Provision of public goods and health outcomes during political transition in Nigeria

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study investigates three issues connected with governance and citizens welfare in Nigeria. One of the current debates in the political economy literature focuses on the bene ts of democracies to ordinary citizens, especially in developing countries, and particularly in sub-Saharan African countries. Most Nigerians have been questioning the bene ts of transition from military rule to democratic rule in 1999 to ordinary citizens. This concern relates to the lack of credibility of electoral processes in the country. Politicians in Nigeria have embarked on various unlawful strategies both to win and perpetuate positions of power, with no regard for the principles of free and fair elections. Non-credible elections often lead to capture of political power at both national and sub-national levels in the country by special interest groups headed by political godfathers (1). This thesis examines whether transition from an autocratic military regime to a relatively competitive democratic regime results in higher provision of public goods and a reduction in health inequality, given the prevalence of political capture due to lack of credible electoral competition in Nigeria. The thesis questions the assumption that transition from a military dictatorship to relatively competitive democratic rule will ensure an increase in the provision of public goods and a reduction in health inequality.

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