NEO-WELFARISM: A VIABLE OPTION FOR THE NIGERIAN STATE
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
springs from a genuine sense of patriotism to fashion a way forward for my
beloved country. It is rather remarkable at this time there seem to be little
incentive for patriotic concerns since the state had neglected to play its part
on the unwritten social contract with its citizens. Achebe captures the scene
very aptly, “when two Nigerians meet, their conversation will sooner or later
slide into a litany of our national deficiencies.”
national woes range from the alarming state of governmental maladministration
to the executive mismanagement of the supreme powers of the state. Its effects
include incessant nation-wide confusion, political instability, and social
unrests seriously endangering life and property. The irony however is that
these social evils that are man-made are perceived by some people to be Divine
ordinances or as an aspect of man’s essence which cannot be ameliorated.
cause of this general prevailing decadence in our society is the poverty of
ideology. The prevalent ideology is reflected in the untoward practices of the
leadership, which has filtered into the entire sphere of society’s life. Thus,
our moral sensibilities have been inverted.
order facing us if we mean to regenerate our fatherland is “to evolve a new
political culture,” through
re-examining the alien ideology “imposed on us as a super structure by the
colonial whites” with our
indigenous ideology to form a social matrix, what Zik calls Neo-welfarism. I
see this event as a historical necessity. So that we recover from our state of
complete inertia, when confronted with issues threatening our corporate
existence and destiny.
OF THE PROBLEM
Nigeria is a country blessed
with enough material and human wealth to satisfy its citizenry. However due to
inadequate ideological orientation, she is nowhere near the echelon of
developed states. Though independent, she still moans under the burden of under
development. Politically, she is the bedrock of instability as leaders want to
perpetuate themselves in office. Economically, she is not better off as
occasioned by the low standard of living of its citizens. In the technological
circle, she could best be described as rich abroad while poor at home.
many more tend to undermine the image of the Nigerian personality globally. As
no human society can thrive without an ideology of its own rooted in its
culture and past, Nigeria must look inwards. There is an urgent need for a
socio-economic system rooted in Nigerian culture and manifesting Nigerian
qualities which are “democratic according to her institutions, welfarist in her
economical background, altruistic in sociological life and religiously
socio-economic system that encompasses these qualities should be adopted to
alleviate the basic problems facing Nigeria. These positive visions will be
considered in the light of Zik’s Neo-welfarism.
OF THE STUDY
in various epochs have devised different socio-economic systems to attain the
ideal, and actualize the objectives of the state, which is the material and
social well being of the individual. These systems are adopted depending on
their suitability and adaptability to the particular people and
this light, we shall turn our searchlight on the system that will be best
adapted to the Nigerian situation. This system as it were will proffer
solutions to the perennial problems of Nigeria that have defied logic with a
view to restoring human dignity. This is paramount for we need more than just
the nebulous idea called democracy. To get to the El dorado, “we must go beyond
democracy and define in ideological terms the new society we envision and which
our people are daily craving for.” 
Neo-welfarism will take us there.
OF THE STUDY
significance of the research is to establish the fact that Zik’s neo-welfarism
is an invaluable contribution towards the development of an enduring political
culture, good governance, and socio-economic enhancement of Nigeria. It is most
pertinent at this period Nigeria is at the crossroads, groping for political
stability, national unity, economic reconstruction for a new social order, to
heed the advice of Ibrahim Babangida, Nigeria’s former President to social scientists. He admonished them to
devote more time to the study of the input of great Nigerians like Zik,
describing him as a scholar, a states man and a “beacon to serve as reference
point from which we take off in our search for a durable political and economic
the research shows that his theory of neo-welfarism is the product of a
combination of his ingenuity in harmonizing opposites, with the environmental
circumstances and the socio-political climate of his life and time. This is in
accord with the views of the famous British Philosopher, Bethrand Russell;
Philosophers are both effects
and causes: effects of their social circumstances and of the politics and
institutions of their time; causes,( if they are fortunate) of beliefs which mould the politics and institutions of
OF THE STUDY
does not over labour itself with discussing various socio-economic systems
obtainable in all countries, to locate the best option for Nigeria. It is
rather focused on Neo-welfarism with little insights into Capitalism, Socialism
and Welfarism. This insight will take a form of critique.
The work will critically
analyze these above-mentioned socio-economic systems giving their merits and
demerits and, stating why each is not suitable for Nigeria when taken alone.
Neo-welfaism will be equally analyzed bringing out its basic features and the
reasons why it is the most viable option for the Nigerian state.
1.6 METHOD OF THE RESEARCH
Due to the
nature of the work, which is historical as it is explorative, it becomes
paramount to employ the methods of exposition, analysis and critique. The
expository method will help us know the nature, origin, and history of the
three major socio-economic systems: capitalism, socialism and welfarism. That
of analysis will tell us the difference among these economic systems not
excluding their merits and short comings, whereas critical appraisal will help
us re-assess the various political systems to locate the most suitable one for
Nigeria to aid her socio-economic enhancement.
concept here is neo-welfarism. This concept is not merely abstract, but has a
place in the practical human society. Neo-welfarism has much relevance in the
socio- political and economic life of man. By this fact, effort will be made to
practically apply the principles of neo-welfarism for the growth and
development of our Nigerian society.
above background therefore, the work is divided into five chapters. Chapter one
is introduction. Chapter two is the literature review where the independent
struggles in Africa together with the three major socio-economic systems of
capitalism; socialism and welfarism will be discussed, exposing their strong
and weak points. This launches us into chapter three which out lines the
intellectual and cultural foundations that made Zik opt for neo-wlfarism, since
no one speaks from nowhere. Chapter four will see us vividly describing the
socio-economic system of neo-welfarism as a veritable Nigerian ideology, giving
the reasons for this postulation. While chapter five, is the critical
evaluation and conclusion.
 C. Achebe, The Trouble with Nigeria (Enugu: Fourth Dimension
Publishing Co. Ltd. 1983), p.2
 T.U Nwala, Nigeria: Path to Unity and Stability (Nsukka:
Nigeria Books and Publishing Co. Ltd, 1997), p. 230.
 G.B. Ezeani, Redeeming Nigeria Through Massists Ideology
(Yola: Juddy Best Publishers. 1987), p. 15
 M.I Nwoko, Basic World Political Theories (Owerri: Claretian
Institute of Philosophy. 1988), p. 203
 T.U. Nwala, Op. Cit; p. 231.
 Mosadomi, Secret behind my
success – Zik (The Punch Newspaper, Monday, Nov. 18, 1991) p.2.
 B. Russel, History of Western Philosophy (London: Unwin
Paperbacks. 1979), p.7
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