Explaining the Lineage of Capitalist Development in Nigeria

Oluwatosin Samuel Orimolade, Nnaoma Hyacinth Iwu


The Nigerian economy is now embroiled in a deep economic crises. This is partly due to the inability of successive Nigerian leaders to unlock the potential for capitalist development and intensive industrialization in Nigeria. An assessment of the structure of the Nigerian economy along with the indicators of capitalist development may be in order here. However, this study examines the development of capitalism in Nigeria, tracing the potential for capitalist development from the pre-colonial, colonial to the postcolonial periods of Nigeria’s history. The paper argues that while pre-colonial Nigerian social formations developed ‘capitalistic’ and commercial sectors and were woven into different trade and commercial networks, it was colonialism that effectively sought to transform antecedent modes of production or co-opt pre-capitalist modes of production into the capitalist world system. However, given the limited aims of the colonial state in Nigeria, full scale transformation of the economy was not on the agenda and the postcolonial state has not pursued a vigorous plan for capitalist development and industrialization. This study argued that capitalist development in Nigeria can be most persuasively understood by examining the combination of local and international factors that have combined to confound the lineage of capitalist development in Nigeria.


Capitalism; Uneven and combined development; Industrialization

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x


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