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EVALUATE THE LEVEL OF DEFICIT OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA RAILWAY CORPORATION AND THE ADVANTAGES OF FOREIGN AID AND A CALL FOR MORE ASSISTANCE TO NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the Study
In international relations, aid (also known as international aid, overseas aid, foreign aid or foreign assistance) is from the perspective of governments – a voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another. Aid may serve one or more functions: it may be given as a signal of diplomatic approval, or to strengthen a militaryally, to reward a government for behaviour desired by the donor, to extend the donor's cultural influence, to provide infrastructure needed by the donor for resource extraction from the recipient country, or to gain other kinds of commercial access. Countries may provide aid for further diplomatic reasons. Humanitarian and altruistic purposes are at least partly responsible for the giving of aid. Aid may be given by individuals, private organizations, or governments. Standards delimiting exactly the types of transfers considered "aid" vary from country to country. For example, the United States government discontinued the reporting of military aid as part of its foreign aid figures in 1958. The most widely used measure of aid is "Official Development Assistance" (ODA).
The type of aid given may be classified according to various factors, including its intended purpose, the terms or conditions (if any) under which it is given, its source, and its level of urgency.Official aid may be classified by types according to its intended purpose. Military aid is material or logistical assistance given to strengthen the military capabilities of an ally country.Humanitarian aid is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, or typically in response to humanitarian crises such as a natural disaster or a man-made disaster. Aid can also be classified according to the terms agreed upon by the donor and receiving countries. In this classification, aid can be a gift, a grant, a low or no interest loan, or a combination of these. The terms of foreign aid are oftentimes influenced by the motives of the giver: a sign of diplomatic approval, to reward a government for behaviour desired by the donor, to extend the donor's cultural influence, to enhance infrastructure needed by the donor for the extraction of resources from the recipient country, or to gain other kinds of commercial access.Aid can also be classified according to its source. While government aid is generally called foreign aid, aid that originates in institutions of a religious nature is often termed faith-based foreign aid. Aid from various sources can reach recipients through bilateral or multilateral delivery systems. "Bilateral" refers to government to government transfers. "Multilateral" institutions, such as the World Bank or UNICEF, pool aid from one or more sources and disperse it among many recipients.International aid in the form of gifts by individuals or businesses (aka, "private giving") are generally administered by charities or philanthropic organizations who batch them and then channel these to the recipient country.
Aid may be also classified based on urgency into emergency aid and development aid. Emergency aid is rapid assistance given to a people in immediate distress by individuals, organizations, or governments to relieve suffering, during and after man-made emergencies (like wars) and natural disasters. The term often carries an international connotation, but this is not always the case. It is often distinguished from development aid by being focused on relieving suffering caused by natural disaster or conflict, rather than removing the root causes of poverty or vulnerability. Development aid is aid given to support development in general which can be economic development or social development in developing countries. It is distinguished from humanitarian aid as being aimed at alleviating poverty in the long term, rather than alleviating suffering in the short term.
Foreign Aid from International Donor is aimed at enhancing economic progress in the recipient country. It is the belief of many economists that there is a positive relationship between aid and growth. This is the main reason why most aids are tied to specific projects or targets. The United States currently provides $0.15 in foreign assistance for every $100 in gross national income, as against an average of more than $0.80 in the Scandinavian countries. About 20 percent of U.S. foreign aid goes to about four countries: Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and Colombia. American assistance to Africa in 2003 exclusive of that related to emergencies, military assistance, debt service, and research amounted to about $1 billion (Werlin, 2005). However, According to recent statistics, Nigeria as one of the beneficiaries of foreign aid in Africa has endured a lot of economic ups and downs in recent times. For instance, Nigerian economy slowed down in 2012. Despite the robust economic growth, unemployment rate in the country yet increased from 21 per cent in 2010 to 24 per cent in 2011. Also, poverty remains widespread, with a headcount that declined marginally from 48 per cent in 2004 to 46 per cent in 2010. In addition, during the first, second and third quarters of 2012, Nigeria‘s exports increased while its imports decreased, resulting in a 59 per cent improvement in its trade balance and foreign direct investment (FDI) of 24 per cent relative to 2011. Official Development Assistance (ODA) decreased from USD 2.0 billion in 2010 to USD 1.8 billion in 2011. Total FDI in 2011 was USD 8.9 billion, representing 20 per cent of the total FDI to Africa in 2011 (World Bank, 2013). HThis paper has attempted infrastructural development and its effect on economic growth: The Nigerian perspective. In Nigeria under investment in infrastructural development could be a bane to her vision of becoming a top 20 economy by the year 2020. Despite her economic growth over the years, this has not translated to economic development due to lack of infrastructure, high poverty rate, unemployment etc. The methodology adopted for this paper is a simple model of an economy with foreign investment and public infrastructure with a diversified equilibrium where the model is used to examine the impact of increased labor on production of private goods, public infrastructure, foreign investment, welfare and complete specialization. The paper went on further to advice the nation on measures to take to accelerate economic development, as economic growth alone is not enough. owever, these investments are mostly in the oil and gas sector
Nigeria is endowed with a total land mass of 351,649 sq. miles (910,771 sq. km) with a total population of about 170 million (Sanusi, 2014). The movement of people and goods is currently done inefficiently through road transportation, but in contrast, efficient rail transport could provide an efficient distribution that is both cost effective and assists in achieving Nigeria’s economic development initiatives. Jaekel, (1997) argues that “an efficient NRC will act as an aid to the development of other sectors such as agriculture, mineral resources, tourism and manufacturing, through the effective transportation of people and goods throughout the country to and from the seaports, linking companies with the outside world”. Odeleye (2010), in concluding a research paper, noted that, “today, Nigeria’s economy ultimately relies on road mode for sustenance of its economic activities.” Ironically, the road mode is largely constrained due to its limited carrying capacity relative to rail transport. According to (Nworji and Oluwalaiye, 2012), the total collapse of the roadway infrastructure, due to the lack of infrastructure investment, poor maintenance and over use of the existing roads, will further restrain the transportation boost required for speedy economic growth. In order for Nigeria to join the league of world developed economies by 2020, as per its projected national plan, it requires a mode of transport, like rail, which not only has a capacity advantage over other land modes, but also enjoys the advantages of energy efficiency as cost-effectiveness. Therefore, a rejuvenation of the existing railway structure and construction of a new rail network, will act as a spring board for sustainable economic development and growth in the country (Oni, 2010).