In recent times, an exceptionally large and virulent recession engulfed the Nigerian State that had for the previous two and half decades experienced sustained growth at unprecedented levels. The causes as well as sense of threat and uncertainty induced by the crisis have been differently interpreted, particularly from the macro-economic, leadership and strategic standpoints. This paper offers a political economy explanation of recession in Nigeria's Fourth Republic. The study adopts the descriptive/qualitative research technique to probe the following questions: What are the factors responsible for the crisis? What is the relationship between the structure of the Nigerian State and recession? How may recession be checked? The paper argues that recession expresses the capitalist nature of the Nigeria State. Moreover, lack of political will of the successive governments to save, corruption, mismanagement and overdependence on oil earnings, among other, are the factors that instigated the recession. The study recommends substantial structural reforms that will overthrow the system that serves the narrow interests of the capitalists class rather than people. There is also the need to diversify the nation's economy, particularly investing on the non-oil sector such as manufacturing and agriculture production.
Key words: Nigeria, recession, gross domestic product, corruption, fourth republic, crude oil earnings.
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