which had a significant increase during that time. This brought about the end of trade by barter since acceptable means of exchange were created. The white men needed workers to work on their land and can to Africa to round up mostly men for their plantation and enable

Industrialization in their societies. The rulers of the land rounded by able-bodied men and women and sold them to the white men in exchange for certain item i.e matchstick, mirrors, gin etc. The system of economics her was privatized in the hand of the rulers since only them have the power to sell slaves, thus making it a capitalist system (Capitalist economy- a Capitalist market is a market thriving which private individuals own and control the means of production and distribution of goods and services in the economy.

The economy is usually filled with a lot of competition as the private individuals strive for their products to be sold. The freedom given to the private firm results to an increase in production activity because the competition in the capitalist system makes every businessman or capitalist will improve in the quality of his product; failure to do will see make other capitalists to outrank him. Unlike the socialist system, the capitalist system cannot create monopolistic in nature.

Since the economy is placed in the hands of the private individuals, this means that it is the individuals and not the state that finances the business enterprises, controls it and manages it.  Demand and Supply plays a key role in this economy because once a product is on a high demand, the price is likely to go high and those products become available and accessible to those who can afford them. In a capitalist system, there is liberty for people to own assets and properties). This trade did not add much to the improvement of the economic activities as much as farming.

Then came the advert of socialism in Nigeria (Socialism is an economic system in which the state or the state handles, manages and controls the means of production, distribution and exchange in a country. In a socialist system, there is little, no or less freedom for private individuals to have the ownership of assets and means of production in the economy. In a socialist economy, the state has the ownership of everything in the economy, ownership of the means of production isn’t allowed and tolerated. Once an individual owns assets in such economy and is caught, he or she will face the wrath of the country as he may have to relinquish and forfeit his assets to the state.

In a socialist economy, the end goal of motive is not for profit maximization or profit making. The objective is not for making profit but rather for rendering essential services to the people. The management of assets are in the hands of the state. The state controls everything in the economy and finances it. For instance, in a socialist state, the state has the ownership of hospitals, clinics, houses, businesses, aviation, transportation, investments and trading. Individuals are not given the freedom and liberty to own businesses, properties or assets in such economic system.

Economic and business activities are overseen by the state as the state handles and make provisions for public enterprises in the economy. The machinery of a socialist economic system is that the allocation of the means of production are vested in the state and its agencies).

The state here refers to the colonial masters they control all means of production and exchange using the warrant chief or traditional rulers as an intercessor in a system of indirect rule. The whole economy was controlled by the colonial masters, they decided what to build, taxes, administration and other policies. The economy was stable since the means of exchange were pound and sterling as prescribe and maintained by the colonial masters. The economy of colonial the colonial era did not quite favor Nigerians as it did the colonial masters.

    Finally came the last system of economics, the mixed system. The government will fail if it decides to handle all parts and sectors of the economy because it will not be able to build a structure which will make economic activities to have an increase in productivity because of its monopolistic nature and lack of competition.  It is a system of economics in which the capitalist and the communist system is practiced.

Nigeria’s economy is based on the traits and characteristics of the capitalist economic system and the capitalist system. This further illustrates that the country has a dual economy system in which private individuals and the state (government) handle and control the means of production, distribution and exchange in the country. It has not been the best of choice for Nigeria since there have been rise and fall in prices and exchange rate as well as all other defaults which makes the economy a limping economy.


With the high rate of corruption, The expensive system of government (federal and bicameral legislation, Method of allocation of monetary funds, Misuse of funds and resources, Malpractices of various societies, Ethnicity/tribalism, Greed  and selfishness among ministers, executives and judiciary but if these systems can be corrected, adjusted with a little hints of changes, Nigeria can leave the status of a third world country, developing country and move to a modern status of world power,  of big 5 and have exchange rate equal with those of the U .S. , U. K. And the likes. This is the future Nigeria economy if these changes are made.


Nigeria economy has been critically discussed, history, major players, and necessity that warrant the development of history. Also, the future of economy of Nigeria is analyzed, and what will probably surface as time pass by, it will be an interesting time reading thoroughly this piece of information.


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