Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Ziring

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Dahlberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Helenan Robin

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Sushasni Datta-Sandhu


The Federal Government of Nigeria’s Structural Adjustment/Make-or-Buy policy was introduced in July 1986 to accelerate the development of Nigerian industrial capacity by contracting government R & D out to the private sector. This study expands the empirical and theoretical analyses of development policy and its implementation that have traditionally relied on motives of "rationality" (costs/benefits) to explain bureaucratic behavior. It examines and juxtaposes the military-dominated policy making apparatus with the traditional bureaucracy, which has the responsibility for the execution of public policy. It also attempts to make some contribution to Nigerian and comparative literature in the field of industrial development policy.

A hybrid version of a political system decision making model was used to evaluate the relationship between initial public policy formulation at the highest level of the army dominated government of Nigeria, and the subsequent interpretation and implementation of the Structural Adjustment/Make-or-Buy policy by the Nigerian civil bureaucracy. This study is unique and distinguishes itself by testing the political system model in a unitary and developing nation where actors operate in a highly centralized manner. This helps identify the differences between and reveals the difficulties in applying the political system model to Nigeria rather than the United States. The central research question is: What is the relationship between the Nigerian military junta and the country’s bureaucracy in the decision making and implementation processes and how has that relationship been shaped by the colonial legacy? It is shown that responses within as well as between federal ministries and agencies depend on their perception of specific departmental and agency goals, more so than the broader objectives of the structural adjustment policy.

The study is based on field surveys in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria. These involved interviews of selected federal ministers, senior bureaucrats and Managing Directors of major research and development corporations. Analyses of financial data of federal ministries, agencies and the Central Bank of Nigeria are also utilized to relate the ministries and agency responses to the goals of the policy.

The results of this study suggest that bureaucratic support has been central to the minimal success of the Structural Adjustment/Make-or-Buy policy even in so centralized a political administrative system as prevails in Nigeria.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. Sisay Asefa

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access