National Economic Empowerment Development Strategies (NEEDS) and Labour In Nigeria, 2003-2007
After about two decades of poor economic performance occasioned by the fluctuating oil prices and mismanagement of the economy by the military dictatorships, there were myriad and daunting economic challenges that confronted the country. The challenges ranged from scarcity of petroleum products to infrastructural decay and monumental fiscal deficits. These included all time high unemployment rate, grinding debt burden and low industrial productivity. The Olusegun Obasanjo’s civilian government set up the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) woven around the centre – periphery theory which tied the later to apron-string of the former. This unequal relationship had always launched the States in the periphery in a confrontational relationship with their citizens as was experienced in Nigeria. The thrust of this paper is to investigate the nexus between the implementation of the NEEDS and labour in Nigeria. The paper avers that the NEEDS programme was not a success story because it did not make an appreciable impact on the standard of living of the majority hence it was regarded as an antilabour and pro-poverty policy. The unending labour strikes that characterized the Obasanjo regime lend credence to the above avowal. The paper helps to contribute to a better understanding of interface between labour and the Obasanjo government between 2003 and 2007.